After multiple attempts, summer finally came in its entirety last weekend. I know, I know…it’s been beautiful for a while. But it isn’t really summer until you get out for a good long hike.
We guessed there would still be some snow in the mountains, so we picked Zoa peak – a hike where we could set up camp at a lower elevation (Falls Lake) and do the return trip in a day. Or, do as much as the hike possible given the unknown snow conditions.
The hike has a fairly high starting point (around 1200m) so it was not long before we got to see new mountain flowers. I love how they are so small compared to garden flowers, yet still intricate and striking.
As predicted, there was still snow and it wasn’t long before our trail disappeared. It made the hike a little slower and more tiring, but there’s something fun about playing on snow wearing shorts under the sun.
While Zoa peak itself is not very impressive (a bit of a tree-scraggly mound), it does provide great views of Yak Peak.
Or at least the first (false) peak does. We actually found the final peak a little underwhelming. Maybe, if there had been no snow, it would have been easier to find a way out of the trees, and to a spot with a better view.
But this didn’t really matter. The majority of the hike followed a ridge so we had spectacular views much of the way.
We returned to our campsite at Falls Lake in the early evening. (Early morning hikers we are not.)
A wind had picked up but, being only two of four people there, the other couple some ways away, it still felt peaceful and quiet…
…until 5:30am when a man yelling in another language pulled me from my dreams. I could hear several outside near tent and I didn’t understand how anybody could be that loud so early in the morning.
Once the voices were further away, I peaked outside and saw a father and son fishing. The view warmed my 6am-still-crusty soul.