Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brainard Lake, Part I

Got up at 5:00 Saturday morning to head to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area for some snowshoeing. It was my first trip there and I'd heard it could get pretty busy, so I wanted to beat the crowds.

Mission accomplished: There were only four other cars at the winter trailhead parking lot when I pulled in about 7:00. Red Rock Lake showed evidence of lots of recent traffic, though.

Mt. Audubon peeking through the trees.

The forest along the trail was pretty dense in spots. The tracks even led right under a fallen tree once. It added some nice variety to the hike.

Mt. Toll in the distance.

I'm not in love with this picture, but I am really fond of the starburst the sun made in it.

One of the fun things about shooting lakes in the winter is that you can get vantage points that are inaccessible in the summer just by walking out on the ice.

It just wouldn't be one of my photo galleries without a picture of some dead wood.

I made such good time getting to Brainard Lake that I decided to extend the trip a little further and head to Mitchell Lake. A wrong turn looking for the trailhead proved fortuitous, as it put me in position to shoot this cross-country skier.

I eventually found the trailhead. Good thing there wasn't another couple feet of snow, or I might still be looking for it.

There was a foot bridge across this drainage that had no fresh tracks crossing it. People seemed to prefer this more direct route.

I'd decided to forgo my snowshoes since the snow was so packed down in most places. This was a spot where I wished I'd worn them, as I had to posthole my way up most of this stretch. I could hear running water underneath me as I knelt to take this shot. That was honestly a touch unsettling.

Click here for Part II.

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