Sunday, July 29, 2012

Church Creek

This sign has been missing for about a year

I expected solitude up there but were happily surprised to see the Mountaineers doing some trail work.  As far as I know the Mountaineers are the only group that works on this trail.   I snapped some pictures of the trail crew and then waited for them to get started.  But they soon stopped so I passed them.  I could still hear them hiking behind me all the way up to the road so I decided to explore the road a bit and come back to the trail later.

The road has been badly decommissioned, it‘s a real nightmare to hike on.  I did find Tetraplodon mnioides moss on this road.  T. mnoides is everywhere if you know where to look for it.  There is peat moss on the Skok side of the pass but none on the Wynoochee side.

The lake was quiet and lovely.  The hike back was very fast.  The Mountaineers were gone when but they had made a good start at getting rid of a large log over the trail.  The log will be much easier to cross over now. 

I think we started hiking at about 10 and finished up at about  7:45.

7.4 miles with 2,400 feet total elevation gain on this up and down hike.

Track and elevation

Mountaineer with an axe

Mountaineer with an axe
Log that the Mountainers worked on

This log crossing was under the lake the last time I was here
This log is not underwater now

Satsop Lake
Someone was camping nearby but I never saw them

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hortwort and Blasia

Yes! The hornwort no longer eludes me:
Anthoceros fusiformis, not rare but very hard to find

Huge chloroplasts, one per cell


Spore with psudoelator

Blasia pusilla  found right next the hornwort
Blasia thallus
Blasia Gemmea
Blasia thallus Cross section

Many of these Anthoceros fusiformis were found on this day

All pictures copyright, please ask for permission, I am happy to share with permission

Mobs of idiots on Mount Rose

Pipe smoking idiot camped on the summit, his clothes spread everywhere
My departure from the house was delayed due to financial issues.   Others arrive at the trail head as I did.  I decided to hike fast so I would not have to see them.  But they slowly were catching up to me.  About 1 mile into the hike I stopped to let them by, but they stopped too.  Then another couple with dogs came by.  Both dogs were leashed and they seemed like a nice couple.  I let them by too.  But then they started talking with the first couple and they all slowed down.  They kept taking breaks and as soon as I would catch up to them they would leave.   This was very frustrating for me.  I don’t mind seeing others on the trail but I don’t want to have to listen to people for my entire hike.  I hike to clear my head and sooth my PTSD, not to hear people chatter or be startled by their dogs.

This kept happenening for the next mile so I stopped for a full ten minutes to be rid of them even though I really wanted to climb fast today.  After a ten minute break I figured they would be long gone, but nope, they took a ten minute break. I don’t know if it was conscious but they were trying to keep me in sight.  Maybe the idea of being alone on the mountain frightened them.  I thought about just bagging it... turning around going back to my car and getting away from the noise.  But then I decided if I could just take the loop in a different direction I could be rid of them. 

Before I reached the junction a couple with an unleashed dog came down.  They did not control their dog and the dog forced me to stop and wait.  Courtesy is to control your dog and yield to the hiker going uphill.

When I got to the junction they were all sitting there waiting for me to see what direction to turn.  One of them was smoking a green pipe.   I told them that I hate leapfrogging and I was going the long way 1.6 miles, they decided to go the short way 1.1 miles Ahhhh relief at last.. I had an extra ½ mile to hike so they should be done with their summit sit by the time I reached the summit.   The 1.6 mile trail was foggy and felt primeval.  I passed 4 people who were going down the trail.  One had a standard poodle that was out of control and gave me a startle response.   The owner never apologized for letting her out of control dog frighten me.  Having my startle response set off undid all the relaxation I got on that section of the trail.  I also ran into a woman who is older than me who made me promise that I would always hike and not feel guilty about leaving my kids at home.

Much to my horror, when I got to the summit the very annoying smoking couple was on the summit with their clothes and other belongings spread out all over it.  It took some coaxing to get them to move enough of their stuff so I could sit down.  The dog owners were polite and were just leaving.  That’s how it works on a tiny summit like Rose.  You don’t camp there; you take your ten minutes or so and then get off the rock so others can enjoy their work. 

The man was still smoking and he was enjoying the top freedom that only males have.  I wanted some top freedom.  The woman was in just a sports bra.  I sat for about ten seconds when two more people arrived on the summit.  It was clear that they wanted the summit and the smoking couple was not going to move ever.   

This was not Mount Rose to me, so I left and let the next folks onto the summit.  My total time on the summit was about 1 minute.   I headed down the short trail and ran into 3 other people on their way to the summit.  The summit can hold three people, there were 7 people wanting to be on it. 

