Spawn Creek Moonlight Trip, March
We originally scheduled this trip for the February
full moon, but a snowstorm prompted us to change plans.
Now, four weeks later, we had to accommodate a longer period of
daylight, diminished snow depth, and a moon that was several
days less than full. The weather report called for a 20 percent
chance of snow showers, mostly cloudy, with a low around 15 - but fortunately, everything turned out well, making
this one of our "best" moonlight trips.
Hikers came on this last scheduled winter trip of 2013. Everyone used snowshoes:
Dave W., the leader, Jane, Alexi, Jeanne, Tim and Terry. The
group met at 6:00 p.m. in Logan, organized into carpools, and
drove up Logan Canyon to Temple Fork. The snow that blocked
access to the Temple Fork parking area was mostly gone, so we were
able to drive over the bridge and park there, eliminating the need
to start 1/3 mile away at the Blind Hollow. At 6:40 we
started out by carrying our snowshoes for 1/4 mile until the snow
was deep enough to use them. The later date - and daylight
savings time - meant the sun did not set until we had gone 3/4 of
the way to our destination on Spawn Creek.
Upon reaching our Spawn Creek site, we found that the knee-deep
snow of February was almost gone, exposing our previously buried
bags of firewood and there was no trace of the bench we had dug in
the snow. Instead, we put the fire pan on a bare patch of
ground and sat on tarps as we shared mint patties and Moon Pies, a
traditional treat for these events. After the fire burned
down, we forded the shallow creek and went a short distance to see
a recently constructed beaver dam and lodge.
Our walk back was delightful - a winter walk in the moonlight to
remember. There was no breeze and while it was below
freezing, we were warmly dressed. It had been snowing
lightly while we were at our destination, but the sky cleared as
we returned. The moonlight was so bright we did not need our
headlamps and the constellations appeared as the clouds
dissipated. We saw Orion,the Big Dipper,Cassiopeia and the
North Star. The snowy hillsides were illuminated with
moonlight, contrasting with dark trees in an abstract pattern
reminiscent of a high-contrast black-and-white photograph, and the
surface of the snow sparkled in the moonlight. Our ears were
treated with the crunchy sound of our snowshoes on the crusty snow
and the sound of rushing water in the creek. The only thing
missing was a wildlife experience, perhaps an owl hooting, like we
have had on previous trips.
The trip totaled 4.1 miles with about 330 feet of elevation.
We arrived at our vehicles at 10:05.
The nearly-full moon was high overhead as the sun set
Enjoying a fire at our Spawn Creek destination - no trace remained
of the snow bench we built here in February
We forded Spawn Creek to go see this recently-constructed beaver
lodge and dam
Our GPS track showed 4.1 miles with 335 feet of elevation
Here is a satellite view of our route, from Google