Friday, October 30, 2009

Two "little" hikes

Mount Pilchuck (October 24, 2009)

Mount Pilchuck!! It’d been a while since my last visit so when friends suggested going there, I happily joined them.

As we drove the Mountain Loop highway we saw snow on the peaks above; we couldn’t wait to hit the trailhead. There’s something about that “first” snow that is special.

There were only a couple of other cars at the trailhead much to our surprise. We set out on a trail-turned-stream, not too surprising given fresh snow and rising temperatures. We encountered a creek crossing that was a little dicey but managed to get across without getting our feet wet.

Though much work has been done on the trail to improve the tread it had rained hard enough that the trail was a stream in places and roots were slick.

We didn’t get to Pilchuck proper; one of my pals wasn’t feeling well so they turned around to head back to the car hiking slowly. I hiked for another 30 minutes then turned around, planning to get back to the trailhead about the same time they would.

With one eye on my watch and the other on the trail I was compelled to stop to marvel anew at the snow-dusted scenery. The boulders and trees were bedecked with fresh snow and the summit ridge was backlit by the sun; it was lovely.

By the time I turned around the crowds were coming up the trail; hikers (many of them with dogs) and it was getting too crowded for my comfort so I raced down the trail to join my friends and head back home.

Talus Loop (Mount Si Recreation Area) October 25, 2009

After Saturday’s short hike I opted to hike on Sunday. Weather was “iffy” so I headed for Mount Si to hike the Talus Loop. Wanting to avoid weekend crowds the Talus Loop was perfect. Never have I run into another hiker on that trail.

As it often the case I didn’t run into anyone on the Talus Loop and the trail has a “wilder” feel than the regular trail. As I approached the talus field for which the trail is named I stopped for the view, noticing that vine maple was still aflame at the edge of the boulder field.

Back in the forest I dawdled, taking photographs of mushrooms and the last of the fall color.

All too soon I was back on the main trail but I won’t grumble; Mount Si is a place for hikers of all ages, shapes and abilities. When I hike the main trail I usually run into someone I know; that’s always fun too.

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