Sunday, July 7, 2019

Tombstone Lakes July 7, 2019

Oh what to do?  Oh where to go?  Oh what's the forecast?  I feel like I am spending too much time weather watching these days!  Ya gotta do your homework though cause ya wanna be safe when you are "out & about" playing!  I had put a suggestion out there a few days ago to hike into Tombstone Lakes with the intention to weather watch then make an informed smart decision just prior to go time.  I weather watched and weather watched and weather watched until I was weather watched out and ready to say na, I can't be bothered weather watching anymore, I don't wanna go.  But, just as I was ready to officially declare that, an email popped in and my friend said oh come on let's go.  I jumped on board quickly and first thing this morning off we went.  

While the weather said otherwise, I did hope for blue sky & sunshine, this is what we got!

While gearing up at the Elbow Lake Parking Lot we spotted a coyote wandering about.  We made sure to check for him along the trail and within a matter of about 5 minutes from leaving the vehicle we spotted it in the bushes just off the trail. It eyed us as we eyed it.
We got the steep climb to the Lake over with quickly.  
Elbow Lake was like a mirror.
It was extra marshy and wet around the edges. 
We crossed the bridge from the Provincial Park into the Wildlands Park.  The trail was wet and we did lots of skirting around puddles, rock hopping, off trail bushwhacking.  I have never seen so much water along this trail.  This looked more like a little lake or a tarn rather than the trail.  It took lots of skirting to get around it.
I always like arriving at this wide open section where you can see forever.  That's Tombstone Mountain to my right in the photo and behind me you see the Cats Ears and Piper Pass.  We considered Piper Pass as a possibility but we had no river crossing footwear with us and it was more like a river than a creek that we would have to cross.
About a klick away from the Tombstone Campground we heard thunder and then the sky opened up and shed buckets and buckets of rain down upon us.  We discussed what to do and I suggested let's at least get to the Campground and find some shelter to dry off and have a bit to eat.  We found some shelter in and amongst a conglomerate of trees.
Maybe 20 or 30 minutes later the sky quickly cleared.  
I snuck out from the shelter to have a peek. 
This is what I saw.
 We opted to take our chances and go on up to Tombstone Lakes.  
This is the view behind us as we began the ascent.
 July 7th and there are still crocuses out there.
We arrived at the Lower Tombstone Lake as the sky turned grey.  It didn't look too threatening so we stuck with our plan.  I have always easily hiked around this Lake but it wasn't obvious enough today  if we could make it with how full the lake was.
 We made our way up to the Upper Tombstone Lake only to see wow it was larger than ever also.  
It was always easy to walk around this lake too but no way that was happening today.  
 enough water to show off a full reflection 
It was overcast and we were not sure what could transpire so we quickly scampered up the rocky ridge for an overall view and I wanted to capture my destination shot up there.  Then just as quickly we scampered back down.  
 view of the Upper Tombstone Lake from on top of the rocky ridge
 back down to a safe wide open space we settled in for tea and lunch
Our lunch time entertainment was a Mom marmot and her babies.  Here you can see one baby right beside her and the other one at the bottom right beginning to climb up to her.  She watched us intently and made some ear piercing squeals.   As we finished dining and began to pack up, the marmot Mom gathered her babies and the family scooted on down behind the boulder and disappeared out of sight.
We arrived back at Tombstone Campground and checked it out now that the weather was nice.  It had been closed for a couple of years and just opened again within the past couple of weeks.   Thank you to those who worked their wonders on making this such a nice space.   It looked so inviting I was wishing I was staying the night.  Some day, some night!
We were thankful to have beautiful weather for our hike back.  
This meadow was yellow from end to end covered in buttercups.
 The river was fast flowing under the bridge.
 at the bridge with the trail and campground behind me
 back up on top of that little hill you have the valley view to the meadow and campground
 view looking back at Tombstone Mountain while along the return trip
We did the same puddle jumping and bushwhacking and skirting while hiking back.  In places we did more and other places less was needed. We arrived back at Elbow Lake and I had to capture some shots. With the time of day and the lighting it made the color of the lake look unreal, but, it was real.
I am so glad we just went for it today taking our chances with the weather.  
We were gifted a most beautiful day out where life begins!

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