Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Spray Park, MRNP

Each time I hiked in October, I kept thinking that would be the last good hiking day of the season. And every time, I was wrong. On Oct, 19th Sharon, Steve, Fran, and I headed to Mowich Lake to hike up to Spray Park. I’d only been to the lower part of Spray Park before to see the wildflowers, and was driven out by ravenous, blood-sucking, thirsty, evil, vampire mosquitoes who seem to love me more than any other human on the planet.  This time, there were no mosquitoes (and no wildflowers), but the weather could not have been more perfect for a late fall hike on my gorgeous Mountain with good, good friends.

The expansive views at the upper areas of Spray Park are incredible, and I loved seeing the Mountain from a new angle that I’d never seen before. We also had a wonderful view of Cataract Valley and down into the Carbon River Valley, Mother Mountain, the whole north Cascades, and Mt. Stuart.

Of course, I had to support my favorite team while up there, so I hiked in my Seattle Sounders FC shirt and scarf, and it was Scarves UP! at the top of Spray Park for all of us 🙂

Some day, when I’m brave enough to fight the mosquitoes, I’ll make it up here again during wildflower season, which I imagine will be spectacular.

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Headlight Basin, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA State

I’ve wanted to see the golden larches for several years, and this past weekend the weather was beautiful, so I went for it!!  I packed up early Sunday morning and headed to north of Cle Elum, and hiked out to Headlight Basin on the Lake Ingalls trail. Wow!  Once I came over Ingalls Pass and saw the larches down below, I knew the timing was perfect, the basin was gold with larches.

I pitched my tent overlooking the basin, with Mount Stuart as my backdrop, and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around taking photos of larches and mountain goats. Unfortunately, the goats were a little too comfortable with humans, and decided that it would be fun to hang out at my campsite. I had to “vacate the premises” several times  – luckily they didn’t feel the need to eat or destroy any of my gear.  They’re cute and fluffy, and were totally non-aggressive, but too close for comfort a few times and I had to leave and give them plenty of space.

Sunset was wonderful, the moon was almost full, and the wind was relentless!  I didn’t sleep most of the night because of the wind, but at least it wasn’t too cold out. Sunrise again was beautiful, and lit up the larches like they were electric. Once again, my 3 goats decided to “visit” right as I was packing up my campsite and I had to leave for about half an hour while they checked things out … again no damage or interest in my gear, just liked the view, I guess.

Overall, an incredible 2 days spent in a very magical place 🙂

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Sunrise at Sunrise… It never gets old (MRNP)

My annual pilgrimage to Sunrise, Mt. Rainier, at sunrise to see the sky and mountain light up. I hate getting up at 4 a.m., but this is so very worth it!  J and E and I were on the road before 5 a.m., and after hiking a little bit out of the parking lot we settled in to watch the dawn. My advice… JUST GO DO IT!!!  The road to Sunrise usually closes mid-October for winter, so this is my way of saying goodbye to this section of Rainier every year.

After watching a gorgeous sunrise, we hiked out to the Fremont Lookout Tower and had a relaxing picnic lunch with wonderful 360-degree views. Beautiful day with good friends, in a most spectacular area of Mt. Rainier.  GO!

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William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA State

I spent a wonderful fall weekend in the William O. Douglas Wilderness with S & S. Fall colors were wonderful, and we had a relaxing 2 nights at a gorgeous lake. Weather forecast said 47 degrees overnight, but it got cold enough to partially freeze our water bottles, Brrrr!!!  Huge campfires each night helped keep us warm, especially since it gets dark earlier this time of year. We even had our very own creeper-ranger, but that’s a story all in itself 🙂  Beautiful weekend with good, good friends 🙂

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Skyline/Panorama Point, MRNP

Another wonderful hike along the Skyline Trail to Panorama Point at Rainier. Coming out of the parking lot I said I’d like to see marmots, and we definitely got marmots! They were posing and flirting with us… great way to try out my new camera. Even though the wildflowers were spent at the end of September (and it’s the BEST wildflower hike I’ve ever been on), it was still an excellent hike, amazing views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood.  And marmots… a lot of marmots!

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