Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mount Rose on an overcast day

View From Summit

Same view last year.

I woke up at 5 am but just did not feel enthusiastic about hiking so I went back to sleep. I finally got out of bed at about 8:30 and still did not feel like hiking. Then I had my morning cup of tea and suddenly BLAM!     Hiking seemed  prudent and with my energy level Mount Rose sounded good. 3,400 feet in elevation gain in just 2.9 miles should slow me down a bit.

I somehow managed to drive to the trail head without getting into wreck. I noticed a lot of log trucks coming in of the Department of Nothing Remaining (DNR) land north of Lake Cushman and fresh clear cut forest on the other side of Lake Cushman. Have I ever mentioned that I hate what logging does to the forest? Shortly after turning left at the "T" near Big Creek my beloved Mount Rose came into view. She is scarred but beautiful and I'm always happy to see her.

I was on the trail within one minute of parking and Up Up UP I went, up the mountain that is. My legs hurt; they just could not keep up with my brain. After I had gained 800 feet in elevation I calmed down a bit and was able to enjoy my hike.

I actually had a very pleasant hike today, the sky was overcast but that is good for picture taking. I took the left fork at the top and had fun taking pictures of wild flowers on the ridgeline. As I neared the summit looked over towards Mount Ellinor and saw clouds starting to cover it so I did not take my usual lunch break on the ridge but headed right for the summit rock to get a view before the clouds moved in. The view at the summit was very good for such an overcast day but it was windy and very cold. I only paused a few moments on the summit before I headed down. In the short amount of time that I was on the summit my fingers started to go numb.

I'm really in to saphrophytic plants and Mount Rose is an ideal place to observe them. These plants are kind of rare and all of them get their chlorophyll from other plants. Today I found the largest clump of Ghost pipe plant I have ever seen. I also spotted two Vancouver Ground Cones and plenty of my favorite mycoheterotroph.

On the way down I traveled through the area that was most scarred by the fire and I saw a lot of fresh windfall but I also saw a lot of evidence of recent trail work. My heroes the “Mount Rose Trail Crew” must have been busy up here. I suspect that a lot more of Mount Rose is going to slide onto the road below as the roots of the burned trees begin to rot and loose the ability to hold the soil in place.

When I was about half way back down it started raining and by the time I made it to the bottom rain was falling hard. I saw 9 other people on the Mountain today, 4 were just taking a stroll close the trail head, 2 were coming down from the summit and 3 were going up. The last two hikers I saw were just leaving the trailhead at 5:45; they must have had one cold wet hike. I wonder what the summit was like for them.

I feel pretty darn good for such a brutal hike. Mount Rose is my fitness Gauge, if I'm not sore for the next three days I'll know I'm in ok shape. I really won't know until tomorrow what kind of shape I'm in but my legs feel pretty good now 2 hours after my hike. Just sitting my knees ache but nothing hurts too bad and when I got home I was able to hop right out of my car with out staggering. Normally I stagger a bit when I first get out of my car after a tough hike. I admit though I did stagger some when I got out at the Hoodsport Grocery store.

I used to always stop at the Lake Cushman store to grab an after hike coffee and call my husband but that place has changed. They are not as friendly anymore and they have cameras everywhere.

3,400 feet elevation gain 6.2 miles RT
Beauty: 3 mushrooms
Difficulty: 4 mushrooms
Gas cost $6.08 at $4.00 a gallon

Lightening Peak

Largest clump of Ghost pipe plant I've ever seen

Looking East

Looking East from the Summit. A fresh Clear-cut soils the view.

Jagged Mount Washington

Hemlock Close Up

It is not Fall, these trees are dead from the fire

Zoomed in on some paintbrush

This is the Rare ground cone plant (Boschniakia hookeri)one of two I saw today.
It is said to be parasitic on Salal

Over 80 Miles on these now


Varigated something

Zoomed in on a meadow on distant Mount Wasington

The flowers are black maybe from pushing up through the soot

This one even has the candycane twist

A daisy

This burl always catches my eye

I Love Mount Rose!
(does this picture make my butt look fat?)

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