Advertisements

Sometimes I Need Me Time

Is there a mom who doesn’t feel guilty over taking personal time? I hate feeling guilty over taking hikes without my kids – and especially because Kirk watches them while I go out. But I also know I need that time. I am with them 24 hours a day otherwise. But more, for the first time in my life, I am finding I am timid with my kids. Ford went everywhere with me, he was hiking not long after he started walking. We hiked and backpacked thousands of miles. Taking Walker was natural as well. But I have so little confidence in taking Alistaire hiking, where it is me, Walker and Ford and Kirk can’t come. Honestly? What scares me is the thought of him having an allergic reaction in the backcountry with no other adult to help me. For me, this is beyond scary and I cannot wrap my mind around it. Maybe next year when he is older. We will see. Until then…maybe it isn’t bad for me to take trips with just me and no one else to worry about.

Sheep1

I was supposed to go on a much longer hike with my friend Jared and help him finish a section of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) he hadn’t done, but by Sunday I was exhausted. By the kids, by the week and feeling really anemic. At least Jared is flexible and didn’t guilt trip me too much. I am grateful for that. And he likes to fly fish…and the lake we went to has plenty of fishies to play with.

Early morning at Sheep Lake today.

I end up at Sheep Lake at least once a year. It is pretty, large, has great meadows and is e-z-y to get to. (Seriously, 2.10 miles one way, with only a little elevation gain).

Sheep4

Only one hitch…I was so tired I didn’t pack everything like I normally do the night before. I left my camera behind. Argh. Thankfully I had my phone along…but I really would have had so much more fun shooting flower photos.

Sheep5

We ended up on the far side of the lake, where the fish were jumping (it was around 9 am). The wind was blowing steady most of the day, which kept bugs off of us.

For as sunny as it was, it was really cold at times!

If anything, it was chilly at times, maybe in the mid 60’s at most. Even though it was blue skies and sunny (it is though at mid 5,000’s for elevation).

Sheep7

Jared was the only fly-fisher out there, and was the only one catching anything – he caught quite a few (he uses non-barbed hooks and lets them go).

Sheep8

We spent a good half of the day just lounging around – OK, he was fishing. I spent my hours reading books on my phone (thank you Kindle app), napping and exploring the basin.

Sheep9

The wildflowers were just opening, with Magenta Paintbrush opening.

Sheep10

Sheep12

Give me lupine covered hills and I am in bliss.

Sheep13

That and being lazy. Being lazy once in a while needs to be done more often.

~Sarah

Advertisements

Little Feet

No recipe tonight….just a happy smile thinking about today. Kirk and I took the boys on a hike in a nearby state park. We found a lull between rain storms and set out. Walker ahead of me….like with his older brother, Ford, I have outfitted him in mini-me gear. I go by the theory my children should have as nice as gear as I do! Walker loves his backpack.
Lilfeet2

 

At the trailhead, Kirk carried Alistaire today. Him and Ford set off and soon left Walker and I in their dust. Which was OK…..

lilfeet1

 

As Walker and I hiked the loop, hand in hand, I realized it was the most relaxing hike I had ever taken. Ford was always a strong hiker, and where Walker is as well, he is also curious. He asks questions about what he sees. Just him and I, slowly walking, breathing the cold air of the Cascade foothills. We looked at root balls, ferns, moss and more. We met dogs and humans. We looked down and saw we both had similar shoes on.

Lilfeet3

 

Near the end, Kirk was waiting for us. Someone had to have a trekking pole suddenly!

Lilfeet4

 

Alistaire riding in the backpack carrier. Kirk said he sat quietly, watching as he and Ford walked and chatted.

Lilfeet5

 

I am so happy with todays stroll with Walker. It lifted my spirit so much. I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!

~Sarah

Of Hiking and Raw German Chocolate Bars

I was so happy last weekend, Kirk and I got the boys out for two hikes, both at Mt. Rainier National Park, which is up the road from us (literally!)

On Saturday we took the two youngest on a lake hike to Bench & Snow Lakes:

On Monday we went to Sunrise, which is the highest road in the park – the parking lot is at 6400 feet – in Washington State that is alpine.

