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Tag Archives: North Cascades

The girls and I have not been getting out enough lately. Both of them are still in bed, not even asking to go outside or have breakfast. That is nearly unheard of around here. We had a lovely outing to Slate Peak yesterday but I didn’t think it was overly strenuous. Must have been all that fresh mountain air and the cold streams.

I was told that the road to Harts Pass was open although not all the way to the trailhead near Meadows or to the lookout parking lot. Sure enough, that was the case. Several cars were parked at the last PCT trailhead with lots of hikers and walkers heading north on the well-worn path. Luna and Sky and I simply walked over the snowbanks and up the road to the lookout. It’s only a mile and a half walk and we had it all to ourselves. The flowers were amazing and the mountain views were beyond beautiful. Later we walked near Meadows and saw more wildflowers and clear mountain streams.

It was a nice day.

Yesterday before any election tallies were out, we went to the mountains to play in the snow. Ken was getting ready for a long trip and it seemed like a good time to have some fun and maybe get a holiday card photo too.

At Washington Pass there was at least a foot of snow and some groomed ski tracks too! We hadn’t thought to bring skis. Darn! The dogs were ecstatic to play on a snowy surface again. The mountains were fogged in when we arrived but gradually they emerged giving us breathtaking views of the craggy peaks. It was worth the wait.

As we returned to the car we saw families with small and big kids, some who had NEVER played in snow before! That was fun! They didn’t all have appropriate footwear but it didn’t stop them from enjoying themselves.

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.

Is better than any day spent at the computer.

My life revolves too much around a computer, that’s for sure. Any opportunity I have, I try to get away from it and yesterday was a good day for it. The weather was sunny and pretty warm for September. The fall colors are well underway. The girls and I went to Harts Pass where we enjoyed a good hike in the fresh air and changing colors of the sub-alpine larch trees and small, ground-hugging plants of the high country. We were watched over by numerous migrating raptors. We also walked through the silver forest that burned in 2003. Few of the snags have fallen to the ground and there are even few new trees to take their places. Most of the growth is in grasses and forbs and small willows.

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It was a good day.

Last weekend Marcy and I hiked to Windy Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a pleasant hike – never steep – with outstanding views all along the way. In addition to the fantastic views of the North Cascades a hiker gets to see evidence from the mining adventures dating back to the 1890’s. Given the rough and narrow road that we have to drive nowadays to get to the trailhead, it is amazing to imagine miners traveling to these distant mountains on foot or horseback and hauling immense loads of equipment too. One spot in the road is called Deadhorse Point and scares the beejebers out of some folks in cars.

Guthrie, Marcy’s dog blew out his knee last year and is just a year out from surgery and injuring his other knee. It’s good to see him running and grinning with the other dogs. Even with three dogs we got to see a little bit of wildlife including lots of ground squirrels and a few grouse.

As we finished our lunch and got ready to head back, we heard a familiar voice and saw a friend from the Okanogan. He had scaled nearby Tamarack Peak and joined us for the hike back to the parking area.

The weather was cool and sunny – perfect for a late summer hike on the PCT.

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