Monday, January 07, 2008

New Years Hike

This year, for the first time since the 70's, the powers that be plowed the road up to Hyalite. So on New Years Day we took advantage of the plowed road and decided to go for a hike. Amazingly, it was CROWDED up at the reservoir! We had a hard time finding a place to park in the lot. There were people everywhere enjoying the beautiful day and the snow. And we joined them. We put Ellie in her sled and wrapped her up cozy:

Then we set off down the trail with her in tow. We took the trail that winds along the edge of the reservoir. I remembered it being fairly level. I was wrong. It starts out level enough, but soon there were little hills that made the way more difficult. It wouldn't have been so bad, really, except for the fact that on the downside of one such hill Ellie's sled caught Leif's foot and overturned, tossing her into the snow. She didn't much like that and require that we carry her the rest of the way. Every time we suggested she get back in the sled she'd cry, "No sled! No!" Poor girl. As we were pushing naptime, we decided to take the straight and level way back and walk on the lake. It was frozen solid (solid enough for plenty of other people to be out on it!) so I wasn't worried. We made our way off the trail and waded through hip deep snow to reach the ice. It was at this point that I wondered why I hadn't bothered to wear snow pants. We started trekking across the lake and I felt my feet getting wet. I looked down and found myself standing in a couple inches of water and freaked out. To me, a puddle of water on a very deep frozen lake couldn't be a good sign. But Leif assured me that it was just the snow on top the ice melting, so I quickly scurried to the packed down ski and snowmobile trails a few feet away. But as I trudged through the water to get to the packed down snow, I did wonder why I hadn't bothered to put on my snow boots, either...

As we got closer to the boat ramp and parking lot, we saw more and more people. Crazy people. I know many of you reading this think we are crazy for going on a hike in sub-freezing temperatures in the mountains, but I assure you that we were on the sane end of the spectrum. In addition to the other people we saw walking and cross country skiing, there were...

ice fishermen

(I know the lake is frozen and all, but really?)

And my personal favorite and the winner of the Craziest of the Crazy award...

Scuba Divers!!!

So there you have it. We aren't so crazy after all. Do you see the blocks of ice those people are sitting on?? That confirms that the lake was definitely frozen through. But scuba diving? In the cold? At the beginning of January? UNDER THE ICE??? That, my friends, is crazy.

And so we went back to our car, with Ellie crying to go "nigh night" and headed back down the mountain. We passed the sledders on our way down and were glad they plowed the road this year. It was definitely a good way to start off 2008.


Kimberlee said...

Hey Mrs W-
I recognize the baby blanket in that first picture! =) And I agree, scuba diving in Hyalite in January is crazy--but it might be kinda fun!

Susan Beth said...

I have a kinder shuttle - enclosed sled that harnesses around your waist. You might find it more enjoyable. Ellie might find it more enjoyable. I used to put a battery powered c.d. player in the back and let Jansse listen to music. I'll try to remember to bring it on Thursday and you can check it out.

Jenn said...

Crazy Montanans!

The hike does sound like fun, though. I love that even though it is sub-zero temps, we have beautiful blue skies!