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Tag Archives: North Cascades

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.


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.

What a place! We left the house at 8 am and drove for less than an hour on a paved road to a trail that took us to this gem of a lake! And we had it to ourselves. Amazing!

It was the last fun adventure in what has been a lovely staycataion – sharing good times with old friends and visiting some of the highlights of our neck of the woods. The time was interspersed with some work (one wedding and some gallery stuff), a couple of big rain storms and the resulting washed out road that serves our little neighborhood and dealing with a contractor for the repairs. But mostly it was lots of fun with Mary and then Kim and our beloved dogs. Let’s do it again soon!

These last couple of weeks I’ve been very lucky to share so much time in the mountains celebrating summer with dear friends and our dogs. On Wednesday Kim and I took our dogs up above Harts Pass and did an afternoon amble around a basin below Slate Peak. It’s a wonderful wildflower walk with lush green meadows and meandering streams. We climbed out of the basin to visit the lookout and take in the 360 degree views of the North Cascades. My dogs got to be in snow again in August. Last year I could not find any for them late in the summer. It is my goal to find snow for my dogs every month of the year. Luna loves snow. It’s a great relief to see it lingering into late summer once again. What a gorgeous day!

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