Picture Pages

By: Erin Massey

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Sunday, 2-Apr-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

The view from the point the road was snowed over.
Note: Side mirror! Finally!
Oscar was still beat from Kobe's visit
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So, so frustrating. We had planned to backpack into Packwood Lake but about a mile before the trailhead we found the road snowed over and had to turn back. We looked for other places to at least car camp for the evening but they were pricy (a camp site at Alder Lake ran $16 for ONE NIGHT). Lessons learned:

a. Know the area well enough so you can figure alternate routes to the trail if needed
b. Be prepared to have your plans change (backup hikes? campgrounds?)
c. The southern Cascade logging towns are VERY reminiscient of southern Arkansas chicken towns.
d. There are several towns between Seattle and Packwood, WA where people do not pee. No public restrooms, even if you buy something. No rest stops. No anything. Bring a bottle.

So, we drove all the way up to as far as we could go, took a few pictures of the one view we had, then drove back. Six hours in the car. In Puyallup, we had some of the most amazing sun-lit views of Mt. Rainier. As I took a picture of it, we passed a billboard which blocked the view of only the mountain. It sort of summed up the trip. Then, we had a freaky cloud go over Seattle. There was no storm associated with this cloud, at least not in Wallingford. It got a little windy for a bit, maybe some sprinkles, and that was it. Outside of a pre-tornado sky when the sky gets all green, ozone-y, and quiet, it was the scariest sky I've seen.

Monday, 27-Mar-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Mt. Si

View from the spot. Yes, that's the camera cord.
Thom ponders the remaining trail, the unexplored.
What? We have to walk back down?
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Mt. Si is "the most popular hike" in the Seattle area. We don't get it. Although it's nice Northwest forest, it's mostly just hiking in the woods until you get to the top and you get some good views. There was snow and ice starting around mile 3 (about 3400 ft?) and by 3.5 miles the trail was so slippery we decided against a probable slide off the mountain in favor of going back. Crampons and/or poles would have allowed us to do the rest. The pictures are mostly just the 5 minutes we spent at the one clearing that afforded us a view, a 10 foot wide spot that had a break in the trees right where the trail became impossible.

Although frustrating not to have gone that last half mile to the summit, Mt. Si was tough. It's a steeeeeep elevation gain in not a lot of miles. My legs have been screaming most of the week. The climb is 4,167 feet and 4 miles from the parking lot to the summit plateau. Vertical elevation change is about 3700 feet and starts at about 700 feet. Yowch.

It's a good hike to start out the season. We hope to backpack A LOT this year.

Sunday, 15-Jan-2006 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Snowshoeing in the Cascades

Eating lunch
Emily and Thom on the trail
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This is just past the East Summit on Snoqualmie Pass over the Cascades. We originally intended to use the snowshoe trails run by Summit at Snoqualmie but instead I think we ended up wandering around the SnoPark trails because we didn't have to pay a $10 trail fee. We put chains on the car although in retrospect I don't think we needed them and ended up taking them right back off for the return drive home. At least we now have chains that fit the car and also we now know how to put them on. You would think someone would have thought of an easier way to put those on by now. It's near impossible to get your hands back there to latch it inside the wheel well.

We hiked for about three hours, maybe a mile and a half up and back. Lots of people around but not so bad once you hike out about half a mile. I took way too many clothes and ended up having to shove a lot of layers into Thom's backpack. All in all, if you owned snowshoes it'd be a pretty cheap way of getting into the snow for a nice Sunday. I'd like to go back and find some other snowshoe trails and make a real day out of it and get in several miles. We left Oscar over at Kobe's house while Emily came with us so the dogs wouldn't be lonely.

Saturday, 14-Jan-2006 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
December randomness

Apecave! (Mars Bar, Seattle, WA)
That pouty lip will get her far in life with her dad, I bet.
Aubrey Maria Smith, born 9-05
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Pics from over the holidays and the visit to Shreveport, Louisiana

Saturday, 17-Sep-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Mt. Townsend/Silver Lakes trail

Oscar couldn't go due to a foot injury. He was sad.
Silver Lakes trail on Tuesday
The same part of trail the next day. Crazy fog!
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My first backpacking trip. About 11 miles round trip in the Olympic National Forest on the Olympic Peninsula. Near Quilcene, WA. We left Saturday morning and caught the 7:10 AM ferry to Kingston then drove to the upper trailhead. Got back to the cars around 3 the next day.

Mt. Townsend is a steep trail, moderate diffculty. The Mt. Townsend part of the trail is a 2600 ft. elevation gain in approximately 3 miles. Then we hit the trail to Silver Lakes which was another 2-3 miles. About a 500 foot drop on this trail. Portions of the Mt. Townsend trail are at a 20% grade which is PAINFUL. Overall, a very nice hike and tough. We really enjoyed it.

I will also post MIke's pictures when he burns a CD for us. His are much better.

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