Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vincent Grisdale Hill

Last Picture of Donkey

We went to Grisdale Hill (I think it should be named Vincent hill but more on that later) to get donkey back. A geocacher found donkey and left in on the gate and sent me an email to let me know. We found donkey right on the gate. Not ten minutes later my 5 year old lost it again. I did not want to let her carry it up the hill. I should have put my foot down. The area she lost it in is very small but we can not find it. Goodbye donkey.. :(

Grisdale hill is nowhere near Camp Grisdale or the area known as Grisdale. I think some cartographic drift may have caused this hill's name to be changed to Grisdale. There is a Benchmark on the summit and it is labeled "Vincent" for Vincent creek that flows down off of this hill.

There used to be a lookout shack on the summit I assume it was built in 1952 because that is the date on the summit benchmark. Like most lookouts, it was later destroyed by the forest service.

4 miles round trip
1000 feet elevation gain
75 miles on my shoes, I'm guessing they are half-dead now.

Dead Tree

Mostly Dead Hill

Guns don't kill, ammo kills

Grave Marker
(Bench Mark)

Dead roots with a light at the end of the tunnel

Dead Logs

Dead Wood

Seems to fit the theme

Looking at Death


Life is a one way trip

You can't hide from it.

Life after death?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lower Ellinor through the smog on a granola bar

Copper Mountain

Lightening Peaks


Lower Trailhead Register

Peaceful lower forest

Upper trail head 12X zoom from near the summit

Below the meadow above the flats

Globe Mallow (?)

The shorn and the unshorn

Welcome Crew


Mount Washington

I was hoping to start today’s hike early in the morning for three different reasons.
On my hiking days I normally prefer to wake up and get out of the house before anyone in my family is awake. I have an easier time focusing and staying relaxed if I can slip out the door. Also today I was going to go up Mount Ellinor and I wanted to beat the crowds and the heat. I don’t not normally go up Ellinor on the weekends or in the summer because I hate crowds, but I’ve not had the freedom to hike during the week for a few years now. As a result of not being able to hike during the week, I have avoided going up Ellinor since Sunday, July 29, 2007.

Unfortunately today, I was not able to slip out the door before my family got up. I slept in until 8am because I have not been sleeping well for weeks and I needed the rest. My husband got up while I was in the bath and he immediately started complaining about his job. He did make a cup of tea for me to try to warm me up for listening to his monologue. Too bad he did not put sugar in it and he did not give it to me. I had to get it out of the kitchen myself after it was already too cool to drink. His being up and distracting me with cold bitter tea was just enough to make me forget to put my lunch in my pack. I packed my lunch the night before but in my rush to get out of the house before my husband got too deeply into his monologue I forgot get it out of the fridge. But I did pack two headlamps (one with no batteries), two big pocket knives a large mirror and a comb. In addition to that bit of insanity I also did not eat breakfast in my rush to get out.

It was not until after I reached the Lower Ellinor Trailhead that I realized I had no lunch with me. If I wanted to summit Ellinor I would have to do it on almost zero calories. I had my ultra light stove and enough fixings for two cups of tea and that was going to have to do me. I had a hard time deciding what to do. My options included driving all the way back to Hoodsport to buy some overpriced junk food or going home without hiking or hiking a little ways with no food and then turning back or going for the summit with no food.

I decided to hike a little way and see how I felt. Maybe I would turn around at the little campsite that I think is called chute flats. On the way to chute flats I managed to yogi a granola bar off of a photographer so I went ahead and summited. I felt a bit weak on the way back down, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

The hike up the lower trail today was noisy because it is so close to the road and cars full of hikers kept roaring past. Most hikers start at the upper trail head and only have to hike 1.7 miles to reach the summit. I like to start at the lower trail head because I love the forest there and 1.7 miles one way does not feel like a hike to me. It is also beautiful and peaceful on the lower trail.

There were at least 20 goats on or near the summit. Every adult goat seemed to have a baby. It is funny how the baby goats are so cute while their parents are so ugly. I had to shake my trekking poles at goats twice because the goats were playing chicken with me. I won the games of chicken but the games made my pulse rate go up. Those goats have sharp looking horns but I guess my trekking poles looked even sharper to the goats then thier horns looked to me.

