Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Slate Peak

The girls and I drove up the bumpety bump Harts Pass road yesterday and enjoyed a brief respite from the intense heat dome that has kept our afternoon and evening temperatures above 100° F. Sixty degrees at 7000′ was incredibly refreshing. On the way up, we saw mountain goats at their traditional salt lick. They are pretty shaggy looking this time of year.

We met some people walking up the road to the lookout with skis. They were planning to ski down the backside of the mountain! The snow fields are pretty small already so it was a short run.

The mountain views were incredible and the flowers were just lovely. The snow recently melted up there so the wildflower peak is yet to come.

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.

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.

20160926_123302

It was a good day.

If I could I’d be up in the mountains most of the summer. But that’s not practical. There’s work to do, a house and yard to keep up, and various other commitments in this life. Yesterday I played hooky from the computer taskmaster and headed to one of my favorite places – Slate Peak. I’ve made up my own hike and returned to it each year in mid-summer. Combining two trails, a bit of a cross-country climb and a walk down on a road I’ve come up with a nearly four-mile loop hike through the high Cascades of northern Washington. Last summer Mary from Montana joined me on this hike and you can see images from that day here. As you can see, it’s vastly different this year. Even accounting for the two week difference in dates the differences are huge. Yesterday there was no snow. Anywhere. Most of the little creeks are already dry. The wildflowers are far less numerous.

Here are the images from yesterday’s hike.

 

As the Cougar Flats fire began to explode I was high in the mountains with my friend Mary from Montana. The weather was hot that week – 100 plus degress so we were anxious to get someplace cooler. We packed a little lunch for us and the dogs and headed to Harts Pass. Indeed, it was a glorious day in high country and we were lucky to enjoy it.

%d bloggers like this: