Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chilly Surprise

My daughter was able to come home from college for the entire week of Thanksgiving.  She loved that and so did we.  Even though she had lots of school work and music to work on, we made sure to get out and have some family fun.  One of the things we did was to go for a hike up in the San Jacinto Mountains above Idyllwild.

We started out early and stopped for a delicious and hearty breakfast at the Mountain Center Cafe.  Then, we were off to the ranger station for a trail permit and parking pass.  While we were there we looked at all the fun stuff in their little shopping corner.  We ended up buying some little trail buddies.  I got a little Smokey Bear that I clipped onto my pack.  Isn't he cute?  I love his little hat and jeans!

My daughter got an adorable little owl that got to peek out of her pack for the day.

Hubby got a cute little raccoon but somehow I missed on getting a photo of it.  It was perfect for him as he's always had a 'coon tail on the back of his bike helmet.  In fact, that's how he's recognized at mountain bike races and by other riders because he's had that for so long.  He likes raccoons.

We were amazed at how many cones there are on the Sugar Pines this year!  They're loaded!  There were thousands of them on the ground too.  They're such pretty cones!

It was a beautiful day!  A little chilly but sunny and the trails weren't crowded.

Then...we came along something we didn't expect to see...snow!  We hadn't had much precipitation before that and what we did have was from a warm storm.  So, we didn't think they'd gotten any snow up there.  Hmmm?!

The higher we got, the more there was.  Some sections were a little slick but we could still hike through with caution.  

However, the trail at the top had a lot more snow and lots of ice that made it just too slick and dangerous.  There were tracks from people who'd hiked when it was slushy but it had frozen over into solid ice.  That's just not fun or safe....especially when the trail runs along a drop off!

It sure was pretty!  It was also very cold!  The temperature dropped from about 50 when we started to just above freezing with cold wind.

We were really looking forward to the views up on Tahquitz Peak.  Since we weren't able to get that far, we took advantage of a big flat area with a view and hiked out to see it.  We thought we might be able to warm up a bit in the sun but that wind was just so icy!  

Our daughter hasn't hiked to Tahquitz Peak yet and was so excited to get there.  But, she was impressed with the view from this spot.  On a clear day the Pacific ocean can be seen in the distance.

Looks like we won't be hiking this trail again until next spring.


mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi there Acorn to oak, I love your blog and your beautiful hike!! So nice to have your daughter home and to have an outing! Love the cute stuffies to add to your packs!! Thanks for visiting me too. xoRobin

Susan said...

What a lovely area you live in! I am with you on avoiding the ice. There's no sense taking chances when you can get such a beautiful view from a lower vantage point! LOVE the little Smokey!

Amy at love made my home said...

The views are worth it, but gosh, it looks cold, so it must have been incredibly actually cold!! Brrrr!! Well worth the hike though. I love your trail buddies - too cute. Happy Christmas! xx

Art and Sand said...

What a beautiful day to hike in a glorious site.

Quinn said...

I just found three new posts on my reader, so I read them all - I don't do nstagram, so I'm glad you're still blogging.
As always, lovely snaps, esp of the kitty :)
After what you said about your readers and the tumbleweeds, when you first mentioned the big seed year for sugar pine, I was hoping you would show your readers the size of those cones, which you did later in the many will be surprised!

Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful photos! We are wondering about the high number of pine cones on our Sand Pine trees....we will see what it means as this winter unfolds!