It was a hair-brained idea given the fact that my to-do list is a mile long. However this might be the last day like this in 2016. The weather forecast shows lots of rain and wind for the next four days. Snow in the mountains too. So the girls and I threw together a little bit of stuff and headed to Blue Lake. Our dog friend Wyatt Ann is staying with us and she’s not in such good shape but she was a real trooper, having great fun on the trail.
Blue Lake is close enough that a person can get to the trailhead and do the hike and get home and only use up half a day. Unless she lollygags. And this time, I did not. That to-do list was waiting at home.
Ice on the creek.
Ice dripping out of a log.
First view of the golden larches
Here comes Sky
Here comes Luna
Across the highway to the north
Snow on log
Ice crystals coming out of the ground
Underwater and ice
Here comes Wyatt Ann
I like hiking!
They are thinking about someone’s lunch
Too many shadows for a good image
The back of Liberty Bell
Sky jumped into this ice covered pond near the end of the trail.
She had to break the ice to swim and when she got out she was cold.
Last week Marcy and I and Guthrie and Sky hiked over Cutthroat Pass, starting at Rainy Pass and ending at the Cutthroat trailhead. We knew the weather was iffy and carried extra clothes and gear. The first half of the route is on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and several through hikers passed us, moving at a pretty fast clip aiming to be in Canada in just three days. They had only seventy miles to the end of their long journey from Mexico. I always wonder about the long-distance hikers and, if by the time they reach this scenic area, do they even care how beautiful it is? Or are they just walking with their heads down, hoping to get this grueling hike over as soon as possible? No doubt, they have seen lots of wonderful mountain scenes along the way.
We took our time. It was ten and a half miles and we both made many photos along the way. We stopped for lunch before the pass thinking it might be too windy and cold on top to be able to relax. It never did get terribly cold. There was some frozen precipitation before the pass but it was hard and dry and we never needed our rain gear. Near the top we were treated to splashes of blue sky but the sun never materialized til we were almost finished. We did stop at the pass where it was not windy and were treated to a flock of Mountain Bluebirds!
The blue sky and bluebirds were a great contrast to the fall colors of the larch trees and mountain ash and other deciduous plants.
As we headed down, I was surprised that Sky remembered there was a lake down there. She has only done that route downhill twice before. That dog never forgets an opportunity to jump in a lake after a stick.
Winter is coming quickly to the mountains. Now the passes and peaks are snow-covered. I hope to get up there another time or two but it might not happen. So glad I went last week.
Lots of streams running on the way up
Looking back across the highway to the Maple Pass area
Sky watches a through hiker
Seems like both dogs have hopes to share our lunch
Is that snow up there Sky?
A few remaining huckleberries
Growing right out of a rock
What is this white stuff?
Marcy never even wore her hat
The stick! Throw the stick.
Cutthroat Creek near the trailhead
My cousin and her husband came to visit from California last weekend. In addition to ‘doing’ Twisp and ‘doing’ Winthrop and visiting the puppy, I took them to Falls Creek Falls. It’s a pretty waterfall not too far from town with an easy walk to the base of it. A good place to take out of town visitors. Jim was prepared for moving water photography with his monopod but I forgot mine and also my tripod so I worked at leaning on trees and rocks to get a steady platform for my camera.
Their extended road trip also takes them to Palouse Falls so this was a nice prelude to that impressive sight!
Dorothy held Sky while I made photos
Jim was intent on getting good images of the creek
The water is lower than I’m used to it and I was able to climb up a little higher then I have before.
Our dogs were invited to go a on walk to the river with our new little friend Red Molly last weekend. She is now nine weeks old and growing and changing so fast! In can you missed this post, you can see her at seven weeks old here.
Molly is happy, outgoing, inquisitive, smart and friendly. She quickly recognized Sky and Luna as dogs like her and was anxious to get to know them and their games better. Luna is more patient with the puppy. Sky is still learning how to act around her. I am sure that as the months go by, Sky and Molly will be good pals.
We had to walk through the tall grass to get to the river. Molly blends in very well.
Wait for me Sky!
She didn’t wait.
I’ll be like Luna
Luna, wait for me.
She didn’t wait
I’m not sure I could ever do what Sky is doing.
Sometimes I like water.
Whatcha got Sky?
Wait for me Sky!
I’m running as fast as I can.
What’s this game? Can I play?
Now what’s Sky doing?
Don’t tell the salmon recovery folks that Sky was busy taking wood out of the river.
Oh dear, I got my belly wet!
I can shake it off
Mom! I got sand in my eye.
I’ll be ok.
The power company had a scheduled power outage yesterday. It was a good excuse to go for a long walk in the woods with the dogs.