I posted this recipe earlier this week on my other blog, TrailCooking, it was so tasty I had to share it here as well!

Last weekend I made a batch of raw German Chocolate Bars that I was inspired by a recipe I saw recently on a favorite blog, NomEatNom, I made these bars using my favorite form of raw cacao, Navitas’s Sweet Cacao Nibs. The sweet ones add just enough to take any bitter cacao taste away. They have a pleasant boozy taste that works well in raw bars.

Find the Medjool dates and raw pecans at Costco or Trader Joe’s for savings, Costco now carries young coconut that is shredded but I find that Let’s Do Organic is my favorite. You can get it online or at natural food stores like Whole Foods.

German Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add everything to a food processor, process on high until finely chopped and it starts coming together in a ball. Line a bread pan with plastic wrap, pack the mixture in, flattening. Chill for a couple of hours, slice and wrap each bar. Keep refrigerated until trail time.

~Sarah

FTC Disclaimer: We received product samples for potential review/recipe development.

Mama Went hiking and Got Vegan Ice Cream After

Kirk is an awesome husband. ♥ He gave me a kid free day out!

And I had homemade ice cream after – recipe is at the end!

On short notice the weather turned sunny for the weekend. My friend Dani was free on Saturday so we decided on going to The Carbon River area of Mt. Rainier National Park (click it to see a earlier trip report from two years ago and this one with Walker from last year.). Two reasons: we both love rain forest hiking and it was National Park freebie week. I haven’t bought my new NP pass for the year yet so I try to not pass up getting in for free 😉

It was my first hike without Alistaire along. It is always an odd feeling to leave your babies behind but I know I needed it. A day of only needing to think about myself was just what I craved. Carbon is one I have done so many times – it is one of my favorite hikes due to the intense green and the quiet. A busy day there is a slow day compared to the trailheads closer to Seattle.

Dani doing a pose:

The dew was burning off quickly:

Me in front of one of the creeks that still run down the old road bed (from the 2006 blowout):

We got out to the old Ipsuit Creek Campground, which is now officially (finally!) a backcountry camp area as of last year. I am one who is happy with the Park Service keeping the old road a trail permanently (and it is bike and jogger stroller friendly). I drove the road many times and walking it is way more enjoyable. Part of the changes is privies that have been added, the old restrooms are gone:

The other big change is the soon-to-be finished guard station/log cabin. There was an old one that barely escaped the floods, the new one will be in the old car parking lot at the start of the junction to The Wonderland Trail. Change is good. It really can be. And yes, that was snow! Only in the exposed areas, everywhere else was melted out.

Another view:

I know I make a good living developing backcountry recipes. I was feeling lazy and picked up a sammie on the way to the trailhead 😉 It was tasty I might add – artichokes, guacamole, tomatoes and foccacia bread.

After being lazy in the camp (and having lunch at a picnic table) we started the long walk back down the Carbon River. Looking back up the river, Rainier had clouded over as is often normal (although from the angle here she isn’t visible).

It was a perfect hike – sunny, mildly warm. Great views, friendship, chatting and tasty food. Although by the end we clocked in over 11 miles and my post-partum thighs were telling me off. Hah.

My treat that night was homemade vegan-friendly ice cream – made with coconut milk. While it might not be everyone’s idea of perfect ice cream, I was in love with it! You will need an ice cream maker for it. I made Ford go dig for ours and blew off the dust. Now that we have a mini-chest freezer I find the maker’s core freezes better and gives a smoother, creamier ice cream. So if you have both, use the deep freezer! But don’t store the ice cream in it. I did and the ice cream became VERY hard. Lesson learned, store the finished product in the freezer in the kitchen.

Cashew and Pistachio Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2¾ cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • ¾ cup organic raw agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup pistachios, roasted and salted, diced (measure after shelling)
  • ½ cup finely shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:

Freeze the inner chamber of your ice cream maker for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Add the coconut milk through sea salt to a Vitamix blender or other powerful blender. Start on Variable 1, go up to 10 quickly and then turn to High. Process for a minute. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions, for my Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker:

Add the frozen chamber, insert the paddle and put the lid on. Start the machine and slowly add in the mixture. Let run for about 20 minutes or until soft serve texture. Add in the pistachios and coconut while running, let continue to paddle for 5 minutes more.

