The larches are here, the larches are here!!

I’m sure larches are not unique to Washington state, but we celebrate them like a true state treasure!  Every fall, you will see daily posts on various hiking pages asking about the status of the larches.  Are they green?  Have them begun to turn?  Are they actually yellow now???  It’s like watching Black Friday shopping, only we never exactly know when Larch Black Friday will be.  Fortunately it not just one day a year.  This year has been a bit challenging due to our crazy weather recently.  October has always been the best time to see the larches in their golden splendor, but this year they are a bit slow to turn.    The larches started to turn and many are yellow, however a week ago we had a pretty good dump of snow.  The cold temps halted the color change and the cold temps are hanging on.  We’ve had a couple sunny days lately so that should get them moving again soon.

As this is a very popular hike in the fall, you can anticipate not being able to park in the lot at the trailhead.  It’s not uncommon to be a half mile from the trailhead.  Luckily I was able to find a spot (compliments of owning a Jeep!) in the parking lot (well on the hillside of the lot, but the Ranger said I was good!).  Lake Ingalls trail is about 9 miles out and back with about 2,500 foot elevation gain.  The high point is around 6,500 feet.

One thing I love about fall hiking in Washington is the sun is out, the sky is blue but it’s a little chilly.  You can get away with wearing a fleece jacket and sunglasses!  Perfect!  The trail was a combination of sections of either snow, ice, slush, frozen dirt, exposed rocks or just plain of sloppy mud.  It made it challenging to decide when exactly to put on microspikes.  I decided safety was better than falling so I put them on about halfway up to the pass.  Sections of this trail are very narrow with a large slopped drop-off right next to the trail.  When I say narrow, I mean I mean about a foot wide.  Wearing microspikes just made these sections easier to navigate.

Even though there was a lot of cars in the lot, I didn’t encounter many hikers on the trail. I stopped frequently to take photo, because the scenery was amazing!  Once you reach the pass, this is normally where you get to see mountain goats along with the larches.  Unfortunately no mountain goats this time:(. Plenty of larches though!  It’s always impressive once you reach the pass to look across the basin and see all the larches.  Against a really blue sky, white snow and the grey mountains they are just spectacular!  From the pass over the Lake Ingalls is about 3/4 of a mile of mostly flat walking.  It gives you many opportunities to stop and just take in the view.  It’s a lot of WOW moments!  Once you reach the other side, there is a fairly steep rock section to get up to Lake Ingalls.  There wasn’t a ton of snow in this section, so it was deep mud and sections of ice.  Not fun going up, but worse going back down on the way out!

The lake is simply gorgeous!  It is a deep blue.  I sat and ate lunch for about a half hour or so.  I knew the weather would be kinda chilly so I brought my jetboil with me so I could have some hot chocolate by the lake.  This was a great decision!!  Yummy!

I started back around 2:30 so the sun was starting to go down behind the surrounding mountain peaks so the temperature was starting to drop a bit.  I put on my puffy jacket for a bit, but once I got moving I had to take it back off.  The hike out of the lake and back into the basin but a bit sketchy.  It had been sunny all day so the trail down was super slick.  There were sections of mud and ice which made finding secure footing a little challenging.  Slow and steady got me back to the main trail with no incidents.  The rest of the hike back to the parking lot was pretty uneventful which is good because my feet were tired!

The best thing after a challenging hike is a roadside stand hamburger and fries!!  Perfect post hike food!

Fall Hiking is full of color! Well, usually…

We eagerly anticipate Fall hiking in Washington state.  It is the best time of year.  The temperatures are cool but the sun is out, skies are blue and the leaves are yellow, orange and red.  We can’t forget about the larches!  We wait months for these 45-60 days of spectacular hiking!  We decided to head up to Lake Valhalla to enjoy some of these spectacular colors.  Lake Valhalla sits in a basin so we all were eager to sit on the shoreline and gaze out on the colorful hillsides, eating our lunch and loving all the grey jays who come to visit and steal food if they can!

It’s October 8!  The peak of fall season!  We saw weather reports of a little snowfall at Steven’s pass, but nothing much to worry about.  Just a reminder to take micro spikes (just in case) and more layers.

We headed East on Highway 2 in the rain.  By Skykomish the rain had turned to slush.  Not long after, it was heavy snow.  As we headed up the pass, the road was covered in several inches of snow.  Not all cars could make it up to the summit.  At this point, we had left Fall and jumped all the way into Winter!