I decided that since my goal of solitude and relaxation had been destroyed I needed a new goal.  My new goal was to get the hell off the Mountain as quickly as possible.  3 hour up 1 hour down... 4 hours total.  This was my fastest trip up and down Rose and the only bad trip I have ever had going up Rose.

I won’t hike Rose again until Ellinor is open.  It’s idiots who normally hike on Ellinor and don’t really know anything about back country courtesy that ruined my experience today.  There was toilet paper tucked into every nook and cranny.  I’ve not seen that on Rose before.  The trail is getting quite wide and trampled down with all the extra traffic. 
I sure hope they re-open Mount Ellinor soon.  I also wish they would put the closed sign out on 101 so folks can have the option of doing Lena lake, instead of being stuck in the Staircase area when they find out Ellinor is closed.
I'll also be glad when the snows come.  Rose seems safe to snowshoe year round if one takes the right route and I get Rose all to myself when it is snow covered.
3,200 feet elevation gain 6.2 miles

Misty forest

Avalanche lily I think

Out of focus ground cones


Bob Wood mentions these tree on the ridge

large trashy fire at 4,200 feet.  Fires are not allowed above 3,500 feet

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mount Rose

I started my hike at about 10am.  The trail head sign said the trail head was closed due to bridge construction, but everyone ignored that and just hiked.  Mason County says the bridge is out of compliance.  The new bridges were put in by the city of Tacoma. I guess I should like the nice new bridges, but they look a bit out of place.  I kind of miss the rustic look of the old bridges.  The old bridges are now being used as curbs.  One big alder tree was cut down in between the new bridges.
I forgot to tank up on water at the bridge crossing and was worried that Patches would over heat and I would have to turn around.  But a nice buff hiker coming down the Mountain gave me all of his water and Patches was fine.  I found  nice cold spring eventually and filled both of my bottles there.  That cold water tasted sooooooo good!  But the yelping puppies caught up to me there.

One the way up I kept hearing noises that sounded like either  yelping dogs or kids or something.  I had hoped the noise was down at the lake.  But nope, it was 4 women.  They were not loud but I sure could hear them.  I think one of them had a voice that carried really well.

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I found this on a different hike, I think it's Agarikon

Brushpickers had picked the flowers off all the beargrass except for right at the summit.  I hate that and I wonder if it's legal.

I saw lots of mycoheterotrophic plants as usual, including a huge ghost pipe cluster.  I saw 12 other people on the trail, that’s a mob for Mount Rose.  One group was really loud and walked at the same pace as I did, there was no escaping them.   I stepped off the trail for ½ hour to get away from them.  I had the summit to myself and stayed up there for about ½ hour.  I would have stayed longer but I was worried about getting sunburn on my legs.  It felt great to finally make it to the top of my favorite little mountain after all the health troubles I had; it’s been 1.5 years since I’ve been up there.
I noticed Polytrichum pilliferum moss on the summit rock and of course bon-fire moss on the burned areas.
I think most of the other people on the trail had wanted to do Mount Ellinor.  Too bad the signs saying Mount Ellinor is closed is not placed on 101. The first warning that the trail is closed is way out on the dirt road where you turn left to go up Ellinor.  I wish the FS would place all trail closure notices on 101, it would save a lot of driving for a lot of hikers.
I took the longer route down to complete the loop.  Some idiots had a big trashy campfire near the meadow.  I’m glad they did not start a forest fire.  I don’t normally see any trash on Mount Rose, but I saw a lot of trash on it today.  I don’t know how much of the trash is due to extra traffic caused by Mount Ellinor being closed.
I made it back down at 5pm and I felt pretty good.   I know I’m getting back into shape because going down was harder than going up. 

 The city of Tacoma was surveying everyone driving out to see where they went.  It seems that Tacoma wants the forest service to pay for road maintenance and is trying to prove that most of the traffic on that road goes out to Staircase or the National Forest and not to the lots on the lake that are leased by Tacoma.
3,400 feet elevation gain AND loss 6.2 miles RT

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Ice cold water

Ghost pipe

New overbuilt bridges

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Mason county does not like the bridge
What way?

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Tacoma wants the feds to pay for road upkeep
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Trees down over trail on the gentle end of the loop
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Burned forest form bear gulch fire
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Unburned old growth forest on other side
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Funaria hygrometric "Bonfire moss"
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Hot dog on the summit
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Not sure what peak this is

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jefferson Pass

3 miles with 700 feet elevation gain
Trail head

Target Practice


Someones target practice?

Someone was target practicing with this

Tiger Lilly

I found more Tetraplodon mnioides here

I heard that the best way to deal with goats was to rent a helicopter and drop mushrooms on them

Target practice items included a keyboard a picture of Osama and a Picture of MLK
How's that Discovery Pass working for you?
Found at Lena Lake

A nice cool breeze came out of this snowcave