Still some green leaves holding on
It was still early enough when we got back to the house that we decided a hike was in order. We got our gear together and were back out the door, leaving poor B to pout at being left behind, and on the White Pine Lake trail by 12:15 p.m. We passed just a few people on the lower part of the trail, before the turnoff to Red Pine Lake, and after that only saw hikers coming back down. Although generally past peak, the foliage was still pretty colorful, especially the aspens contrasted against the dark evergreens.
There were a few people up on the shores of the lake, fishing, camping, enjoying a snack. The lake itself is very low, although whether it's because of the dearth of snow this year or just because it's the end of summer we don't know; it wasn't the spectacular turquoise color we'd seen the first time we hiked up there two years ago. It's still awful pretty.
White Pine Lake
The breeze was brisk up there at 10,000 feet so we didn't linger too long, wanting to avoid getting chilled. We descended quickly: the trail is steady but never really steep, and the grade means you can move right along even with the rocky footing. We heard a pika; H saw two deer moving away from the trail as he went by; and right before we got back to the trailhead, we heard a ruckus in the trees - a sort of grunting moan - which turned out to be at least two young moose. We didn't get a picture because the underbrush was so thick, but now we know what foraging moose sound like. Hike stats: 8.2 miles (per signage) or 9.8 miles (per book) or 10.5 miles (per our GPS) round trip; approx. 4 hrs. 20 min.
Nice day for a hike
When we got back to the car, we decided to head up to Alta to pick up our 2012-2013 season passes. The guy in the sales office was super-friendly and - surprise! - originally from Maine, moved out here four years ago. We got our passes and then got the cooler from the car, toasting the upcoming ski season sitting on a picnic table outside the lodge.
By Sunday night, after the dishes from dinner were done, we looked at each other, wondering where the weekend had gone. Keeping busy, keeping active, getting outside - it goes so fast!