We parked at the Smithbrook trailhead.  It was snowing hard!  A few inches of snow had already fallen. We donned our fleece, puffy jackets and hit the trail!  About 50 feet in the trail disappeared.  Trees were folded over due to the weight of snow and they were blocking the trail making it disappear from sight.  Once we were able to clear off a few branches, the trees sprung back up and revealed the trail.

We hiked up through the switchbacks and out into the open.  Normally there are sweeping views of the mountains, but the cloud cover was really low so all we could see was snow falling and clouds.  There really isn’t nothing more peaceful than hiking through roughly a foot of fresh powder.

As we reached the intersection with the PCT, we ran into two northbound hikers who were on their last 20 miles.  They were cold and wet, but motivated as the end was in sight!  We wished them well and congratulated them on such a huge accomplishment.

We hit the saddle and could see peekaboo views of Lake Valhalla.  It was dark and moody due to the low ceiling.  No fall colors in sight!  Just snow.  Lots and lots of snow!  We made our way down to the lake just as the wind started picked up.  It was gusting pretty good and throwing what felt like ice pellets right at us.  It was clear we would not be staying at the lake for more than a quick view.  We sought out some shelter from a gathering of trees nearby and eat a quick lunch.  It was getting pretty chilly so we decided to head back, in case the wind decided to make a consistent appearance.  Hiking back 4 miles in a headwind with ice pellets is never enjoyable!  Once we made it out of the valley the wind had stopped and the clouds were beginning to clear.  The surrounding peaks became visible.  We ran into a second set of PCT hikers that were calling it quits.  The snow was the last straw after a few rainy, cold days for them.  One was from England and the other sounded local.  He said he would be back next year to finish!

Although we headed out for Fall colors we did enjoy the fresh snowfall.  We all can’t see 45-60 days of Fall hiking this year!  It looks like winter has arrived early this year and plans to stay!

Elusive Mt Adams

In June of 2018 I stood on the summit of Mt St Helens and looked across the horizon to see Mt Adams. I’ll admit I stared at it for a few minutes before in my mind I thought “you are next”!

This past year has been a bit or a whirlwind with work, the kids, and my elderly mom. My stress level had been pretty high from a combination of all that. I spent many a night sorting through options. I needed to reprioritize some stuff in my life. Realizing I’ve kinda always put myself in the background so others were the priority, I needed to change that. So, I made a major life change and retired after 32 years in public service. Huge decision but entirely the right decision for me.

I’ve started doing more stuff for me. Still looking for more hiking friends since I’m free during the week! I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard at CrossFit and boot camp. Two things I really enjoy!

I started thinking about Mt Adams again this summer. Trying to figure out if I could make it happen or not. My hiking buddy had some scheduling conflicts so we pushed our attempt out to mid August which is a little late for Adams. Not much snow left which makes for a harder climb.

We decided to leave at 6 am on Thursday morning. It takes almost 5 hours to get to Mt Adams. You have to drive to Trout Lake to pick up your climbing permit before you can head to the trailhead. Since this is a two day trip I was carrying a 30+ pound pack. That’s not really fun. I think I need to rethink my packing!

We started the hike at 1 pm and it was hot! It took us 4 hours to get to the camping spot through the heat of the day. With a huge pack! Not a good decision! The trail winds though a forest that had a major forest fire a few years ago. Some of the trees were severely charred while others were this pure white color. Standing side by side they provided such a contrast. At the base of the trees was new growth of small pines and flowers. The weened prior was a massive thunder and lightning storm which produced torrential rains. Sections of the trail were marked with deep ruts, some two feet deep, from the rains. Nature is so amazing!

After the forest, you enter the mountain area. The trail is covered with pumice and rocks and heads steadily up the mountain. The trail is marked with large cairns to guide the way. It’s so steep you can generally only see 1-3 cairns at a time. Hoping each plateau is the final, but always disappointed to see another steep stretch lined with new cairns.

Around 8,000 feet it started to get windy and the temperature was dropping so we stopped to layer up! I noticed my boot was rubbing on my heel which never happens. I hike in these boots all the time. I took off my boot to adjust my sock and discovered a huge blister! Grrr! I’ve never had a blister hiking. So a band aid and athletic tape later I was good to go again!

