31 – Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

The Stimpson Family Nature Reserve is the perfect example of what I consider a Pacific Northwest rain forest. Having hiked the reserve before, I had never been able to fully appreciate the beautiful forest setting as much as I did today. My previous visits had been only during those rare hot, dry periods we occasionally get during the high point of our short summers. Sure, there was always moss hanging from the trees, but it was dry, lacked color and was not plush, and the streams had always been reduced to no more than a trickle along side dusty trails. Today the forest was beautiful! Those stream beds were nearly overflowing with current, and the moss was plump as if visibly stretching out to absorb the moist air and enjoy the sun filtering down through the trees. Wow, what a difference lots of rain makes!

Forest thick with mosses . . .

From the trailhead at the parking lot along the Lake Louise Road, I followed the entry trail past the beaver pond until I had reached the Main Loop Trail. Heading left on that trail for a short distance, I turned off on the trail to Geneva Pond.

Geneva Pond . . .

After completing the 1.2 mile loop around Geneva Pond, I rejoined the Main Loop Trail, and continued along the 2.8 mile loop around the reserve. The sun was shining through big breaks in the clouds when I began my hike, but dark clouds had moved in while I was on the trail. Getting hit by the surprise of a fast but furious hail-turned-to-rain shower during my last mile or so along the trail, I was glad that I had crammed my rain slicker into my daypack before I left home.

Slightly wet . . . from a sudden hail turned to rain shower

It was only a short downpour, and by the time I had rejoined the trail that took me back to the parking lot, the sun was out again and I was nearly dry.

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