Just after I passed though the meadow two large rocks tumbled across the switch backs above and below me. If I had been 30 feet up or down the trail I might have been hit. That was really scary; it was not something that I had ever experienced before. Perhaps a goat kicked the rocks down. I would like to think it was a goat and not the two teenage boys who came down the trail next. Another hiker asked the boys if they had done it and they said they had not. These rocks literally could have killed someone.

When I was in the meadow on my way back down a goat above the trail was taking a dust bath and knocking small rocks down towards the trail.

The local view from the top was good. I could see Mount Olympus and other Olympic mountains but there was a haze or mist hanging in the air. I could only see the top of one of the Cascade volcanoes, everything else in the Cascades was blocked out by a dark, hazy, endless, cloud cover. I think it may have been smog.

The hike without food was not as bad as I thought it would be but the crowds were very annoying. When I am hungry I am easily annoyed by noises and smells. On the summit there was a group of jabbering and screaming young adults who were making plans for hiking up Mount Saint Helens. They jabbered non-stop about this and that. They were also eating food and constantly talking about how this was the best apple / ham sandwich they had ever eaten. Then one girl started screaming because she saw a dragon fly. Sigh...

My normal approach to this type of nuisance is to wait for it to go away so I can have to summit to myself for a bit. But this group was not going away anytime soon and I was getting hungrier by the minute, so I went back down the trail to try to get away from them. I was not the only person who was driven to leave the summit early today. I normally spend about an hour on the summit of Ellinor but today I only spent ½ hour up there. In spite of cutting my summit time short I did not succeed in getting away from the noisemaking youngsters. The noisy ones passed me in the middle of the big meadow but I thought that would be the end of them. Nope, I was wrong, they kept stopping and screaming. I did not get out of earshot of that group until I got all the way back down to chute flats.

I decided I would brew my last tea at chute flats and maybe get some peace but no luck. A group of three or four very loud middle aged adults arrived and blocked my view while talking very loudly, so I got up and left. One of the adults apologized for being “so loud” and I just smiled at him. I think he was expecting a more gracious response from me. But I was not feeling terribly gracious at that moment.
But before I got to the lower trail I passed a person who had just farted and was screaming to his group that he just had a colonic cleansing. Oh well, at least I got some peace on the lower trail, once I got on the lower trail I did not see, smell or hear anyone else until the end of my hike.

I did not stop to eat anything on the way home because I knew I could not deal with crowds or decision making. When I got home I devoured my lunch. I have been trying to lose weight and I hope I lost at least a pound today.

When I got home my family was gone and my house was almost as clean as it was when I left.

6.5 miles
3,200 feet elevation gain

Sometime in the next two days I have to go back to Grisdale hill and retrieve the donkey my toddler left of there during the dog emergency.

Snag near summit

Mount Rose

The summit

The mob on the summit

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Rain Gear

I bought new rain gear this week. My blog postings started with the need for rain gear and now that rain gear is worn out. The pants and the coat have delaminated. I sent back the pants for replacement about two years ago but the replacement pants have delaminated again. I suppose I could send in both the jacket and the pants for another replacement but that seems a bit excessive to me. Still this is hella expensive gear and I would like it to last longer then two years! My new colors are all black and in Men's sizes. Rain gear should fit a bit big so you can wear layers under it. Expensive outdoor gear seems to skimp on fabric and the sizes are always smaller then what you would find in normal clothes of the same size. Unbelievably the pants that fit best are a Men's size large!

New Rain Gear

I bought new rain gear this week. My blog postings started with the need for rain gear and now that rain gear is worn out. The pants and the coat have delaminated. I sent back the pants for replacement about two years ago but the replacement pants have delaminated again. I suppose I could send in both the jacket and the pants for another replacement but that seems a bit excessive to me. Still this is hella expensive gear and I would like it to last longer then two years! My new colors are all black and in Men's sizes. Rain gear should fit a bit big so you can wear layers under it. Expensive outdoor gear seems to skimp on fabric and the sizes are always smaller then what you would find in normal clothes of the same size. Unbelievably the pants that fit best are a Men's size large!