We put our packs back on and continued to climb until we found the first camping area. I’m talking with some other campers we decided this would be a good place to camp instead of pushing on another 1,000 feet uphill to lunch counter. There was good cover from the wind and it was clear we would have a spectacular sunset right out in front of our tents. We set up camp and cooked some food. For as much energy as we expended I should have been pretty hungry, but I wasn’t hungry at all. That was a problem! We sat on the edge of our plateau, watching some mountain goats just below us as the sun set and the clouds blew by. There is something about being above the clouds! It’s amazing!

I went to bed right after sunset because I just wasn’t feeling very good and knew I needed good rest for the final 4,000 foot climb to the summit. It would be an early 3 am alarm for about a 5 hour climb.

Well at midnight I woke up with the shakes, clearly running a fever and my head completely clogged. It did not get better! I got up at 3 and knew there was no way I could make a summit attempt so I decided to pack up and head back down. It was a tough decision but the right one. I’ve never turned back on a trail before. It bugged me all the way down but I was feeling so crappy I just wanted to go home.

Driving out on the bumpiest road ever you get a really clear view of Mt Adams. We stopped to take a picture. I stared at it for a few minutes and thought “never again”. I was feeling crappy and I know it was just my disappointment in not achieving my goal.

So now I have about 9 months to train for Mt Adams in 2020! I’ll be back with a lighter pack!

Bandera Mountain via Mason Lake

Hiking is one of my sanctuary activities.  Whenever I have a lot on my mind and just need to get away into the mountains I head.  There is just something about the smell and sounds of nature.  The distractions just seem to melt away.  As you disappear into the forest and become one with the trail, you just feel all your struggles melt away.  Gazing through the forest at the variety of trees, flowers and berries you become a small part of the forest.  You don’t think about it or make an intentional action to relax or cleanse your mind.  It just happens.

This trail, named Ira Spring,  is the lead in to several options.  One can go to Mason Lake, Bandera Mountain, Mt Defiance and a number of other spots.  With that being the case, we arrived early, but the parking lot was not only full, it was overflowing and we ended up parking about 1/2 mile down the road.  It was a nice gently warmup walk for what was to come!  The trail winds its way through the forest on an unrelenting incline.  I’m pretty sure I read somewhere a description of this trail as “meandering” through the forest.  In my mind I envision “meandering” as a relaxed pace similar to a saunter that requires no much effort or sweat.  This trail definitely did not line up with that description!  Although the path is generally wide, flat is nowhere to be found on it!  My legs were feeling good.  My heart was pumping and sweat was pouring! You kind of always look ahead a bit to see the top of an incline so you can give the thighs a break, but not on this trail.  I could hear Todd behind me and he was breathing hard so I knew it wasn’t just me!

As we headed up it was becoming obvious that we would be socked in with a huge cloud layer.  No views for the day!  That is a bit defeating when you are working hard, but it’s okay.  We passed a few people on the way down who said Bandera was totally clouded over and that there was a huge tourist group (about 30 people) headed up there so they suggested Mason Lake as it is in a valley so it was clear.  One of those hikers is named Kristen and she has Largent, the famous hiking wonder dog!  I had my first Largent, the hiking wonder dog encounter!  At 3 miles in, there is a Y in the trail.  You can go to the left for about .9 miles to Mason Lake, or you can go to the right for about .9 miles to Bandera Mountain.  We chose Mason Lake.  The trail only continued the incline for about .4 miles, before we descended into the valley to the lake.  Mason Lake is one of the many alpine lakes in the Alpine Wilderness.  Each lake has its own unique characteristics.  From the lake we would see the top of Bandera Mountain and a few hikers up there.  At first they looked like little trees.  Until they moved!  There are some nice tent or hammock spots at the lake and lots of water bugs and jumping fish.  This would be a great place to backpack too and use as a base camp to hike up Mt. Defiance.  Bring your fly fishing rod!   We stayed at the lake for about an hour, eating some lunch.  I changed up my lunch routine this time and brought fresh pineapple, cherries, RX bar and my go to plantain chips!  It was a much lighter lunch that was refreshing and filling.  It recharged my body for the hike out.

