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Last week the dogs and I managed one last trip to the mountains before the deep freeze settled in. I’d intended to just walk in the hills as usual but after many days of wet dreary weather I awoke to a glorious bluebird day with snow-capped mountains on the horizon and I could not resist one last chance to be up there before winter really arrives.

I knew it would be cold and we’d be walking on snow and ice-covered surfaces and in the shade much of the time so picking out clothes after the long warm (for November) spell was challenging. It was 29 degrees Fahrenheit at the Blue Lake trailhead – the coldest temperature I’ve seen in months. Brrrr. I must have picked out the right combination of layers because I kept comfortably warm moving briskly on the trail and only stopping in sunny spots.

The log footbridge at the lake’s outlet was snow-covered and I didn’t have the nerve to try crossing it. Heck, that thing scares me in summer. The dogs happily ran back and forth while I dithered about it. The sun had barely crept across the mountain ridge behind the lake leaving the lake mostly in the shade. We enjoyed the sunshine and met two other hikers with a pretty dog before heading down the trail and saying goodbye to the mountains for now.

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