Turn off and scoop into airtight containers, freeze until solid (2 to 3 hours). Although as soft serve it is very nice as well.

Makes 1 quart.

~Sarah

Trail Eats – No Cook Meals For The Trail

The latest recipes from our column, “Trail Eats” In Washington Trails Magazine (the March/April 2012 issue, page 40).

Three courses for those rainy & cold spring hikes! Do the work at home and eat gourmet while everyone else has a soggy PB&J!


Pistachio Couscous Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups lower sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbsp diced dried onion
1½ cup couscous
15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Dressing:
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp dried basil

¼ cup shelled and diced pistachios

Directions:
Bring the broth and onion to a boil in a medium saucepan, add in the couscous. Take off the heat, cover tightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff up the couscous with a fork into a large bowl, toss with the chickpeas.
Whisk the dressing in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Let chill overnight, stir in the nuts and then pack into lightweight sandwich containers (such as Glad or Ziploc brand ones) with tight-fitting lids.
Makes 2-3 large portions.

Notes:
If vegetable broth and agave are used this recipe is vegan friendly.

Hearty Spinach & Artichoke Wraps

Ingredients:
1 burrito size flour tortilla, per wrap (see notes)
1 Tbsp ranch dressing, per wrap
2 slices cheese, per wrap
3 slices deli meat, per wrap
14 ounce can water packed artichoke hearts, well-drained
¼ cup baby spinach leaves, per wrap

Directions:
At home –
Lay out a tortilla for each wrap. Brush on the dressing. Lay down the cheese, then the meat on top. Squeeze the artichoke hearts gently to remove all water, chop up two hearts per wrap and sprinkle on top. Lay the spinach on top, roll up each wrap tightly.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Carry to the trailhead in a cooler, insulated with ice packs.

Notes:
To carry safely on the trail build “ice packs” by putting ice cubes in quart freezer bags. When you get to lunch time your wraps will be safely chilled and you will have ice/ice water to add to your water bottle!
Look for the gourmet tortillas in fun flavors like Sun-Dried Tomato or as well ones sold as wraps in the bread section of the store. Water packed artichokes can be found inexpensively at Trader Joe’s, oil packed can be subbed, drain well.
We used Swiss cheese and smoked turkey on our wraps, use what you crave!

Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients:
1½ cups Rice Krispies® or similar cereal
1½ cups quick cooking oats (1 Minute)
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, frozen
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
½ cup peanut butter (preferably natural)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Spray an 8×8″ glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the cereal through chocolate chips in a large heat safe mixing bowl.
In a medium saucepan bring the sugar and syrup to a boil, take off the heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla, stir till smooth.
Quickly add the hot syrup to the dry, mixing while pouring in, with a silicone spatula. Stir quickly till the cereal is coated and immediately dump into the prepared pan, pack down firmly with the spatula.
Let sit till cool and then slice into bars with a thin knife, wrap tightly for carrying.
How many? Depends on your size of bar!

Note:
Substitute any favorite nut or seed butter for the peanut butter and any small dried fruit for the raisins.

~Sarah

My Little Ones – Growing Up and New Gear For Our Outdoor Life

Alistaire tuns 6 weeks today! He has been growing a lot, very hungry. His 3 month clothing became tight over night and now he fits into the 3-6 month and most of the 6 month size clothing. I am so grateful I saved all of Walker’s clothing! The only issue is that a lot of Walker’s clothing was for spring and summer as he was born late March and well, it was actually a warm spring that year! It has been so cold here that Alistaire has been living in sleep and plays night and day. Kind of a bummer to see cute outfits go into the “garage sale” box and he never got to wear them! Oh well – still plenty of cute 6 month clothing ahead 😉

From last week:

As I mentioned about it being cold and nasty – we have been having snow every couple days of late! On Sunday Walker got to run out and have fun:

A couple months ago he wasn’t sure about snow, now it is fun to him. He should love it in June and July when we are hiking in alpine and he gets to play on 6 foot deep snow!