On the way out, you feel good because after the initial .5 mile hike out of the valley, it’s all down hill!  My legs were feeling really good.  We could see the clouds were dissipating and we could start to see the mountains around us.  At points we were below the clouds and at other points above the clouds.  I told Todd let’s see how we are feeling when we get back to the Y for back to the car or head up to Bandera.  I was feeling good when we reached this point so I told Todd let’s check it out.  I regretted that decision when I saw the incline.  You know an incline is steep when you actually can’t see the top of where you are going.  You could only see about 40 feet in front of you and the view never changed!  It’s .9 miles to the top and it is straight up hill!  Trekking poles helped at first, but they just got in the way as you needed to use your hands to scramble up parts of the trail.  The trail is not very wide and you need to concentrate on where you place your hands and feet.  It makes passing hikers who are coming down challenging at times.  If you make a wrong step it can be disastrous.  We stopped a few times on the way up to slow the heart rate down and take in the massive amount of bear grass growing on the hillside.  At times portions of Mt Rainier would poke out through the clouds.  At one point it appears you are reaching the summit, but instead you duck back into a large grove of trees and disappear for about 15 minutes.  Once you come out of the trees you quickly realize there is more climbing to do!  Finally the summit does appear.  We were able to see back down to Mason Lake.  We were above the clouds so it looked like we were sitting in thin air.  The clouds looked like a huge bowl of meringue that went on as far as you could see.  I love that!  A light crisp breeze blowing by.  The high clouds turning with the wind patterns in the sky.  You close your eyes and just breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face.  Your body is tired but it feels so good.  Relaxed.  Then a bug flies in your mouth and tries to fly down your throat!  Apparently I had sweat so much I must have appeared like a large salt lick!

After sitting at the top for a half hour or so we decided to head back.  You could see the low clouds coming back in and getting down that trail in little visibility would not be a good idea.  No poles on the way down.  Hand grabs were definitely needed!  We safely made it down to the main trail and started the 3 miles “meander” back to the car.  Not sure what it is, but sometimes the trail down goes so fast and other times it seems to drag on forever.  This trail seems to drag on but the forest was pretty.  Portions were in the clear and other portions were shrouded in fog.  We finally made it back to the car.  The body was tired, but it was a good tired.  The mind and soul were cleansed and ready to appreciate another day!

Altogether we logged around 11 miles.  Mason Lake is 6.5 miles and about 2,400 feet elevation gain.  Bandera Mountain is 8 miles and 3,400 feet elevation.  Since these trails start on the same trail the first and last 3 miles are the same.

Happy Trails!


Sauer’s Mountain

I’ve hiked this trail before last year but we didn’t have the best weather so there weren’t any views at the top. I decided to try it again as we had a few days of good weather, bordering on a bit too hot in Eastern Washington. This hike is located in Peshastin which is just east of Leavenworth. In the Spring this is a great hike to see wildflowers.

Since we’d had a bit of a dry spell this Spring the trail was pretty dusty and somewhat overgrown by all the wildflowers. The trail has views the entire way to the top. In some parts you look back over all the vineyards in the valley. Other views are mountain tops covered in snow against the backdrop of blue sky. On the flat parts of the trail you walk through meadows of wildflowers. Even though it was still early in the year quite a bit of the wildflowers were done blooming. With how dusty the trail was you can tell we will have a busy fire season this year.

At the top you have a 360 view. It’s a nice place to eat lunch and drink water! Not much shade on this trail so on a hot day you drink a lot of water! I was so happy to have clear skies at the top! Another great day out on the trail!

After it’s always nice to head into Leavenworth to grab some lunch and an ice cold beverage!

Dirty Harry’s Peak

We had a beautiful spring day in Washington. Late March and the 70 degree weather can’t be beat! We headed out to Dirty Harry’s Peak which is out close to Snoqualmie Pass along I-90. We decided to head there due to the views and climb being similar to Mt Si but without all the crowds. We arrived about 10 and the lot was already full so we parked close to the highway exit.

The trail wanders through the forest for the first mile and a half. At this point you come to the turn for Dirty Harry’s Balcony, which is pretty popular. It looked like most of the hikers went to this spot instead of heading up to the peak.

The trail to the peak was clear until about halfway then snow covered the trail to the top. The trail was easy to follow and microspikes were very helpful! The downside of the trail is it’s in the middle of the woods and goes straight up! The trees are so tall that there really isn’t much of a view along the way. Occasionally a beak a boo view would pop up but they are short lived.

This trail is notorious for the elevation climb. It’s a good leg workout for sure! At times, well honestly pretty much the whole way, the trail never seems to end! It’s seriously just straight up! Not even any switchbacks!

Once at the top the last 500 yards or so walk along the ridge line before you come to a spot where everyone sits. Mt Rainier is off in the distance. The ridges around the peak are all snowcapped. The sky was a deep blue. We have the most beautiful scenery here in Washington! The views seriously make you forget how bad your legs were hurting on the way up!

