This past weekend we had a snowstorm provide some much needed snow in our area. Fearing/predicting it might be close to the last time a good snowshoe could happen this year some friends and I planed a trip to the mountains for a snowshoe hike. In addition to the hike, we made plans to enjoy a dip in a hot springs after the hike. It was to be a first for my friends, as they had never visited a natural hot springs before.
The snow was wonderful, powdery and beautiful. The views were amazing, with grand magical mountain tops in the distance. It was a great snowshoe…but the real joy in the day came afterwards in the hot springs.
We climbed around the waterfalls crashing from the rocks above us to find an empty rock formed pool. After a short walk we found a pool tucked underneath a falls and we settled in only then really taking the time to look at our surroundings.
The hillsides were charred from a forest fire that ran through the area years earlier. New growth of the forest was beginning to show again. It was close to sundown when we arrived and we very shortly began to see the signs of dusk, with one of us spotting a herd of elk grazing on the hillside across the road that was nearby.
As the sun began to set a bit more a few more signs of nightfall began to appear. We talked and looked at the river that flow next to us as something caught my eye in the sky. I looked towards it and a majestic bald eagle few 20 feet above our heads. He followed the river, presumably looking for his evening meal.
With the awe of such a bird in such a setting still consuming us my friend squealed in excitement. “They are right there, you guys, they are right there!” Confused by what she might be talking about the rest of us looked in the direction of her pointing. After a few seconds we spotted what brought her such delight. An elk head was peering our direction not 50 feet away. We sat there as she grazed for several minutes then another head then another popped up. After several minutes we knew they were not afraid of us. We each took turns standing up to get a better view of the six elk that grazed for their evening meal not far from where we soaked in the lava heated water.
It was an amazing experience and one that I know is not uncommon here in this great state. I’m so glad to be back and excited to share my stories and adventures with my friends, new and old.