Skip navigation

Tag Archives: wildflowers

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year here. So far. It reached 100 on the valley floor. Sheesh. Did I mention that we are completely without air conditioning for at least another couple of weeks? It’s enough to make a girl and her dogs crazy.

We drove up Boulder Creek to the Freezeout Pass trailhead and headed up the trail to 8242 foot Tiffany Mountain. It was 73 when we started. I was soon sweating on the steep trail through the burned forest. Many trees have blown over since last summer (sort of like the situation at my house) so there was quite a bit of clambering over and around the deadfall. Once we got out of the trees, it was the same steep, rocky ascent to the summit. Horned Larks were all around us. This is a place where they nest each summer. The snow has only recently melted up there but already it’s very dry and dusty most of the way along the trail. Wildflowers are just getting started. They could use a little bit of rain but none is in the long range forecast. At the top, the view was the best I’ve ever seen up there. Not a cloud in the sky and little haze either. I could see Mount Baker and Glacier Peak to the west and Moses Mountain to the east. And there wasn’t much wind either. On the way down, the wind picked up and I didn’t linger in the burned forest. The trees groaned and creaked and swayed in the wind.

We stopped at Boulder Creek to cool our feet on the way home. The dogs probably enjoyed that part more than the hike. I experimented with using my knee as tripod to get some pretty water images.

Back at home, it was 87, in the house.

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.

I had a chance to explore a little bit of western Oregon last week following a wedding near Eugene. You can see photos from the wedding here.

Afterwards, I visited my cousin at her place in Florence and of course, the girls (dogs) and I spent time at the beach, but the highlight may have been a hike with my cousin and her husband to Sweet Creek Falls. It’s a Forest Service trail near Mapleton and you can learn more about it here.

The falls are really worth the trip. It seemed that around every corner, there was another cascade of flowing water. I was glad I had packed a tripod and polarizing filter. They made all the difference in the world. Even though we were there in the mid-afternoon, the water was often shaded by the tall Douglas fir and maple trees that dominate western Oregon’s forests. Sweet wildflowers were sprinkled in with the thick ferns and other undergrowth.

Yesterday was our sixth wedding anniversary! To celebrate, we hiked to our wedding spot and then on to Aspen Lake. It was a gloriously warm morning – we are finally getting nice weather. The wildflowers are at the peak of their bloom. Yes, it really was that vibrant. Bird song filled the air.

Everyday there is something to observe. With the melting snow, we can see where the dogs relieved themselves all winter. New wildflowers pop up overnight. Birds return from their winter haunts and declare their territories with loud calls and repeated banging. It rains. The mud returns. The sun shines. We go out and work furiously. And then it snowed.

%d bloggers like this: