Reaching the Horse Lake Trail to Elk Lake Resort we saw a small cooler of trail magic courtesy of "The Supergirl Society." The two bottles of Gatorade we selected were the color of antifreeze, but they tasted cold and delicious! After a day of drinking lukewarm lake water, icy cold beverages were greatly appreciated.
Although most of the morning was spent meandering in and out of forest and past a few grassy meadows, throughout the morning the landscape slowly changed. The earth became more reddish, and we began to see more volcanic rock near the trail. Then the South Sister came into view, its few bright white snow patches contrasting with the reddish mountain.
The trail passed through fields of tall, purple lupine, the sweet scent of the fragrant blooms filling the air as we hiked past. Then we climbed to a high sandy meadow, with the red volcanic South Sister rising from the meadow's northern edge and the darker peak of Middle Sister visible in the distance.
We passed one lupine filled meadow after another. Several streams meandered through the meadows, lined with a rainbow of wildflowers: more lupine, deep red paintbrush, lavender daisies, and several other varieties in whites, pinks, and yellows. We also began to find small pieces of a smooth, shiny, black volcanic rock: obsidian.
We camped in a sandy meadow on the shoulder of the Middle Sister. Sierra discovered a large snowfield nearby, and disappeared for several long boot skiing runs while I made dinner. We fell asleep under the stars and a small, setting crescent moon.