I took this picture this morning, to show how the parking lot's filling up (even with the bad weather, it's still Memorial Day Weekend)

Today I took the shuttle down to Longmire at noon and set off on the Trail of Shadows again. Halfway around its loop, another trail heads off and up that mountain (Rampart Ridge Trail), so I took that today.

I hiked for about an hour uphill all the way (stopping frequently to catch my breath and lament how soft I’ve grown over the winter ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Then I started to hit the snow, and stopped for a while. I spread my coat over a log and sat munching on my GORP. (I also looked up the story of Jonathan and his armorbearer climbing up the cliff and defeating the Philistines as that story popped into my head as I was huffing and puffing up the mountain). I couldn’t decide whether to continue – in my tennis shoes, and risk losing the trail in the snow – or whether to head back down. But I decided to keep going, and am very glad I did.
I caught up with a hiker named Rick from Oregon, and we hiked the rest of the way together. I love meeting people from everywhere, and getting to know who they are. Rick and I hiked through the snow for a while until we reached the viewpoint – which was not much of a viewpoint as it was so foggy!

I’m trying out a gallery in this post, let me know what you think. You can click each picture to see it larger:

We kept hiking through the snow for about another mile and a half before the trail headed back down the hill. The snow was very high but packed hard from so many hikers – it was an odd feeling to be walking on the snow and come along a hole – to lean over and look down and find you were about 2-5 feet above the ground! ๐Ÿ™‚

I ended up with shoes full of water and jeans wet halfway to the knees, but I’m glad I kept going. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a good hike – more than 5 miles in all. I’ll go back in July or so and see how it looks when the snow’s gone!

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