The TNAB season is but a distant memory full of well-lit evening hikes and sunsets galore. Some this year were truly magnificent. Now that it's the dark time TNAB doesn't get out so much. But one day that's guaranteed is the Solstice trip. Sure, there's a scientific definition of the solstice and a date when most everyone else celebrates it, but we are TNAB and we do things our own way.
So fully a week before the actual Solstice we left the Hyak parking lot for the Nordic Pass trail. Well, route. Sort of. It's only a trail if you can see it. And we couldn't. It's only a route if you can find the markers, but we couldn't do that either.
Instead, we broke trail aiming generally for Hyak Lake. Like last year we found unbroken snow and made our own trail. There's something special about wandering about as you see fit. Especially when the lead wanderers have a good idea of where to go. This year, unlike last year, they were pretty much spot on and got us to the shore of the lake perfectly.
The usual TNAB debauchery took place with lots of beverages and snacks. Perhaps next year I'll remember how... um... wonderful glogg tastes/burns and I'll skip it.
In addition to the usual celebration we bid farewell to Don, a long time TNAB hiker, who was moving to Canada for at least a few years. It sounds pretty flat where he's going so we expect him to return. If not, we'll raise a glass next year in his honor and hope for some miraculous plate tectonics to create a mountain range just for him.
For some reason I had thought I'd get a whopping 1,600 feet of gain out of this trip, but it turned out to be much closer to 1,000. Egads. Getting to my goal might be harder than I thought...
Totals: 3.3 miles and 983 feet.