After about 45 minutes at the peak we decided to head down. The sun was out so the snow was getting pretty mushy. People without microspikes were slipping and falling. Even with microspikes it was a bit slippery. The decline is steep enough it was kinda rough on the knees after a couple miles. The last mile seemed to take forever but we finally make it back to the car. Sometimes the best sight ever is the car! Just knowing you can take your boots off and sit down is an amazing feeling!

Nice hike! Great workout!

What a winter wonderland

I’ve been a little house bound the last few weeks so I’ve missed my hiking time. I can totally notice the difference in how I feel mentally and physically when I hike. It completely clears my mind and obviously released lots of happy endorphins! Just stepping outside instantly calms the mind.

I saw some amazing pictures of Skyline Lake yesterday so I thought that would be a good snowshoe experience close to home. I headed out around 9 am and I could see once I cleared the valley fog that there was amazing blue skies at the pass. The roads were nice and clear so it was an easy drive.

As soon as I parked I could see how deep the snow was along the trail. That made me smile!! It was so white and fluffy. The trail was compacted but so smooth. That is grr absolute best conditions in which to snowshoe! Skyline Lake is not a long snowshoe but it’s a steady incline. My lungs quickly reminded me I need to get in better shape! I did manage to make it to the lake in an hour which I was very happy with! The views on the way up were amazing. I love pure white snow with a backdrop of deep blue skies. This is such a pretty state! I catch myself saying “wow” all the “time! As we climbed up the mountain you could see the moody skies moving in. It wasn’t a rain sky but the cloud layer had darker tones. In the distance you could see pockets of blue sky framing the nearby peaks.

The lake is frozen and covered in fluffy snow. There was a clear path across the lake from people snowshoeing. I completely chickened our walking across it! You remember on my last hike I fell for really no reason and split my face open, ending up with a lovely black eye! I figured falling through the ice into a freezing lake wouldn’t be a good idea! I walked around the lake. Ive always wanted to go beyond the lake and up to the ridge but never have. Well today I went up to the ridge and it was totally with it! The snow on the boulders was several feet deep. It was incredible! I really need to find a quality camera that is compact as my iPhone just doesn’t do the scenery justice!

I ate lunch at the top and ran into Lee Jacobson! I didn’t have on my ugly Xmas sweater so I was in disguise! I also ran into a really nice couple who travel quite a bit. She is a mystery novel writer for amazon kindle. She has a word press too so we exchanged websites. Can’t wait to read about her adventures!

It was a bit chilly at the top so I headed back down. Over the few hours I was there I bet I saw at least 50 split boards. They are obviously super common! I only saw them going up so they must take a different route down. It looks intriguing so I may have to try that sometime! One guy said it’s easier than snowshoeing. Interesting! Worth a try!!

Today was hike #1 for the 52 hike challenge for 2019! Great way to start off the year!!

Wallace Falls

I’ve had a couple crazy weeks at work and have been missing my outdoor time! The weather was suppose to hold out with chilly temps but no rain. Well it didn’t quite work out that way but it is December in Washington so we should be expecting rain. I had hoped to get in some snowshoeing this weekend but in general we are low on snow this year so it would require a few hour drive to find it!

I had a holiday party with one of my hiking groups to get to in the afternoon so I decided on a close by hike for the morning. There were a decent number of vehicles in the parking lot. I’m glad I grabbed my long johns as the wind was quite chilly! We had a steady sprinkle of rain but nothing dramatic.

One thing I love about this hike is the woody trail through the forest. It’s actually called the “Woody” trail. You are surrounded by tall pines and walk along the river. You could hear the tree tops rustling in the wind but no branches fell. The trail has good cover so it was nice and dry. The lower and middle falls are my favorite. The lower falls is short and rolls into a large pool whereas the middle fall is long and lean and sprays everything. The whole trail is only about five miles round trip. On my way down I saw a couple with their jet boil out doing some serious cooking! A bit of overkill for such a short hike but hey everyone has their own style!

I kicked back on a log for a bit and just listened to the trees in the wind. It’s such a relaxing environment to clear your mind and just wash away all your troubles. I could tell I was wired pretty tight so I needed to get outdoors. I felt so much better by the end. The clear air and sounds of nature. Along with a little sweat and elevated heart rate! Does the body good!!

Even made it back in time for a Xmas party with one of my hiking groups. Hanging out with a bunch of people I don’t know was a stretch for this introvert!!! I survived though and had a good time!

