Skip navigation

Tag Archives: hike

First we stopped to enjoy glacier lilies, anemones and a fast moving stream and then we looked for a place to walk. The trailheads are still covered in snow so the girls and I started at Meadows campground and walked up. Up and up til we got to a high spot named South Slate at 6828′. It is a south facing slope so the snow was mostly melted, leaving patches where the dogs could roll around. There was no trail; I just picked my way around the rocky slopes. I think this area burned in 2003 leaving behind a silver forest of standing dead trees that have sloughed their blackened bark. Why do some dead trees stand for years and years while others (like on our place) fall within a few years of dying?

The views were terrific. The flowers were lovely. Birds were singing and calling. I heard a Sooty Grouse doing his display hoots but could never track him down. Olive-sided Flycatchers sang their ‘quick three beers!’ song over and over! Mountain Bluebirds made soft chirps. Ground squirrels whistled. And I found a geo cache. Not on purpose. The cylinder was not well covered and the bright color caught my eye underneath two oddly stacked rocks.

It was a good outing.

The girls and I got a late start yesterday but still managed a very pleasant (mostly) hike in the mountains. The trailhead was only forty five minutes from home and there was no snow at the start. It was cloudy and spit a tiny bit of rain but not enough to get out my coat. Luna enjoyed the cool temperatures but not the rickety bridge across one of the big creek crossings. We hit snow about two thirds of the way to the lake and near the lake were walking on snow all the time. I had to be careful not to get to close to the edge and get my feet wet. Sky was ecstatic and of course, wanted me to throw sticks but I didn’t. It’s pretty shallow with logs under the surface where she could hurt her legs. As if to make up for the lack of stick throwing, she rolled in something unmentionable after we left the lake. I scrubbed her in the big creek using a hemlock branch but didn’t get it all. She had a bath at home.

The girls and I drove a few miles out of Winthrop in hopes of finding the Lewisia tweedyi wildflowers. They have a narrow habitat and bloom early and I usually miss seeing them in this generally busy time of year. But since I am not as busy as normal, I made sure to get out and see them. According to my wildflower guide, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, ‘they grow in rocky slopes or cliffs at low and mid elevations only in the Wenatchee mountains in Washington and adjacent British Columbia. This rare plant is named for its discoverer, Frank Tweedy, a government railway surveyor working on the Wenatchee Range near Mount Stuart in 1882.’ These are not the Wenatchee mountains so perhaps, in the next revision of the book, that can be expanded to include the North Cascades.

After getting my fill of the flowers we skirted the Forest Service trailhead (all USFS facilities are closed but trails are open, if that makes any sense at all) and walked about 7 miles, round trip, through an old burned area with a nice creek and plenty of opportunities for the dogs to get a drink and cool off. There were more wildflowers along the trail including my first of the year fairy slipper orchids. It was a beautiful day.

But it sure feels like it, looks like it, smells like it. Temperatures have plummeted and there’s been significant rain for the last week or so. The dust is gone, replaced with dampness and even mud. Some things seem greener but maybe it’s just that the rain rinsed off the dust and debris of summer days. It is good hiking weather as long as I remember a hat and gloves.

It was 41 degrees when we got out of the car today and everything was wet from yesterday’s rain. Skies were kind of blustery looking with no real patches of blue. The sun made a brief appearance on the uphill part of the hike. There was no need to carry water for dogs today. I wasn’t planning on Sky going swimming today but she rolled in something unmentionable and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

A family of Canada Jays had a fondness for dog treats and when they dropped them, Sky and Luna managed to get them before another bird scooped them up. Don’t tell the Audubon Society.

This was a repeat of a hike we did back in early June. As you might imagine, the snow patches have disappeared and there are fewer ladybugs. There are more flowers. The views were spectacular again from Mt Baker to Glacier Peak, the North Cascades, the Central Cascades and the Okanogan Highlands. I saw quite a few mushrooms of various kinds, in particular puffballs. Also had a great view of a juvenile Golden Eagle flying below the summit of Tiffany Mountain. And Horned Larks, youngsters and adults too. It was a fine day in the mountains.

%d bloggers like this: