Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mildred Lakes trail to Huckleberry Lake

Alpenglow on Mount Pershing

The night before, I decided to  torture myself by going up the Wagon Wheel Lake trail, so I  packed really light, even leaving my mushroom knife at home.

Then I remembered that the Hamma Hamma was open again and how pretty the fall colors are there and I changed my mind.  I decided to hike the Mildred Lakes “trail” to Huckleberry Creek and back. 

That would be too short of a short hike.  Then I remembered the lake off trail near the creek and made that my destination.

I don’t like to go off trail alone all the time, so I invited Phil and he quickly said yes.  He had been wanting to see the lake and the forest around it. 
Phil was running very late so I started my hike without him knowing that he would catch up eventually if I hiked slow and took lots of pictures.

Shortly after I crossed the Creek I heard Phil calling me.  A quick cup of coffee at the creek and we were off, off the trail to look for the lake.  The lake was easy to find and it was pretty but with no nice shore line.  While we were off trail I found a very nice buck knife to make up for forgetting to pack my mushroom knife.  We also found two Mylar balloons.

After we bagged the lake we decided to explore the forest up Huckleberry Creek.  The forest was Beautiful!  So beautiful that we had to turn back before we wanted to. 

The days are getting short and the Mildred Lake trail is not fun to do in the dark.  I have done the entire length of it from the creek to the car in the dark before and I did not like that.  I’ve also done the last half from the creek to the car in the dark and that is not too bad.

We ended up needing our headlamps for about half an hour.  My headlamp batteries were low, but I did not have to change them since Phil had good batteries in his.

I always have a spare set of batteries for my headlamp in my pack along with a small secondary light source that I can use to see while changing batteries.

When we got near the trailhead we encounted two men who were preparing to climb Pershing in the morning.

The woods are very dry this fall.  There are no mushrooms to be found.  I am sore today.

That poor old lady is still missing on the creepy Putvin trail.  

6 miles with 1,300 feet elevation gain on a very rough trail.  I slipped a few times and bashed my left knee cap into two logs and I tweaked my right ankle.  I’m having a clumsy week.

Gomphidius mushroom, not good to eat, but not poison


dried up tarn

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Bucket with a bag full of shit and piss and a tin can.  The overflow crowds from Seattle
are coming to destroy the Olympics.


Huckleberry Creek

Sage trying to not get shot during hunting season

Spahgnum moss






Deadly poison?


off trail in the oldgrowth.  



Angel Wings, some have died after eating it, but they had bad kidneys 


Honey mushrooms, so peopel have a bad reaction to these


Fig Newton time

Our route

Big mushroom

Amanita vaginata



Sunday, October 14, 2018

Big Creek Trail



Prints Available
Big Creek trail.  Once again I needed to get in a hike but did not want to hike too hard because I did not want to be sore the next day.  I was hoping to get out and find some mushrooms too.

Once again I found no mushrooms in my spots but now I know why.  Others know my spot and beat me to it every year, I need a new spot.

In spite of finding no edible mushrooms other than a one, I had a nice relaxing hike.  Lots of inedible mushrooms were out and I had fun photographing them.
I hiked farther then I planned due to the lack of easy to find mushrooms.  With 1,000 people moving to Seattle every day the trails in Seattle are overcrowded with no place to even park at the trail head.

The result is that people are coming to the Olympics to get away from the crowds in Seattle and now the Olympics are starting to feel the pinch.  Good luck finding a parking spot at Mount Ellinor or Mount Rose on the weekend.   I miss Mount Rose so much, but can’t stand the crowds there.  I feel grief over my loss of solitude on that Mountain.

My images are available as prints.  I am a semi-professional photographer and I reserve all rights on my images.

7.5 miles with 2,400 feet elevation gain












Thursday, October 4, 2018

Skyline Trail Loop and Panorama Point



The wildlife gates are shut and I really wanted to get some fall color photos in the high country.  

Honestly I’m not in good enough shape to do any of my normal late fall hikes such as Wagon Wheel or Mount Rose.  The Hamma Hamma road is still closed as well. 

Mount Rainier is open to cars all year and is a two hour drive from home.  I teamed up with my daughter and away we went.

I drug us both up the Skyline Trail.  She might have been in worse shape than me, it was a work out for both of us.  

We live at Sea level and the trail starts at over 5,000 feet.  When acclimating to high elevations it is recommended to do it by 5,000 feet at a time.  We ended up at over 7,000 feet, so we were breathing hard, but it was so worth it!

On our hike we saw a marmot, a deer, several chipmunks, a few pika  and a bear!  

We also saw a ton of  mushrooms along the trail.  But with it being a National Park we were limited, but not  as limited as I thought.  The limit is one gallon each, where in Olympic National Park the limit is one quart.  

Still you never know if the rangers know the actual mushroom harvest rules in their own parks.  There is at least one ranger out there who is on a crazy vendetta and doesn’t even know his own park rules.

We had a great time at Rainier and the crowds were not too bad, since we were there on a weekday and luckily we just happened to hike in the opposite direction as almost everyone else.

5.5 miles with 1,600 feet elevation gain










Sunday, September 30, 2018

Soaked out on Dry Mountain

Sage wearing her hunter orange to stay safe during hunting season



The last chance to hike up Dry Mountain this year before the wild life gates shut was today.  Yes, there was some rain in the forecast, but I was hoping for some cloudy views at the top.

Well it rained and it rained and it rained.  There would be no view even if we made the trip up.  My rain coat and waterproof boots failed.  Phil’s raincoat failed and he did not have rain pants or waterproof boots.  The higher up we went the more slippery and the more windy it got.

We bagged it, bagged the trip, not the summit.

  Nice fall colors but too wet to get any good photos of them.

I’m now in the market for new rain coat. My REI brand eVent jacket is just not made as well as my first one was.  This is my third one, the second one was not as good either, I should not have bought the third one.

Sad that my boots started leaking.  They are good boots, just too old now I guess.  La Sportiva brand gortex, so expensive!  They seem to last for three years. 

All my Solomon boots barely lasted me one season and sometimes not even one hike before I started getting wet feet.

I don’t want to have to buy new boots, that will kill my budget for a month.  I might just try some snow seal on them for now.

I’m  thinking of getting my next rain jacket at Cabelas.  I’ve had two people recommend them and the price is right too.

6 miles with 1,900 feet elevation gain





Sage blending in thanks to her orange coat

I hope that the animal who took a bit of this poison black and white Russula is okay. Looks like a deer bite. Only one bite taken and probably spit out, this can't taste nice. I keyed this out to Russula albonigra.


I hope that the animal who took a bit of this poison black and white Russula is okay. Looks like a deer bite. Only one bite taken and probably spit out, this can't taste nice. I keyed this out to Russula albonigra.