Out on Tuesday running around our library 🙂 Our local library was built in the woods, rather than tearing down all the trees and replanting, so lots of play areas for little ones to enjoy!

Walker turns 2 on Saturday as well! I am planning his cupcakes (I am using a recipe from the new Cake Boy cookbook which I have been reading for review). When I look at him and Alistaire together I am constantly reminded what a big boy Walker is now. There is no baby left, he is a little boy!

Playing on Daddy’s camera gear last night:

And now that I am not pregnant and yay, reached 6 weeks, I can exercise again. Love getting that news! Hiking season is nearly here (OK, if it would quit raining/snowing/hailing). I was at Target and came across this:

It is an Eddie Bauer Backpack w/ Harness. Thing is, it is an actual functional backpack that fits a toddler perfectly. The harness’s leash is a bonus if you will…it can clip on or not – good for when you need extra security while hiking. The actual pack though is better made than most “kids packs” are and is affordable at $15. It has a main compartment that zips closed, a water bottle pocket, a front zippered compartment and a little mesh pocket. And the front has two sternum straps (hence making it a harness system) which also means the pack doesn’t shift around on him. He loves it and wants to wear it everywhere! If you want toddlers to love hiking you have to get them gear that looks like mom and dads – and fits them. He gets to carry his winter hat, mittens, sun hat, a juice box and a snack or two. Nothing heavy, but rather he gets used to wearing his own pack 😉 I did that with Ford when he was young, it worked well. I figure I will watch him and when he is ready I will get him jr. trekking poles – but he isn’t ready yet for those. Too tempting/dangerous for him…hah!

Today was glorious weather though! Sunny as can be! So we went for a walk in the morning before naptime. I don’t miss sunny days if I can help it, especially after all the nasty weeks of weather we have had. When Walker was an infant I had seen Sammy Sacks at Stroller Strides – a couple of moms had them for their older toddlers and preschoolers. I bought one that year (2010) in the regular size. It is big, it now is fitting Walker, he will be able to use it for a couple of years. I got thinking about two weeks ago that buying an infant one for Alistaire might be a good idea, and it was. I received it in two days (they are made in Seattle!). It fit the car seat perfectly, I was amazed at how well it worked. Now I can take him out and not worry about the wind and rain as much. It fits like a boot over the seat and stays on. It can also be used for his Bjorn carriers to keep him warm and dry this spring and summer and as well, when older (like above 6 months) he can wear it over him in the stroller. I went the cheap route and got one of the on-sale prints (flames). Walker has the Blue Hawaiian. They might seem pricey but I can tell you they are worth the cost 0 a dry and warm baby or child is a happy one when going strolling or in a front carrier – especially if it is windy.

Walker with his on:

Alistaire with his:

My boys:

Walker agrees – if you want happy little ones when strolling, make their strollers into cozy little caves! Warm backs, toes and bodies make for happy tikes 🙂

~Sarah

Dinner and Dessert For Two – A Backpacking Feast

Kirk and I write the column Trail Eats for Washington Trails Magazine (well I develop the recipes and he shoots the photos!). I love the column and have had a lot of fun – it keeps my mind active. The last issue out (July/August 2011) was a backcountry feast for two involving fish tacos. Lets say that I don’t fish so I made it cheater fish tacos using easy-to-catch pouched tuna from the grocery store 😉 PS: Recently we did a Vegetarian Dayhiker’s Picnic – so go check it out as well! And if you want to see more of what I write for hiking….come over to TrailCooking!

The three recipes:

Fish Tacos

Bring:

  • 2 5-ounce pouches Albacore tuna or salmon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (1 packet)
  • 2 small or 1 large fresh lime(s)
  • 4 small soft taco size tortillas

In a small spice bag:

  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic

In a sandwich bag:

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage (plain or tri-color with carrots)

Directions:
Heat the oil in your pan (or frypan lid if you have one) over a low flame. Add in the spices and the tuna or salmon, gently heat through till sizzling, stirring often.
Divide between the tortillas, cut the lime(s) in half and squeeze over, top with cabbage as desired.

Serves 2.

