It was to be Native Earthling's first gathering, and we planned a two day trip for the 950 miles to the gathering, but once we finally hit the road at about 3PM, the main meadow kept calling to us, drawing us up the road, and by 3PM the next day (the 26th) we were parked and making up a pack for our first trip in.
Of course there was the usual line of LEOs at Welcome Home, and we were directed to park some four miles down the road. Seems that there was some sort of altercation the day before involving mounties, tramplings by horses, snowballs, rocks, tickets, arrests, etc., and the road was closed. Not to worry, kind folks driving a shuttle got us to the main trail without too much delay.
|There was plenty of snow on the ground but it was warming up and the snow was melting fast. The main trail at places was six inches deep with soft mud and running snow melt.|
|It was over 100 degrees when we started the trip, and here we were 24 hours later slogging through icy mud. The hike in (three miles according to what we were told) was interesting, at least. I mentioned to NE that there were several people that I "needed" to find, among them Rob. As happens at gatherings, within a few minutes we ran across Rob on the trail.|
|When we reached the meadow we stopped to look around. I spotted a hill overlooking the meadow, with Sun Dog's tipi on the point. I felt that this was the place to camp, in the trees behind the tipi, so we made our way across the meadow to the hill and put up our tents. Later someone with a GPS was at our campsite and gave us a reading of 9,630 feet in altitude.|
|I took a panorama of the main meadows, one of several that I took. Most of the snow was gone after a nice warm day, but the temperature was dropping with the sun. Exhausted from the rarified atmosphere and the hike in, we decided on sleep instead of further exploration. I quickly found out that I had not carried in enough warm covers but I was tired enough to sleep anyway.|