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Category Archives: hike

As promised, here are the pretty photos from last week’s hike. So many shades of green dotted with wildflowers of all colors. It was really lovely. We continuously ooohed and ahhhhed!

This is a steep, really steep hike, in my opinion. We started at the trailhead on the north side of Bonaparte Mountain with a trail a little less than three miles long with at least 2000′ of elevation gain. It starts out really steep for the first half mile or so and then is not quite so steep. There were no views til we reached the top as the trail is mostly in dense lodgepole pine forest. It does change to subalpine fir and white bark pine near the top. At the top, storm clouds and fog were rolling in so initially we had no views from the lookout either! But as we visited with the lookout himself, the fog and clouds moved around giving us views here and there til most of the 360 degree view was laid out in front of us. There’s a lot to see. From Tonasket to Oroville and Lake Osoyoos, Havillah and Chesaw and around towards the Wauconda summit and the Kettle Crest range of mountains and Sherman Pass. All well-known locations in Okanogan and Ferry Counties, some of the lowest populated areas of Washington.

As we relaxed more storms were coming in with thunder and lightning so we made a quick descent back to the truck.

You need to turn up your sound to hear the places I identified on this video

The girls and I were determined to get out at least once this week despite the weather. It has been windy and chilly for June all week. Yesterday despite the continuing wind, we went anyway and while it was cold, it wasn’t windy in the mountains. The parking lot at the trailhead had more cars than I expected for a Friday morning. I guess lots of folks were enjoying the start of a long solstice weekend. When we returned, the lot was overflowing with cars and sprinter vans.

Red Molly joined us for a lovely hike in the mountains earlier this week. The weather was darned near perfect – sunny and warm but not too warm. It is a dry hike so I carried water for the dogs. There is one spring just off the trail about 1/3 of the way up and Luna knows where to find it. It’s generally more of a mud hole but this time it held a little bit of running water.

Views were outstanding and the flowers are just starting at that elevation (6500 up to 8200 feet). Ladybugs were abundant. I don’t know why they converge at high elevations. I have observed them at this mountain top several times over the years as well as at other places in the Cascades. There are many kinds of ladybugs (technically a beetle, not a bug) and many of them are convergent. I have no idea what they are eating up there and when they will leave for more friendly habitats. I do know that later in the summer, they won’t be there, based on my observations which are not science-based at all. Is anyone studying them?

Here are the birds I saw on this hike:¬†Dusky Grouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Clark’s Nutcracker, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Mountain Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch, Pine Siskin, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Western Tanager.

I like this hike. Here is the trail in the fall.

The hillsides are really drying out quickly this year. Mud season usually seems to last weeks but this year it has been short. My favorite vernal pond isn’t a pond. I’ve seen salamanders and spadefoot toads there some years. I wonder how long they can stay dormant underground til the water returns?

Dry hillsides make for good hiking so the girls and I are enjoying it while we can. It won’t be long til we will be able to get up into the mountains!

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