Notes:
Do you fish? For tasty fresh caught fish tacos, once you catch and clean your fish, prepare the fish in bite size chunks in the way you prefer – be it gently steamed or pan-fried and then proceed as above. This works great over a camp stove or a campfire. You will want to pack more oil though.

Like heated tortillas? Bring a piece of aluminum foil about 3 times as big as your tortillas (you can gently fold it at home to make it small). Before starting the fish, heat up your tortillas one at a time in a dry pan. Stash the hot tortillas in the foil, folding over like an envelope and they will keep warm while you cook!

Fresh cabbage is easy to carry while hiking and stays crisp for days. For ease, buy pre-shredded bags.

If you like salsa on your tacos you can pick up individual packets at http://www.minimus.biz

Herbed Tomato Rice

In a quart freezer or sandwich bag:

  • 1 cup instant rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup freeze-dried corn
  • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp diced dried onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp lower sodium beef or chicken flavor bouillon
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Also take:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (1 packet)
  • 2 sticks cheddar or pepper-jack cheese (2 ounces)

Directions:
FBC method:
Add 1 1/2 cups near boiling water and the oil to the dry ingredients in a quart freezer bag. Seal tightly and tuck in a freezer bag cozy to insulate for 15 minutes.

One pot method:
Bring 1 1/2 cups water and the oil to a boil, add in the dry ingredients. Take off the heat and cover tightly. Let sit for 15 minutes (in cooler temperatures or at altitude use a pot cozy to retain heat).

Dice up the cheese and fold in.

Serves 2 as a side dish.

Notes:
Find in the cheese sticks in the dairy aisle near the string cheese.

Berry Dessert

In a sandwich bag pack:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried lemon zest

Also take:

  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • Cake of choice for topping (pound cake, desert cups, angel food cake, Twinkies, etc)
  • Pick 2 cups Huckleberries, Blueberries or Blackberries while hiking or in camp.

Add the dry ingredients to your pot, stir in 2 Tablespoons cool water and add the berries. Place the butter on top and over a very low flame on your stove bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring often. Once thickened, take off the stove and serve with your choice of cake.

Serves 2.

Notes:
For a lighter weight version (and ability to carry long-term) substitute 1 Tablespoon butter powder. Butter powder can be found in specialty kitchen shops, online (www.packitgourmet.com) or you can use Molly McButter/Butter Buds, found in the spice aisle at grocery stores. Dried lemon zest is also found in the spice aisle.
A small fresh lemon carried and squeezed in is a wonderful gourmet touch.

~Sarah

Dayhiking Glacier Basin

A long time ago (OK, not that long ago, just feels like it), back in the summer of 2003, Ford and I set off to hike Glacier Basin at Mt. Rainier National Park. He was nearly 5 at the time and we were spending our first summer living in King County, Wa hiking 3-4 days a week. We were following the snow line as it melted in the Cascade Mountains and around Mt. Rainier. Well on that trip I picked wrong and we hit snow about 2 miles in. It was the normal icy crud and I punched through up to my upper thigh and fell forward. Realizing I was lucky I hadn’t broken it I hobbled back down to the truck. Ended up with a pretty bad bruise on my thigh as a reward.

Us along Emmons Moraine that trip:

I meant to go back and finish the hike. I really did. But then summer came and there was so many other trails – really pretty trails, tons of alpine wanderings. Then the next couple years were all about hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail and then that one day in November of 2006 the trail simply ceased to exist after the torrential rains destroyed so much in the area. That favorite saying of hikers and climbers that “the mountains will be waiting” isn’t always true – 18″ of rain can change a lot. So when this past week it was announced that the new trail was complete and open – and my friend Lynn emailed me asking if I wanted to hike – well I knew it was time. Time to finish that trail! Kirk and I had taken Ford and Walker last summer and had checked out the first half of the new trail so I knew the new trail was going to be amazing. (It was built to a level rarely seen these days – a trail so smooth that you can walk without looking down!) Kirk said he would watch Ford and Walker for me, give me a free day out!

