Monday, May 25, 2009


Hey All!

Hope your Memorial Day Weekend was amazing! Mine was quite the adventure!!!

My soon to be Brother-In-Law, K, suggested that we (and by we he invited my Fiancee, A, and our good friend, W, but of course it was assumed the women folk could tag along) go hiking and threw out the Polallie Ridge Loop as an idea.

We looked it over and really, just relied on experienced hiker K to do all the research heavy lifting and didn't really think twice about it. Silly us!

Now, I should let you know that I would consider myself athletic. I've cheered for over 8 years and don't shy away from activity. It's true I am a little rounder and fluffier than I would like but I didn't think this would impact my ability to hike. In fact I was super excited to go because I felt I was really prepared. I started running a little more than a month ago and now am running 2.8 miles 4 days a week with M and some times a sneak in a bonus run with my honey on the weekends (yes I really did just say bonus run). K described this hike as a fun, summer trail with some elevation change but he didn't think it would be too hard and when A and I mentioned we didn't have hiking boots he said our running shoes would do just fine.

I was ill prepared for this adventure.

We set out Saturday morning, driving about two hours to the trail head and we were all extremely excited! This was the first time I've gone camping with my fiancee, in fact this is the first time I've gone camping since I was 12 and we brought our new puppy, B. It was hot and sunny and it looked like it would stay that way all weekend. Truly perfect.

The plan is to hike as far as we can the first day, trying to conquer all of the elevation change (all three thousand feet of it!!!!<-- we didn't really realize what this meant until we hiked it). The second day we can take it easy if we want or forge ahead and then because we're taking the loop counterclockwise the last seven miles are really easy, all level or downhill for the last day.

Setting out it was just what I expected, hot sunny day with some steep hiking but mostly low grade and lots of fun on the trail. Our friends M and W brought a ton of wildlife books (wildflowers, trees, bugs, something else I can't remember) and we stopped frequently for water and to identify this flower or that. It was a good challenge but not so difficult that I couldn't do it for three days. Things we looking really good!

A little ways in however, we ran into two guys coming down off the hill. We asked them about the trails, as the loop we were taking starts off as one and then forks off into another, so we were trying to gauge how far we had gone. They mention to us that the trail is snowed out and they are turning back.

Now, if this was a book this would be foreshadowing. This is where the characters are receiving useful information but choosing to ignore it.

These guys were wearing shorts and one of them is shirtless. They had small packs are clearly were not going to do the whole loop or were trying to make a day hike of it. We felt the snow they came across was probably just patchy and they were over reacting because they weren't prepared to spend more than a few hours hiking. We forged ahead. And sure enough there was snow.

At this point it's still spotty and intermittent.

No one's really concerned about it.
(There's B, he loved the snow and did really well on the hike, not only staying with us but checking on everyone from time to time. It was awesome and he is a welcome companion on all future hikes!!!)

In fact because of the heat of the day it was actually quite welcome.

We reached a peak at about lunch time and sat down for one of the most scenic meals of my life. It was gorgeous!!!

At this point I am actually pretty sore already. The trail has become completely covered in snow

But that's ok because Diamond lake should be really close and the trail is hilly but more level from here on out.

Should be....

At lunch we realize that the snow has caused us to vere off course and this beautiful veiw point was a detour. It will take us several hours, and lots of extra hiking, to find the trail again....

Even B gets tired. We paused for water and a map check, still off the trail and he decided it was stopping time. Dug himself a den right there a plopped down.

Sorry buddy, it's still hours from stopping time...

To Be Continued.

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