Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Alternate back up plan, Hansen Ridge Trail 5.27.14

Yet another day found me with my girls with nothing expected of us. The plan was to head to LIpsey Lake off the Taylor River to see the impressive falls. Despite the fact that I hadn't given the impending Middle Fork closing I wasn't surprised to see the road closed while still on pavement. Undaunted I struggled to come up with another option. None of us wanted to drive too far so I fell back on the bus turnaround on the end of the Mt. Si Road. I figured we would have 3 good options to choose from there. I was shocked to see the parking area full and two cars parked in the forbidden turnaround area. I also wasn't aware that the area is a fee area parking area. Not wanting to risk getting two separate tickets I was forced to think of something else. I decided to drive the Hansen Creek Road until I would be stopped by snow and figure something out from there.


The road was in fantastic shape, until around 3500' where there is a fallen tree across the road. Thankfully I had enough clearance to drive over a portion of it. There were a few patches of heavily rutted snow that I was again thankful that I had some extra clearance.  I was able ton drive to 3800' where the mainline switchbacks and a side road continues East. As we parked a man and his dog arrived. He was mining some quartz to the East. I had wanted to continue East on the road but I felt better about continuing on the mainline. There was mostly continuous snow as we climbed to the gate which the straddles the forbidden watershed. I laughed to myself when I realized I had walked over the snow covered no trespassing signs on my way to Gardner some time ago. I spied a sign for the Hansen Ridge Trail. I wasn't aware that there was such a trail so naturally it made a perfect objective for this day. The road was patchy snow as we made our way West. The girls seemed to be enjoying all the snow walking. I spent some time distracting the 6 year old by giving her spelling words. Sometimes it pays to use distraction techniques to lengthen our outings. My oldest would run long stretches to put some distance between us and stop so she could play a game on her phone. I had to be impressed with her stride length laid out in the snow in front of me. Just before reaching the switchback we had a family vote and decided to return. We all had a great time walking together, laughing and enjoying the warm sunbreaks.



When we returned the girls wanted to go out in the boat to fish, Music to my ears. My youngest managed to land one obese 19" rainbow, a personal record bettering her 18" she caught the other day.  A wonderful family night concluded my day.


Approx 3.5 miles 500' of climb 2:00 car to car

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