This is what I went for – to see an amazing basin:

The trail starts at the White River Campground. The parking lot shares with people picnicking, Wonderland Trail hikers, climbers (Glacier Basin is a major climbing route for the mountain) and hikers. It pays to be early and we were parking before 8 am. That was pretty early for this girl these days…woooh!

The trail takes off in the woods and stays in cool open forest for most of the first mile. The park has also repaired Emmons Moraine trail and built a new access trail to cross the Inter River – Lynn coming back from checking it out:

You get a lot of views of Rainier though, no lack of that! Lynn had never had not hiked the trail before and had thought we’d be in the deep woods most of the time. She was happily surprised. We came up to where the trail hooks around the Inter River, I could see where last year we had picked our way along the river bed to continue. The new trail was so much friendlier!

Me posing in front of the river and the top of Rainier (with the hook of Little Tahoma to the left):

It is getting harder to wear a pack right as the weeks go by, I had borrowed Ford’s current daypack as his doesn’t have a stiff hipbelt. I could wear the soft webbing belt under my stomach and still keep the pack stable! I don’t think anything can help the fashion crime of wearing purple horizontal stripes and all cotton though 😉 No way was I wearing synthetic tech clothing – that and I can’t wear any of my hiking pants currently – and my hiking shirts are all short. I’ll stick for the next few months with my “stylin'” wardrobe that fits.

As the trail starts climbing the views get amazing – you gotta stop and enjoy them!

The trail darts back into the bright forest and takes a hook and goes around the back side, losing all views. Here we encountered the only snow of the trip, a few patches of it. Nothing technical, nothing too scary. All easily walked over. The wildflowers were just appearing. Lots of Glacier Lilies and Avalanche Lilies! The last .7 of a mile of the trail was hard, it is steep. I was feeling every bit of my anemia as we hiked from 5600 feet to 5900 feet. It was to me the hardest 7 tenths I have ever hiked, the snow patches were not helping. Hike 50 feet, stop and breathe. The anemia makes it so it is harder for my blood to process oxygen as I go up in elevation. But I was not going to stop this close from the payoff! And then suddenly it levels out and you come to a junction – a trail heads on to a drop with this view:

Looking down we could see climbers and hikers below us, heading towards St. Elmo Pass:

We turned back a few feet and took the turn into the backcountry camp and walked through – this is the route once takes for the views!

There is even a pretty lake tucked in to the far right as you walk out into the start of the basin. (From certain angles you could see parts of The Burroughs ridge as well)

The basin itself was just simply amazing. And this is just a tiny bit of the view. A tiny bit of Rainier is visible, just a bump of white in the middle. The camp sits in a copse of trees and the “maintained trail” ends at the camp – but it goes on and on, through the meadows, down to the river and across it and then onwards for even more rambling. I was just fine with sitting in the shade, on the edge of the meadows. The bugs were not bad, there was a gentle breeze and it wasn’t hot either. I mean…how often do you get that kind of perfect weather in alpine? In August?

For lunch I made myself a no-cook couscous salad:

We took a long break which for me helped a lot, got my energy back up. After fending off the moochiest pest of a ground squirrel (to the point of throwing pebbles at it) we packed up and headed back down. The views I had missed on the way up were nice to take in – I could see across to the backside of Burroughs and see the trail that winds down from Burroughs 1, across the open slope. I could see Yakima Park as well (that is where Sunrise is). All green now, the snow finally is nearly gone!

As we dropped a bit more and came to the last meadow and we saw a happy bear doing its thing – munching on vegetation. OK,  it is that brown blob in the middle of the photo 😉 I go by the rule of sanity – if you see a bear take a photo from a distance and then carry on. No tempting fate!

The hike out went fast although we passed a lot of people (on the way up we saw only a handful of other hikers – most of which was the 3 climbers with the sweet boom box backpack with rocking tunes……) The Seattle thing that is – get up and have breakfast, look outside and decide to go hiking. Get to the park on 2 pm…..no thanks. Those 8 am starts are so much nicer – and quiet!

The trail is about 7.49 miles total, with our side rambles and the walk to the parking lot and around 1600 feet gain. No scary water crossings either – every creek crossing is bridged!

~Sarah

%d bloggers like this: