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Gold Hill Hike #406

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Gold Hill Hike #406


48° -  50°        

June 13, 2011…Gold Hill…hike # 406   

The plan for today was to go back up to Schweitzer for one last time but it was raining so hard at home and skiing on wet snow in the rain did not sound at all like fun. So we headed over to our rainy day hike, Gold Hill which we have hiked countless times. It is always a beautiful hike and wildflowers would be beginning.

Rain was coming down quite steadily as we began and continued for the entire hike, save the last 15 minutes.  The lake is at high pool level and so many of the docks we saw along the shore were underwater and loaded with sandbags to keep them from floating away. Trying to decide what to wear on this cold wet day was a problem but settled on my snow pants with light long johns underneath. One long sleeve top proved not to be enough and before I froze to death, we stopped and I put on my fleece jacket. That felt so darn good. Hands began to get cold so put HotHands in the wet soggy mitts a little bit later. Flowers were not overly abundant yet and mostly laden with heavy raindrops, but we did see Oregon Grape, yellow and purple violets, wild roses, pestamon, shooting stars, blue eyed Mary, and the rare and illusive Fairy Slipper orchid. I took so many pics of several with my new camera none of which came out well. I will change some settings for the next time…so disappointing.

 It was socked in at the very first view spot, about 20 minutes up, and then up at top both of the view spots were foggy…not a view to be had. Just a slight breeze. Up at the forest road, we thought we would just head down to the view spot looking toward the east side of the lake toward Hope, and skip the three mile loop. This was our first hike on ground with boots and we were going faster and steeper than we had been all winter on snowshoes. Legs and knees were beginning to feel the effects.  As I write 3 days later, my shins still ache. And I was cold and wet. Jim said he was chilly…he left any kind of a shirt or jacket home. At the last minute he took them out of his pack thinking he wouldn’t need them today. HA! You can’t mess with Mother Nature!

While heading down the steep grades, we met two mountain bikes pedaling up…it didn’t look like fun for them! It was good to get down to the truck.

Left home                    10:00

Started up                   10:45

Got to truck                 3:45 

Total miles hiked          9 miles

Total hiking time           5 hours


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Author info

Betsy Fulling Betsy Fulling In 2002, after a bout with cancer and wanting her energy back, Betsy Fulling began hiking with her husband Jim. Regardless of the weather they go into the high country every week - in eight years, she has only missed five times.

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hiking, Gold Hill

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Penstemon Fairy Slipper

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