The Hiking Guide book featured the Silver Lake hike as "moderate", which is one step up from "easy". After last week's hike, we were up for the challenge! We decided we would get up early Saturday morning and hit the trail bright and early.
Our timing, in the end, proved perfect! Oh what we would have missed if we had headed out any earlier!
The guide book said the hike up would take about two hours and we would go through alpine meadows with frolicking moose.
We didn't see any moose....we did share the trail with a few dogs, a returning Boy Scout troop and a few toddlers though.
You take what you get...moose apparently do not feel obligated to frolic just because they were touted as doing such in some guide book. They probably don't even get paid when they do appear.
Later a couple of college age loons, er, I mean guys were jumping off that tall rock, their splashes were immediately followed by screams. The Scout Master we passed on the trail told us it had been below freezing at the lake the night before. You think that water was a tad cold? I suppose some people would have considered it to be invigorating. To each their own!
Bernie tossed a lure at the fish, and in a few minutes the first catch of the day was reeled in.
Followed the tiny eight inch wide and half inch deep feeder streamlet up into the brush.
Then I found a comfortable rock on the shore where I plopped down an inflate able pillow and took a snooze.
Not a deep sleep mind you. I just enjoyed being a few feet from the stream so the sound of the water clicking over tiny pebbles lulled me enough to relax.
Each time I opened my eyes, the lighting had changed slightly and I'd take another picture.
Now I could just swear that ridge has gotten lower while I slept...
Bernie called out to me, rousting me from a slumber: "Jill...it's a hatch! The mayflies are hatching and there is a rise!"
We had never seen the phenomenon before: the lake now had become the stage of a fish ballet. Trout were leaping everywhere on the lake, their mouths opened hugely as they lunged through the air at the passing mayflies.
The white specks in the photo above are the mayflies. The vertical white things are jumping trout!
Each ring in the picture above marks the movement of a rising trout.
The lake was nearly completely in the shadows when we left. The temperature quickly dropped and we packed up for the hour long hike back down the trail.
Now remember I said earlier that we had been keeping an eye out for any fall color change as we hike up the mountain?
Remember I said that we only saw one golden tree? Well, this is how the mountainside looked on the way down.
Now there were pops of yellow interspersed in with the green.
Could the trees really change color that fast? Apparently so!
Absolutely astonishing! Had we hiked up earlier in the day we would have hiked down earlier. To think that we could have missed both the hatch and the color change!