Thursday, August 10, 2017

Green Mountain

I promised to write a separate blog post about our hike up Green Mountain.

If you are local, you have to hike there, you hear me? It's so worth it, albeit a little gnarly with 3,300 feet elevation gain and a total of 8.5 miles. But our seven-year-old daughter did it (hint: pack lots of treats for bribing), and our tiny Shih Tzu doggie did it as well. There was lots of panting involved, but both humans and dogs are allowed to do so when you climb up to 6,500 feet.

It's not only the exercise that takes your breath away. It's the view. Look.

We hiked this a couple of weeks ago, before the wildfires around us (one in Canada, and one right up the road where we hiked) obscured the views with haze and smoke.

On top of this mountain sits a historic lookout with a 360 degree view. It was originally built in 1933 and used for years to house seasonal fire lookouts. In 1987 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

On the way up, there are billions of wildflowers, a few small mountain ponds, and large expanses of meadows. 

Let me show you some of the flowers. By the way, my 12-year-old son Luke took most of these pictures, so thanks, dude.

The little lake was cute, and a breeding ground for a trillion mosquitoes and black flies. Did I tell you that the bugs were terrible? There's a reason we love hiking in the fall, when colder temperatures kill those suckers.

Kai's girlfriend came with us. If you want to get to know a person, take them on a hike and see how they deal with pesky bugs, heat, tough elevation, and blisters. The verdict is in, and I knew it even before the hike: I like her a lot! Which is fortunate, because I've never had a teenage child before, and I was dreading the whole dating thing. 

She didn't complain once (as opposed to my little daughter, who whined incessantly about the bugs and steep trail). 

She loves handling snakes, which freaked me out, but more power to her! 

Here's what the Washington Trail Association has to say:

"Once at the lookout, the views are world class. Mount Baker is visible to the north, Buckindy, the Ptarmigan Traverse group, and Dome Peak rise above the Downey Creek valley to the east, with the top of pointy Mount Sinister peeking out behind Dome. Glacier Peak dominates the southern skyline just west of the Suiattle River valley, along with the usual Mountain Loop suspects: Mount Pugh, Sloan Peak, Del Campo, Three Fingers, White Chuck and White Horse.

WTA Pro Tip: Traveling to 6500 feet on mostly exposed slopes warrants more attention to packing than many other similarly proportioned dayhikes might. Bring lots of water, especially in the summer (all the more if traveling with a dog), wear base layers you can strip down to if it's hot but pack something windproof and something warm and puffy if it's cold up high. In the summer you will want bug spray, and on any sunny day, sunscreen and lip balm should be on hand. Don't forget your dog's nose and upright ears, though check the ingredients: zinc oxide is toxic to dogs. Leave time for berry picking if they're in season and more for photo taking. Bring a headlamp."

I hope to see you out there!  And if you're not local, I hope I am enticing you to visit our beautiful corner of the world!

In fact, if you want to hang out with us at our homestead, we have two more spots open for our Homesteading and Wilderness Retreat August 19 and 20!


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