Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mount Walker


View from top of Mount Walker
With showers forecast to fall mostly before ten we opted for a late start this morning. 


But first I had to put oil in my car; the dip stick said it was completely empty!  We hit the trail sometime after ten and found 5 other cars at the trail head. 



trail head, gate was closed so we walke to trail head
 I’ve had lots of bad encounters with off leash dogs at Mount Walker so I opted to let Patches run free whenever I saw an off leash dog but leash her up whenever I saw a hiker with a no dog or a leashed dog.  This was a real learning experience for me.  As it turns out the first off leash dog was a Springer Spaniel just like Patches.  When I heard the hiker coming I put Patches on her leash, but when I saw he was not going to put his dog on a leash I took Patches off her leash.   I think the Spaniel must have been a male because Patches tried to follow it home.  I had to call and call her to get her to come back.  The owner of the other Spaniel gave Patches a nasty shove when he thought I was not looking.  Not cool..  Finally Patches came back and we continued upward. 

I was not hiking well at all at the start.  I just am not a morning person.  It always takes me about a mile before I can actually keep up with whoever I happen to be hiking with, that is when I can catch up at all.  We summited and had hot chocolate then we walked over to the other summit and saw six bald eagles all at once!  When we first summited I was so glad to take my pack off, I really was not hiking well today.  I’m anemic and need to bring up my iron levels.

We headed back down at some point in time and then I was the fast hiker with my hiking partner lagging behind and me and I stopped to let them catch up.  It usually seems to work that way on the rare occasions that I hike with someone else.  I lag behind and cannot keep up at the start and am full of energy and having to wait for my partner at the end.  I’ve got plenty of endurance, I just can’t up hill fast without getting out of breath and lagging behind.

On the way down we could hear the bald eagles chirping at each other.  I never knew that bald eagles chirped, but they do.

We finished at about 4pm and the sun set at 4:20.. wow the days are getting short.  There was not a drop of rain on the hike and it was cold and dry on the summit.  As soon as we entered Shelton on the drive home the rain started up again.
My one cup cook system was a failure with two people to make hot chocolate for.  I'll have to bring my cook pot when I'm not solo.  We checked for free beer at Triton cove but there was none to be found.

6 miles with 2,100 feet elevation gain





Pilophorus acicularis lichen (Devils' matchstick)




My first sighting of Peltigera venosa





4 bald eagles

several bald eagles