12.23.2020 Holiday Adventure Series: Brookbank Trail

The first time I ventured into the Dry Lake Hills, my encounter with Brookbank Meadow was typical:  bluebird sky, persistent sun, a grassy meadow surrounded by ponderosa pine. I am grateful for giving it a second chance in a season less traveled. Winter can give nature a facelift – all you have to do is wait for weather.

On my second foray, the gray sky released a mist onto the Pipeline Trail and thickened into a steady pelt on the Oldham Trail. The fallen water was hardening to ice on the uphill climb up to the meadow. Brookbank Meadow itself was a cloud; icy ponds lay scattered across the hidden landscape. I found shelter for the night under a Douglas fir, its boughs fashioned to hold more snow than those of pine.

The next morning that same persistent sun from the warmer months was trying to break up the lingering meadow-cloud. I snapped this single photo, which is now my mind’s eye’s default memory when Brookbank Meadow comes to mind.

Brookbank Trail, starts on Elden Lookout Road about three miles past the junction with Schultz Pass Road. More information and directions on the USFS website.

Post written by board member Jeff Balmat.