First things first, please check out the On the road again blog post. I just fixed the problem with the photos, so you should be able to see them all now.

Now onto the MLP update:

For the past week or so, we’ve been pretty lucky, and getting helicopters a decent amount. However, yesterday our luck ran out. So (much to our delight) Chris and I both strapped on our backpacks, laced up our boots, and hit the trail to Mt. McDougall.

We left the Boundary cabin where we’re staying and got to the parking lot at the trail head in about 5 minutes (by far the shortest drive to a station this season).

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We hiked along a trail to a creek pretty much the entire way. The forest was beautiful and mossy and fairly open (compared to some of the dryer denser forests we’ve hiked in). It was also a pleasant change to actually have a trail and not just be bushwhacking. It was very hot, sunny, humid and there was hardly an inkling of a breeze. We hit the end of the trail at a lake in the moutains, about 700m up from our starting point. Seeing clouds building, we quickly ate up our lunches, while enjoying the view from the lake, and continued up to our station. We hit the large plateau just as the dark storm clouds rolled over us. Feeling a tad bit uneasy, and not wanting to repeat our Fritz and Coyote experience (see The Big Re-Cap: Month no. 1 blog post for details), Chris snapped the photos at least three times as fast as I have seen anyone do this summer. We got our shots, and then beelined for tree cover. Thankfully, the thunder in every single direction around us didn’t start until we were no longer the tallest things around for a few kms. We made it about halfway down before the torrential rain and hail started. I spent a good part of the hike out counting the time in between the crackling thunder. I think I made it to 15 seconds once in over an hour of counting, just to give you an idea of the intensity of the thunderstorm. Looking like drowned rats, and being rather exhausted, Chris and I were very happy when the parking lot came into view.

Lesley and Chris make it to the parking lot!

Today’s 90% chance of precipitation and thunderstorms has kept us in the office. For once, I’m not complaining about being stuck inside. Yesterday’s excitement will tie me over for at least a day. The office day is has also given us the chance to get some things organized and prepare for Eric’s visit. For those of you who don’t know, Eric is the professor at UVic who’s in charge of the whole project, and he’s coming out to join the MLP field crew for a bit! We’re all pretty excited to have him working along side of us again.

Taking walks on the wild side,

-Winterstopper and the MLP crew.