We are so stubborn sometimes! We’ve been told at least three times now… “take snowshoes!” But once again we set out yesterday to hike along Burro Creek towards Bennet Peak and San Francisco Lakes and to our dismay left the snowshoes behind.
The night before we got out the map and I made us a ruler to track our route. We estimated it would take us seven miles give or take to reach San Francisco Lakes. “All we have to do is follow this ATV trail for the first six miles… shouldn’t take us that long. We can get there and back before sunset,” I naively explain to Neil. Oh, how quickly we forget we aren’t hiking the dry gradual trails of the Smokies that we’re use to.
These mountains are big and we are true amateurs in this snow especially when we obstinately choose to forgo the snowshoes. Lesson learned… trust the locals from the get-go. They know what they’re talking about!
We only made it about half way up the ATV trail before we couldn’t take post-holing through the snow any longer. Our feet were cold and wet from the snow melting at our angles. We have awesome mid-height Solomon hiking boots, but when you’re knee or hip heigh in snow, well you’re waterproof boots will eventually fail you to no fault of their own. We were warned to take the snowshoes! I can only imagine how cold Sparrow’s feet were, but she’s obviously one tough trooper. She post-holed through snow and crossed over treacherous parts of creek right behind us. No trepidation whatsoever.
We found a sunny spot to take a break, eat lunch, sip hot tea and dry out our socks and boots. I practiced a few yoga moves just for the fun of it. Neil and Sparrow took a power nap together. And then thirty minutes later, we headed back down the trail towards the cabin.
We didn’t reach our destination, but that’s no reason to feel defeated. Trial and error, patience and perseverance, and taking each day one step at a time are the rules of the game here.
We will summit Bennet Peak and dip our feet in the San Francisco Lakes before we leave.
Nonetheless, the hike along Burro Creek was worth the while anyways. And the hot cocoa when we got home was all the more comforting for our cold weary bones.