We got more snow today so that is awesome! I so want to get out and try my new snowshoes

Hall of the Fallen–Lake Valhalla

Valhalla is a Norse legend where the God Odin created a special place for only the most valiant warriors who died in battle.  Odin honored these valiant warriors by creating an alternate place in the universe where select warriors are chosen to enter.  Within the halls of Valhalla these warriors fight during the day as warriors in epic battles, only to come home at night to feast on a marvelous meal and be healed of their wounds so they can fight again the next day.  Entrance to Valhalla is revered at the highest honor.  Warriors are treated like Kings.  According to the Old Norse Poem Grimnismal, “Valhalla is made of shields, and has spears for its rafters.  Seats made of breastplates surround the many feasting tables of the last hall.  It’s gates are guarded by wolves, and eagles fly above it”.  Valiant warriors head into battle with the cry “‘Til Valhalla”!

It seems only appropriate on Veteran’s Day we honor our valiant voluntary warriors who signed up to defend our land.  Portions of California are under their own fight.  Residents losing their homes and more devastatingly their lives.  First responders putting their lives in danger to rescue others.  The sacrifices individuals make for the safety of others.

The day started out crisp.  The fall nearly winter air leaving a thick layer of morning fog covering the valley.  The coolness to the air cut right through my fleece jacket, quickly reminding me why I love my puffy!  As we headed up Steven’s pass the skies cleared and we were treated to beautiful blue skies.  There is something about Washington mountains.  The rock is grey with dramatic edges.  They are capped with fresh snow, set against a deep blue sky.  The road off Highway 2 just over Stevens Pass had a dusting of snow that covered the mud.  In the morning it was quite slick but manageable.  We arrived at the parking lot to about 6 other vehicles.  Clearly it has snowed in the last few days as the ground was covered in light, fluffy snow that was about 6 inches deep. Not a sound could be heard.  Only the crunching of snow under our boots.

The trail starts off meandering through the forest.  A stream is nearby, but it honestly sounds like a waterfall is in close.  It just turned out to be a heavy stream.  The trail initially was a bit muddy with noticeable amounts of water that were frozen making for an interesting path to maneuver.  Although there are several switchbacks the elevation game is pretty mild.  Once we hiked through the main forest section, the snow depth increased on a fairly steady basis.  There is a nice trail through the snow, that is easy to follow.  At points the sides of the trail are a couple feet deep with snow.  The views along the way are ridiculous!  It always reminds me of Whoville.  Large pine trees covered with puffs of snow.  The tops of the trees bend over in a curl from the weight of the snow.  If you’ve ever seen The Grinch, you know exactly what trees I’m talking about!  Who doesn’t love walking through Whoville!!!  Almost broke out into song because you know Cindy Lou Who just wanted the Grinch to feel loved, “Welcome Christmas, while we stand heart to heart and hand to hand”.  You can admit it.  You are singing along:)

Well, back to the trail.  We had the most perfect sun for this hike. It made the snow glisten.  Each snowflake could be seen as it sparkled in the sunlight.  It really was quite spectacular.  At the top of the Ridgeline you break out of the trees and get your first view of Lake Valhalla.  There is something about alpine lakes in Washington.  They each have their own look.  Different colors.  This one is a deep dark blue, covered with a light layer of ice.  The shore of the lake is actually sand.  An honest beach.  I bet this lake is quite popular in the summer for swimming and camping. Not nearly the hike of Colchuck.  We sat lakeside while we ate our lunch.  It was so still.  No sounds.  No wind.  Just pure relaxation, soaking up the sunshine and basking in the beauty of the surrounding rocks.  Grey jays are quite abundant her and were buzzing the heads of other hikers at the beach.  I got to witness my first marriage proposal right next to us.  That was cute and boy was she surprised!

The hike out was just as beautiful as we got to see different sights as we were facing the opposite direction.  The ice on the trail had melted from the day of sun.  This trail intersection with a section of the PCT, so I can actually say I have hiked on the PCT.  A very short section of the PCT, but still it was the PCT!!!

I love winter hiking here.  It is so surreal and feeds your soul.  Seriously, like how did we get so lucky to live in such a beautiful state.  Were we the chosen ones, who lived a valiant life.  Hand selected by Odin to live in the halls of Valhalla.  If this isn’t Valhalla, I can’t imagine how spectacular it must be.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God.

‘Til Valhalla!

Blog at

Up ↑