Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raintree & Mummy Springs - 7/16/09

The Raintree hike was on the schedule today. We had done the hike only one month ago so for more details on the hike, go to that entry on this website. For specific information on this hike ... well, there were 8 hikers and the weather was perfect! Although the many wildflowers were on their way out below the meadow, above the meadow was a different story.

On the way up the mountain on the North Loop Trail, several interesting birds were observed. We saw two humming- birds, a yellow and black bird (maybe a Yellowbreast) and the one in the picture to the left.(Double-click on the picture for a better view.) I believe it could be a nuthatch. Let me know if it isn't. The birds were singing all around us. They were probably trying to protect their nests from the intruders ... us.

After arriving at the official Raintree, as opposed to all of the other trees we passed during a very long steep climb, it was suggested that we continue for another 1/3 mile down to Mummy Springs. Six of us took on the side trip. The springs were still flowing with a strong trickle from snowmelt and there were many flowers growing on the hillside below them.

Some of the flowers growing below the springs were columbine as seen in the picture to the left. There was also an abundance of moss growing on the rock behind the little waterfalls. We were all introduced to the cold water when Don decided we each needed a little of it on the back of our neck! Very refreshing!

After frolicking at Mummy Springs, we returned to Raintree whose "foot" sprawled about the base of its huge circumference. The return continued in climbing mode from the springs to the 10,000 foot summit. Then we began the downhill hike back to the cars. The entire hike was almost six miles with an elevation gain of around 1500 feet.

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