Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Sawtooths (Day 4)


Considering the sun didn't feel like hitting the tents until about 0900, it wasn't until then when I braved the cold. Cold, cold. Upper 20's or so. I wasn't really designed for anything lower than 81, so it's always rough dealing with that nonsense. Quickly made some good thick coffee (shade grown of course) and downed that like a maniacal fool. Oh yes, the good stuff.
Because of the painfully cold temps, it took us a while to get our crap together. Really, talk about leisurely. Granted, we didn't get the tents up until pretty late the night before, but still.
I'm totally embarrassed to admit that we didn't get to the trailhead until 1:45 in the afternoon. It's true and uncalled for, but that's what happened. An obvious note: this is NOT an ideal time to start an almost 9 mile hike. But hey, we did it. And what a freaking gorgeous hike. The elevation gain was pretty good - about 2500 feet in the first 4 miles, but like I've said, I kinda prefer uphill. Also, the wild flowers were still blooming like it was spring or something, pretty niiice!
The trail eventually leveled out to a fantastic view of the Pioneer Mountains. Hot damn, talk about a pretty scene! The tallest peak was just over 12,000 feet. Ate lunch at the top while oohhh'ing and ahhh'ing.
On the hike back, which was a lot of pretty knee-jarring downhill but also a significant amount of uphill too, I was regretting dragging the extra weight of the 500 mm lens. But alas! There were more PIKAS! (they deserve the caps). Pika heaven, actually. Heard a ton of 'em, but took a while to actually spot one. He posed for about three photos and then went into hiding.
The hike back took longer than expected and we got back just as the sun was setting, so that was a little too close for comfort. No harm done though and what an excellent hike! Once we were done, it was (vegan) pizza and beer time. Of course. Then back to the freezing frozen tents (actually, it wasn't as cold as the night before, luckily). Scenic Sunday Nature Notes

18 comments:

Don't Bug Me! said...

Love, love, love the pika! Almost makes me want to grab my stupidly long lens and head up into the mountains.......I wonder if the ski lifts are still operating? Let's face it, that is the only way I am getting high enough for pikas these days. Sad, but true.

Birding is Fun! said...

Thanks for sharing Idaho's Sawtooths. Over the years being a Boy Scout and now leading them, I've spent some quality time in those mountains and enjoying those same views. Your photos are fantastic. Photos still don't capture the full awe of seeing it in person.

Gaelyn said...

Absolutely gorgeous, but a little too cold to be camping for me.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Jill, such beautiful captures of your journey, the little touches of flowers bring out the beauty of the land even more and your little Pika friend... well what can I say, always they are so very cute!

Dominic Gendron said...

Great serie, wonderfull landscape! And i never get tired of Pika images ;)

Al said...

Simply gorgeous and I love the pika. 81 may be your lower temperature limit, but it's my upper limit. Maybe that's why I live at 7,500 feet elevation, even through the winter!

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Amazing mountainscapes! Great captures!

Martha Z said...

Beautiful country and I see you got your pika shot and a great one it is.

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Meravigliosi posti da visitare :)
Belle immagini naturalistiche.
Buona giornata.
Myriam

Birgitta "foto CHIP" said...

These are great sceneries all of them. Soft lovely colours and flowers along the pathway. Beautiful!
http://foto.rudenius.se/post/2010/10/16/Scenic-Sunday.aspx

cat said...

So very beautiful. Great series of shots :) The pika is so adorable you just want one :)

Leah said...

Wow!!!! So wow!!!

Gorgeous shots of the scenery. So you were out camping? I've have camping experiences way back when I was a kid.. Don;t have time to do it now, though. Bummer..

Anyway, great great shots of.. everything. The mountains, the scenery, the Pika shot.. great captures. =)

Anyway, here's mine for Scenic Sunday.. please check it out and drop a comment. Thanks a bunch.. =)

http://neneleah30.blogspot.com/2010/10/beach-scenic-sunday.html

Coffeedoff said...

Lovely views!

Ann said...

I love the clumps of wild flowers.

It is great that you can camp any where. We used to be able to do this in New Zealand. But the last few years, so idiots ruin it all, raping and robbing tourist.

Our most memorable camping was trying to sleep in our small car. It was most uncomfortable. I was helping my husband do his field trip.

Cecilia Artista said...

Awesome! I really like your shots and the scenery they show!

EG Wow said...

Beautiful. rugged terrain! You must be in great shape!

Denise said...

An excellent post with the most wonderful photographs. I have never seen a Pika before and hope to one day. I also remember waking up shivering to intense cold when I went camping. I can count on one hand how many times I did that but it was always so much fun and wish I had done it more often back in the day. Enjoyed your post very much, thank you.

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you for taking me along on the hike...It's the only way I am going to get to see this beautiful scenery....