Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sourdough Gap (6 miles)

For the last week, we have been having what I would call quintessential autumn weather. Today we took advantage of that to revisit Sourdough Gap. We were last here almost exactly two years ago.

The trail begins parallel to Highway 410. If you go the other way across the road, you get to Dewey Lake

The first natural stopping point along the way is a pretty lake.

A very pretty lake.

Then the trail continues up, with a postcard view any way you look. It can feel strange to actually be in settings like this because even when you are, they still look like paintings and not something that can actually exist. Surreality.

Sourdough Gap.

The view and trail beyond. We have continued on in the past, but today our destination was only the Gap.

We climbed up over some rocks at the side to get to a little alcove that offered a bit of protection from the wind and a little sun to keep us warm while we noshed.

The Big Guy had a cheese sandwich. (and that water down there is the pretty lake I showed you.)

I had this.

Zuzu forgot to pack her lunch. Poor little Zuzu.

This little pipsqueak also forgot to pack lunch, and tried to steal my apple!

To top off this great day, stopped off at Wapiti Woolies where I found two new hiking shirts. This is all sounding a little too perfect, but I can't help it. It just was.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gold Creek 10-7-10 (7 miles)

The Big Guy had an extra day off and decided he'd like to ask his folks to join us on our hike at Gold Creek. His folks are both in their mid-70's and lifelong hikers. I hope we are going as strongly when we are their age. We have had several memorable hikes as a group, and this one did not disappoint.

Prepping for the hike: Mutti checks her pack, Vati laces his boots, and I show off the apres-hike chocolate bar Mutti brought us from Canada.

Some pretty red-headed lichen. These were only a sampling of the profuse plant life that has flourished this year due to the cooler, more humid conditions. Vegetable gardens didn't do as well, but under the forest's canopy the native vegetation exploded.

Zuzu and me squishing some lichen.

Still happily hiking after all these years, the day after their 51st anniversary.

There they go. They're all tall and faster than me.

Looking down on Gold Creek.

This man is looking for mushrooms. This man will not have to look very hard and will be richly rewarded. We hadn't planned on mushrooming on this hike, but we stumbled on so many gigantic King Boletes, Puffballs, and Delicious Milky Caps that we had to harvest.

See? Look at the size of the one in my hand! And these were only half of all the ones we picked. I don't even like mushrooms, but it was exciting to find what I know to be rare.

Something else that is rare happened...

As we were coming back on the trail, we came upon this large tree. The Big Guy stopped, and turned to us with a puzzled look on his face. "We didn't climb over any trees on the way out..." he said. No, we all agreed, we had not. Were we on the wrong path? No, there was only one, can't be mistaken. The answer -- the eerie answer -- was that this tree had fallen across the path after we had gone by. We all sort of stood there a moment absorbing that before going over and around it.

We were very thankful that this occurrence is a rare one indeed.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Snoquera Falls 10-2-10 (6 miles)

When the sun won't come to you, then you must go to the sun.

On the west side of the Cascades, the low cloud cover made for a dark, gray day. A drive just over the southern pass, and the sky was cloudless. This hike was my pick, and although The Big Guy had been in the general area for mountain biking, neither of us had been to the falls.

Near the trailhead was an outdoor theatre. Zuzu was excited to see the show, but there was no matinee scheduled.

The forest floor was covered with the thickest, softest moss. The top of this rock was blanketed so thickly, it felt like a mattress.

Look Snoquera Falls!

Seriously, you don' t see them? There was some water spilling over the rocks but it was not the spectacle it is reputed to be. Still pretty cool rock face though, eh?

We had planned to only go to the falls, but the trail continued.
And so did we.

Glad we did, too.

Zuzu pauses to admire the sun-dappled forest.

And so did we.