Yea, yea , it’s been a couple of days since my last post. Last week was some kind’a morass and believe me when I say I’ve been busy. The good news is that I’ve had several occasions to get out and up in the interim and that’s helped me remain me more or less sane.
Last Wednesday I was able to get my son Justin out on the trail for an evening ascent of Mount Si. He really didn’t enjoy the climb, but he lit up when we topped out and got to spend a few minutes in the chill of the white room on top of the “haystack”. The descent was a race to beat the coming darkness and we got into the car just in time to avoid jogging in the dark. Big plates of Mexican food later there were a couple of very happy boys headed for bed.
There were several excursions made by Tess and I this week as well. I took her to Snow Lake (#1013) last Monday. Tuesday we visited a back road north of Cabin Creek for something less strenuous and in the cool of altitude and Cascade clouds. Thursday we ran along the cliff face of Lion Rock. Most of this was overland, but there is a road we found which parallels the cliff face for a while too. And Sunday afternoon we headed up along US 2 to try Mount Howard (#1587 and #1583).
This was probably our most challenging hike of the week and we didn’t summit because of weather and warmth concerns. That said it’s certainly worth a second look. The trail head appears to get very little traffic and as you climb up the steep (dare I say it again, yes I think I shall), no I mean steep switch backs above US 2 the footprints left in the dry, southern face of the hill become increasingly spare. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but the even though it rapidly ascends this mountain side (see there’s some optimism for you) the views are amazing and the feeling of exposure is invigorating. It helps that there are mosquitos aplenty near the upper bench below the peaks to keep one moving as well.
Tess proved she is a real trooper setting the pace up the hill. She really dug in and pushed herself to a new level of exertion on this one. The wind kept me nicely cooled off, but I think she got a little cold. The cloud cover engulfed us once we reached the upper bench and Tess got down right chilled in her sweat soaked clothes. Presto change-o, we exchanged her wet clothes out, catered a brief mosquito feast, and bundled in dry gear once again decided it was time to descend.
The drive home was eerily quiet last night as all the girls in the truck more or less passed out as soon as I got them loaded into the cab. Ah, there is a certain satisfaction one gets bringing the joys of the trail to one’s public. Thanks to all three of you sore ladies for joining me on the approach to Mount Howard.