But it’s late afternoon now and I have exhausted my limited vocabulary: drizzle, downpour, spate, monsoon, and so on. Let me put it this way, that picture you see of Heart Lake was not taken today, mainly because I took no photos today. Why, you ask? Because my camera doesn’t function underwater, that’s why.
Nevertheless, about eight brave (foolhardy) folks set out at 9 a.m. to do the Heart Lake/Stocking Lake loop. All was well on the way to the top. We stopped at the lookout to look at the fog. We pretended there was a view. We then slogged up the rest of the way to the lake.
At that point, we had a decision to make, go back down or continue – oh, by all means let’s go on, we said. And so we did, for five minutes. At that point we hit the first big puddle of the day. Now, you have to understand by puddle I mean that the lake had breached its banks and had flooded the trail.
Those of us with waterproof boots fared fairly well. Then there was the other group, many new to hiking, who looked at the lake they had to either ford, or skirt through high, thick, very dripping wet salal. Five of us decided to continue while the rest (the smart ones) turned back.
We forged on: much splashing was involved. We got to the far side of Stocking Lake and continued on the path around it. And that’s where we encountered the next puddle. What we knew about this one and the trail to come, was that the next half hour at least would be one long water slog.
We opted to turn back slightly and take the alternate route down. This too was wet but at least we managed to detour around the puddles rather than swim through them. Three hours and fifteen minutes later we were back at the parking lot and we all looked like very sorry items the cat dragged in.
You know what’s the worst thing about being that wet? Sitting down in the car. Oh squish!
Yes, I had waterproof everything on – but still. I peeled everything off, even my underwear. You know what feels really good about getting that wet? Getting into warm, dry clothing afterwards. And lunch. And a nap.
Fingers crossed it stops raining for tomorrow. I don’t relish 8 or 9 bushwhacky hours in weather like this. In fact, I so un-relish it that I am going to have a plan B in my back pocket.
Does all of this sound like a complaint? Oh no! I was outside – hiking. Hurrah! It just so happened that I was hiking through very very high humidity – what can you expect: it’s the first day of spring and it’s the West Coast. And any day hiking is better than not hiking – no matter what the weather.