Saturday, July 12, 2008

That's one heck of a soaker!

We got a LOT of snow this winter, and we have had an exceptionally cold and rainy spring (but it's ok, it's been hot and glorious for over two weeks in a row now, so all is forgiven). All of this means that there is still a lot of snow on the mountains. If you plan on going hiking, don't be surprised if you have to do some of it in the snow.

Now this is normally not an issue. It's fun on a blazing hot summer day to throw snowballs at each other or to do some serious bum skiing. But apparently there are certian hazards to watch out for. There are the usual creek-under-the-snow type hazards, and the slippery-snowy-slope type hazards (and probably more that I'm not aware of and really should be if I'm gonna go do these kinds of things).

But there's one hazard I wasn't exactly expecting. That would be the "ground drops out from under one foot revealing that what you thought was trail was really a slushy muddy watery snowy pine-needly and did-I-mention-muddy hip-deep HOLE into a not-yet melted alpine lake" hazard.


There I was, walking along the FOREST FLOOR - not snow, not slush - DIRT FLOOR, when to my left I noticed a lake that was still partly frozen over. In the middle there was slushy lake, then toward the edge was watery lake, watery mud, mud, and dry trail. Granted, I stepped in the mud, but still. IT WAS NOT THE LAKE! Except, apparently the ground dropped off at a ninety degree angle and it really WAS the lake.

The ground quickly gave way and I found myself one foot on the trail, one foot sunken in UP TO MY HIP, I kid-you-not. It made the noisiest slurping sound as I heaved myself out in a puddle of mud and slush and water and laughter. I can only imagine what I looked like to my friends behind me. One minute, walking along, the next minute - WHOOSH! Four feet shorter and covered in ooze!

(Just try to ignore how butch I look in the photo, mmkay?)

And yes, looking at that photo, it LOOKS like that big muddy hole is OBVIOUSLY a part of the lake. But that was AFTER I MADE IT LOOK LIKE THAT, folks! It looked completely like that patch of ground my right foot is resting (solidly!) on before the EARTH GAVE WAY AND TRIED TO EAT ME!

I was fine, albeit dirty and with a heck of a lot of water in my boot. Good thing I have proper hiking boots and wear synthetic liners and wool socks when I go hiking (hence the hottie sockline tan half way up my calf, baby, yeah!). Nearly three hours later, and squishfoot Hillary had turned into a rather extreme example of pruney goodness, complete with pine needles between my toes. (Again, the photo doesn't do justice to the amount of forest floor I removed inside my hiking boot!)

Chalk it up to yet another hiking adventure!

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