A Climb in the Rain…Again?
In a previous post I shared the first leg of our hike to Williams Lake in the beautiful Enchanted Circle, New Mexico, the trip remainder of the journey was eventful, and wet, as well. As we had been leaving the parking lot, a young woman hiking alone with a dog approached us. She informed us she planned to hike, but had a hole in her car tire and asked if we thought she would be able to find someone around when she finished her hike to help her out if she needed it. She must have been as anxious to get out hiking as we were. We assured her that no doubt someone in the nearly full parking lot would be available to help when she finished. I also told her we would certainly help if we finished about the same time she did. With that reassurance, we all set off.
The young woman with the dog stuck fairly close to us, especially when the thunder struck, but we all moved amiably in the direction of the lake—looking like drowned rats! We reached the lake en masse, having encountered several groups of hikers as crazy or determined as we were to complete the hike in the rain. Therefore, as the approximately 20-25 of us headed toward the lake after rounding the last corner, there was a great feeling of camaraderie and celebration. We had planned to let the dogs run into the lake when we reached it, but decided they were probably wet enough from the hike alone.
As we reached the lake, however, the rain let up a bit and we were hopeful it would stop altogether and we might have a drier hike back. Williams Lake is a beautiful glacial lake located high up in the ski valley and surrounded by mountain peaks. It is truly a special place, reminiscent of the Austrian Alps in the Sound of Music, in an area so beautiful it is called the Enchanted Circle. Because it was the middle of summer, wildflowers were blooming profusely and the mountain meadows were awash with color, albeit wet color.
The dogs seemed to enjoy the hoots and hollers of our hiking comrades, most in their 20’s and full of enthusiasm (which was really nice to see) and posed politely for pictures before we turned and headed back. Ryan and Meghan wanted to linger a bit (imagine that!) with two of the dogs, while we turned and headed back with Molly, wanting to get a head start on the hike. The trip back was uneventful, except that as soon as Terry, Molly and I hit the trail again, the rain picked up so the hike back was as wet as the trip up.
On the way back, we noted a beautiful mountain stream tumbling down the mountain rocks just alongside the trail. We must have moved a bit faster on the way down as we reached the restaurant at the trailhead, The Bavarian, about 40 minutes after leaving the lake. Soaking wet, and famished as it is now about 2 pm we decide to stop for a late lunch to reward ourselves for persevering on our (very) wet journey. The guys took the dogs to the car where they received water and treats for their efforts and were able to rest a bit with windows open, safe as it was still 58 degrees and still raining. The young woman with the dog was nowhere to be seen, so had, in all likelihood, had finished her hike ahead of us.
For more information about where to stay in New Mexico, browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico RV camping resorts.