I hope the answer to all three questions is a YES, but if not, I am glad my family was able to take advantage of the morning sun and hike out on one of our favorite parts of the trail. We headed out today on portions of the Loew Lake and Monches segments, utilizing the new parking lot right near the trailhead.
We headed out and saw (and mostly heard) a decent number of our avian friends, especially enjoying the classic chicka-dee-dee-dee call of the chickadee. Embry kept on saying "deer, deer" but I think she was just hoping for the best.
It was wonderful to see some of the pine needles and cones peeking through the melting snow and even better to see green. I don't think I have really trekked through this area at this time of year before, so it was unusual and almost surreal to see everything so open, not yet encapsulated by shrubs and thick plumage. Better yet was seeing the bright blue collide with the green at the tip tops of the pines.