2018-10-13| Arnica trail (Vista, Arnica, Twin Lakes) | 2314m | 1704m TH | 17.9 km | 1117m TA |w/ David and Peter
This was a day full of the unexpected. The larch were surprisingly still quite golden, the new snow made everything magical, and toward the end of the hike we had a very good sighting of an ordinarily elusive Pine Marten.
The hike is on National Parks quality trails with nice tread and even switchbacks on the grade. I had been over this trail before as part of a backpack but in the late summer/early fall. Vista Lake was partially frozen, Arnica frozen and Twin partially frozen. We even got a little bit of sun at times along the way which really makes larch and snow pop.
On the last section of the trail to Vista Lake on the way out we saw some movement that turned out to be a Pine Marten. It was somewhat curious about us and stayed in its tree allowing us to get good photos and a short video before he hopped off thru the under story no doubt to ruin some squirrels day. So exciting when we see wildlife, especially ones we don’t often see.
Peter's photo of the Pine Marten
At the end of the day I was about to pull away from the parking lot and noticed David was gone – slipped to the side of the parking area to pee. Peter and I laughed about how shitty it would be if we hadn’t noticed somehow and driven away. On the stereo Bruce Springsteen “Long Walk Home” lol. And it sure would have been! (Don’t worry David, never left anyone behind. Yet.)