Short and Sweet

22 Jul

Hike: Mt. Washington (WA)
By Arlene

*****

Starting out early in the morning for a hike is usually a good way to ensure relative solitude, but that was not the case this morning as we arrived at the Mt Washington trailhead along with scores of others. Fortunately for us, they were not intending to hike but instead they were going to bike, then run, then kayak as part of the Mountain to Sound Relay that begins with a 1/ 4 mile U-turn sprint in the parking lot of Olallie State Park.

Following the adrenalin-laden racers, we sauntered up the slopes toward Mt Washington on the first dry trail we have had in many weeks. It was liberating to be hiking without a rain coat and rain pants. The springtime rains have left the forests green and lush, however, and the sunshine brightened all the greenery.

Stream on the trail to Mt Washington

In a very short time we reached our destination, the Owl Hike Spot which is one of the few spots on the trail with open views of nearby mountains.

Looking out at the view at Owl Hike Spot

Just up the trail was a nice spot for a snack break. As we munched on nuts and cherries, we wandered around and found remnants of the logging history of these slopes.

Old Logging Cable

 On certain sections of the trail, the path is flanked by fields of blooming  Siberian Miner’s Lettuce which filled the hillsides much like baby’s breath in a bouquet of roses.

Field of Siberian Miner’s Lettuce

Once again, it was Arneta who spotted the new (“new” means previously unidentified by us) flower of the hike. Growing by a stream, they looked like bleeding hearts on steroids, but on closer examination, they were corydalis.

Scouler’s Corydalis

As I was taking the photo of the corydalis, I was struck by the brightness around me. I suspect if you live in a climate of predictable spring sunshine, you cannot understand the joy of a Pacific Northwesterner on one of the first dry cloudless days of summer. We are going to have to find where we put that bottle of sunscreen last fall.

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