Mercury Pollution in Hoh and other high Olympic Lakes

By Dedrick Allan 06/25/2009

Environmental groups are asking the U.S. Department of Interior to expand an earlier finding that pollution from a coal-fired plant in Centralia is causing haze and poor visibility in Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks. The National Park Service says emissions from TransAlta's power plant are a major contributor to the visual impairment of national parks in the state. The National Parks Conservation Association, Washington Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and Northwest Environmental Defense Center want tougher control of smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions. In 1995, the Interior Department certified that emissions from the plant were responsible for haze at the two parks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grisdale hill with family and a very ill dog

From A previous trip up the hill

What a hike this turned out to be! I decided to do the short 2 mile route up Grisdale hill with my daughters aged 5 and 12 and my dog aged 5. Grisdale Hill is a road hike in a clear-cut forest. I pushed my 5 year old daughter up the hill in her jogging stroller. I really got some good exercise pushing my 45 pound child up the hill. My plan was to have her walk down the hill because it is a lot of work to try to stop the stroller from going down hill too fast. The stroller has a brake but it is on the front tire and the front tire does not carry any weight so the brake is useless.

It turned out to be a very good thing that we had the jogging stroller with us, but more on that in a moment. When we got to the top my 12 year old could not hide her surprise at seeing the high steel bridge waaaay down there. My 12 year old did not want to go hiking at all but I thought it would be good for her to see something other then her endless text messages and Pokemon. At the top I did some sunbathing in spite of the biting deer flies and crawling ants. I also indulged myself with crackers and blue cheese. My daughters ate cookies and crackers. I brought my stove and fixings for tea but it was too hot to make tea up there today. I gave my dog a few morsels of blue cheese and a couple of crackers and a drink of water.

But almost as soon as we reached the top my 12 year old started whining that she wanted to go down to the lake or the river to cool off. Both the Skokomish River and Lake West can be viewed from the top. I did not get to really truly relax up there because it was hot and buggy and my 12 year old was whining.

Then my dog got sick, really sick. She started panting really hard and then she started wheezing and then she collapsed and could not walk. I was afraid that she was going to die. I had to put her in the jogging stroller and wheel her off the Mountain! Her mouth was foaming, her legs were stiff and she was out of it! But after 1.75 miles she slowly began to recover so we tried to let her out of the stroller and she could not get up and get out. But then a few minutes later we flushed a small grouse and she did not see the grouse but she did smell it and up she lept and tried to rush into the woods after the grouse. She is a Springer Spaniel and she is a bird dog through and through! Still she could barely walk, her hind legs kept giving out and she staggered like a drunk. At that point I knew she was going to live and knew she did not have to go to an emergency vet. We let her walk the last .10 of a mile to the Jeep but she could not jump into the Jeep and she also refused to jump out of the Jeep when we got home. Now she is out on her chain with a bowl of water. She still looks ill and she has thrown up several times but I’m pretty sure she will recover.

I wish I knew what happened to her. If you think you know what happened to her please let me know. She is a 5 year old Springer Spaniel that we adopted from the dog pound; we have had her about 6 months. The vet said she was healthy when she had her free pound dog exam. She is not overweight but she does tend to have panting attacks.

My husband says “If it’s any consolation her nose is lovely and cold”, he says that means she does not have a fever.

This morning she seem to be mostly recovered.

Anyway as for the hike:

4 miles round trip
1000 feet elevation gain
65 miles on my shoes

Other times I have blogged Grisdale Hill

Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Dec 7th 2008

No pictures from me today as my camera got left behind in all the fuss it requires to get two kids shoed and out of the house. But my daughter brought her camera.

No well Springer Spaniel would choose to travel this way

At Home

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Blog

I've started another new blog at . The new blog picks up where my photography class left me off. Wandering the mean streets of Shelton Washington with a color digital camera. You have to pay to use the black and white film lab in the summer!

Of course I'll keep running mosswalks as a hiking, photo, mushroom blog.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Brothers Camp from Lena Creek Camp

Valley of the Silent Humans

Waterfall in the Valley

gyromitra, conk, shoe

Bed at Brothers Camp
(Blurry due to rain and fog on lens)

A pond next to a rock that looks like it was cut in half by something

Old moss-covered rock slide. Did this slide happen during the subduction zone earthquake in the 1700's?

Trail is overgrown at my geocache site in the Valley

Cedar dotted cliffs in the fog

Brothers Climbing Camp from Lena Creek Camp

We camped at Lena Creek again this weekend. Lena Creek was not my first choice for camping but it was Father’s day weekend so I went without to much complaint. The road to the other nearby trails is still washed out; my only real choice was to go up the Lower Lena Lake trail again. . I hiked to Lower Lena Lake last week so this week I wanted to go further.
I walked from my campsite at Lena Creek and arrived at the trail head at 10am. It was raining so the trail was not quite as crowded as usual. I leap fogged with a group of girl scouts for half of the hike then they kindly let me pass them at Lunch Rock. It only took me 1 hour and fifteen minutes to make it to the rock. After leaving the rock the trail passes by shoreline campsites. Most of the campsites were filled and the folks up there seemed to be camped very comfortably. The camps up there looked more comfortable than our car campsite down below. I would have pitched a tarp over our table so we could sit outside at the table and stay dry. But our table was covered with dirt and mud thanks to the antics of my 5 year-old. There so there was no point in pitching a tarp over the muddy wet table.

I arrived at the Brother’s climbing camp at about 2:30. The rain never let up for the entire hike up but it really started falling when I got to the camp. By this point I was also pretty tired and I was getting clumsy and a little disoriented. I lost the trail so I headed back toward a tent I saw in the campground and found backpackers outside the tent. They had just finished climbing The Brothers and they reported that the route finding was hard and the way was covered with snow near the top. They also pointed me in the right direction. The trail turns left at the campground and follows a tributary up. I followed the trail about 1/10 of a mile past the campground just so I could see something new. I had hiked up to the campground in the past so I wanted to go just a bit further. But I did not go far because the trail started getting steep and I was getting tired.

I walked back down to the camp and ate my lunch and brewed my tea. Lunch was cambert cheese with crackers, PJ tips pyramids tea and an organic pop-tart. All these items came from a local discount store. Ever since this stored opened we have been eating like Queens and Kings. Right before I headed back down the backpackers headed back down the trail and a new set of backpackers arrived.

I walked back down to my car camp in the rain, taking a few breaks to ease the random aches and pains I was having and to take some pictures. I did not take any pictures on the hike up because my camera is not water proof and I had hoped the rain would stop by the time I headed down.

When I arrived back at the Lower Lena Lake trail head I found the ranger writing parking tickets and I could hear an awful howling noise coming from my campground. I almost yelled at the howling campers from the safe anonymity of the bushes but I decided not to.

It is a good thing that I did not yell as it was my own family that was doing the howling. As I approached my campsite I found my husband and daughter on their way up to meet me on the trail. My husband was a bit disappointed that I had arrived back at the campsite before they could reach the trail.

I finished my hike at 6:45 and I rested up for about an hour before heading back up the trail with my family. We only went to the second switchback before my husband was exhausted and called it quits.

I usually try to hike about a mile in the evening after I have done a long hike. It seems to make me less sore in the morning. This was a trick that I learned when I was a grade-school cross-country runner. I don’t know if the trick actually works but it seems to help. I’m not as sore as I expected to be this morning and I don’t think I have done this much mileage since last summer.

14.4 miles
2400 feet elevation gain
61 miles on my waterproof red shoes now.

Dirty litle hoobah that covered our table (and most everything else in camp) with mud

Lower Lena Lake raindrops

Why was this healthy tree at Lena Lake Camp murdered?

The meter maid left a nasty surprise for a hiker. Tthe Lena Lake Trailhead is the only trail head that I've ever seen rangers writing tickets. This car was one of many ticketed for not displaying a parking permit.


Elevation Profile