Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nooksack River - 16 mile float

We decided to go rafting yesterday. This involves a shuttle.
We took one car to the Guide Meridian river access and left it there. We then drove to the Nugents Corner river access and started the preparations for getting on the river.

and we're off!

We found a nice spot for lunch that was easy to get to -

and my river guide (husband) found a nice (slightly cold) swimming hole -

After lunch we encountered a tricky spot with a lot of debris down. Part of rafting is learning to read the river. That is, you need to be looking downstream for the route. There is no backing up (usually), you are basically committed to make a good choice for following the current, watching out for back eddy's, pour overs, sweepers, rocks. logs etc. Whew!
We stopped along the river when we saw all of the debris for the best way to get through. It was difficult because there was a little corner and we couldn't see around it very well. We decided a log was probably all the way across and we should try to pull our raft through a shallow side channel. So we got out our tarp, laid it down and slid the raft over it.

and this is why we did it, as you can see, we wouldn't have made it through.

The river was quite low in several places -

but there was usually a way to get through.
We found a nice shady spot for another well deserved break. My husband does all of the rowing, my job is to look for hazards in the water and let him know when I see them. I'm very good at this ;-) 

We saw a bit of wildlife on this trip. The usual: Kingfisher, Blue Heron, Vulture, Seagull, Bald Eagle and even a Beaver swimming along the shore.
I managed to get a few shots of an Immature Bald Eagle along the shore.
(click on the photos to enlarge them)

This was the view up when we arrived at our take out spot. The under side of the Guide Meridian bridge -

After rafting comes the clean up. 

Time to take everything apart and put it in the car, then drive to get the first car from it's shuttle location, then home to unload everything and set the raft up in the yard to clean all of the sand and junk off of it and hope for a sunny day the next day so it can dry thoroughly before it gets packed up again.
By the time we got home it was nearly dark, so there will be no Thursday Trailblazer hiking report. I'm tired, and as much as I wanted to go up to Park Butte and the Lookout, I'm not too disappointed, I think we can find other things to do today -
as it's our 43rd wedding Anniversary!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Scott Paul Trailblazer hike

Our long day of driving led us to a beautiful hike on the Scott Paul trail. Our group split up today, some went on an in and out hike while others (myself included) went on the loop hike.
We went counterclockwise around the loop. The first section is through a forest. If you click on the photo below to enlarge it you will see a large spider web with the spider on it.

At about 3 miles we stopped at a nice opening with a view and had our lunches.

The clouds did a sort of peek a boo game with us while we ate, we would get small glimpses of what was to come.
I just had to take a picture of 3 of us that have the same hiking boots. Actually I think 5 of us have the same kind! 

We then split up, some going back down the hill to the parking lot and the rest continuing on around the loop.
We really got spoiled with the scenery today -

A bit of maintenance was needed by some today ;-)
Toenail clipping performed,

while a boot was repaired (the sole came away from the boot)

It was a long wonderful day traipsing up and down a trail covered with fir needles, rocks, roots, and some stream crossings and fun bridges just for added fun.

Also a few under and over logs :-) (thanks Joe for the photos)

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 8.95
Min. altitude - 3135 feet
Max. altitude - 5203 feet
Total ascent - 2040 feet
Total descent - 1865 feet

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Excelsior Pass via Damfino Trailblazer hike

The scheduled hike this week for our Trailblazer group was Excelsior Pass via Damfino lakes, I was interested in this one particularly because the Canyon Creek road had been closed for quite awhile. This would be the first time I'd be on it since it opened at the end of last years hiking season. 

I liked the following picture because of the reflexion of the hikers in the water :-)

Ed posing with our only snow of the day.

As you can see, there was a light fog hanging around,

The Lupine, Heather, Paintbrush and many other flowers were still in bloom in the meadows,

after the meadow we headed up to find a spot for lunch.

A perfect spot for lunch. 
A few of us walked on a bit and enjoyed the flowers.

Time to head down. 
The clouds parted a bit so we could see a patch of blue.

Then back down in to the fog.

Something "I" found interesting, the lid on the outhouse toilet had a lovely metal leaf ornament screwed into it. Such a lovely thing to find in a usually non interesting atmosphere. I would like to thank whoever put it there, it brought a smile to my face. Couldn't have asked for a more fun way to start the hike!

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 6.8
Min. altitude - 4214 feet
Max. altitude - 5467 feet
Total ascent - 1703 feet
Total descent 1673

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mt. Ellinor...with Spartans

What an adrenaline rush trip I had this past weekend! My brother called and invited me to hike Mt. Ellinor with him and my nephew on Friday. I was nervous but figured I was up for it, and up for it I had to be, because it was UP the whole way! The wildflowers were in full bloom and the views were incredible thanks to the high cloud ceiling on the day. We've been having really warm temps lately, but on this day we started with a few clouds and a slight thunderstorm warning in the forecast, so it really was comfortable for hiking strenuously.
My nephew is the owner of Exotic hikes and he did an excellent job of helping to make it an enjoyable hike for me. I love random trivia about the areas I'm in and he was up to the challenge.

Me and my nephew
We began our hike "up" with a nice forest around us, which then opened up to a rather rocky area.

We then made our way to a wide open meadow, where we could really enjoy the abundance of wildflowers.

 As if we weren't already going up the trail begins a more aggressive incline after the meadow.

and then finally we were there.

Mount Olympus in the distance behind me
On the Summit
What a wonderful experience and bonus I got to share the day with my nephew and my brother. I'd like to thank him for sending me the the picture's that he took with his camera. So I have picture's of myself on the hike.

with my brother
Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 4.05 miles
Min. altitude -3511
Max. altitude - 5944
Total ascent - 2455 feet
Total descent - 2440 feet

and then......
I found out what "Spartan up" means.
Wow, these are some tough people. My daughter, her husband and their kids had signed up to compete in the Spartan Sprint that was to be held in Washougal, Wa. on Saturday. The kids were in their own "kids only" race, which all 3 completed!
Then it was on to watch the adults.They finished as well, I took around 200 photos of the day. Whew, it was one of the more hyped up and adrenalized events I've ever been to. I'm still psyched up & feel like I want to do something epic like them someday. Yikes I can't believe I said that. With all that said, I really don't think I have it in me to do a Spartan race, but I do now know what it means to "Spartan up" and I will think of that when I am doing something that stretches what I think I'm capable of doing.

Spartan Sprint finishers! (& me)
We also met this amazing father and son team, called the Unbreakable Joneses (Thing 1 and Thing 2), they ran the course and did the obstacles 7 times. Crazy tough guys and as nice and supportive to others on the course as they were inspiring to watch. Which was almost too epic for my brain to absorb.

Incredible Joneses finishing their last lap
Me, thoroughly enjoying myself!