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April 14, 2010
After 6 weeks in Africa, it's back to the mountains. As an early season warmup, walked the Prairie View - Jewel loop with a trip up to visit the fire lookout on June 16.
Trail's are all in fine shape, though we bailed on the final walk back from the Jewel Bay area and came back to the Barrier Lake parking area along the soft grass or sand of the lake shoreline. The lake is very low, so this is easy, and we saw wolf tracks on the shoreline, plus fresh bear scat near the Jewel Bay area on Stoney Trail before we descended to the lakeshore. The new Jewel Pass trail is holding up well and the waterfall is very pretty. Lucked out and was up at the fire look out just in time for them to get two slingloads of propane delivered by helicopter. Fairly busy today with at least a dozen mountain bikers (almost all solo, none with bear spray) and we passed about a dozen hikers.
One learning from today: don't forget to carry either your hiking boot insoles or your orthotics. Either will do. Neither is a bad strategy.
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