Monday, August 16, 2010

Red Handed at Red Mountain

This picture is evidence that I had a great day. No, it's not some foreign tropical skin disease that I picked up from my secret foreign lover Eguardo. It's the sign that huckleberries are in season and absolutely delicious! This morning my dad and I did the trek up to the top of Red Mountain. Next to Old Glory, this is one of the hikes that I've been wanting to do since I found out that there was a trail up to the top. In case anyone doesn't know, Red Mountain the local ski hill which is located in Rossland and during the summer they really focus on bringing in people for hiking and biking the trails. When I was younger we always got season passes for skiing up there but never really took advantage of what they had to offer in the summer. Today I finally got the chance to walk to the top of Red!

The hike was called Red Top and was only a blue square. That means that it's pretty easy-intermediate hike for most of the way up. And yeah, it was a nice leisurely hike up the mountain. As always when hiking up in Rossland, the views were beautiful, the trails were well maintained and the air smelled amazing. But this trail had the bonus of huckleberries! Huckleberries are a delicious berry which grows mainly in alpine areas and is related to the blueberry. We grew up picking and eating this marvelous fruit so our family basically holds them in as high regard as others may view gold. Why are they as precious as gold you ask? It's because you usually have to drive or walk up huge mountains to find them, and if you do find any, chances are that there aren't very many or they haven't ripened yet, or the bears got to them already and you're SOL. The walk took us about 30 minutes longer than normal because we kept stopping to pick and munch out on berries. Some plants were just hanging over with the weight of fruit on the branches. It's just way too hard to pass by a plant that looks like that.

But the day was absolutely gorgeous and sunny (and it's supposed to stay this way for a while!) and the hike had some long-lost cabins situated overlooking the view. When we reached the top and took a look around the area, we decided to take a different trail back down which was pretty much down the face of the mountain. In hindsight...not a great idea. The trail was incredibly steep and the dirt was loose and gravely in some areas which made our footing slip well more than once or twice. We were thankful to reach the bottom. I don't think that my hamstrings would have lasted much longer.

Tip of the Day: The huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

No comments:

Post a Comment