Thursday, September 13, 2012

Naches Peak Loop...

One of my favorite hikes is the Naches Peak Loop.  It's a hike the whole family can do easily and it has everything you look for in a good hike.  There are little streams, water falls (although they were just trickles right now), lakes, alpine meadows, wildflowers in abundance and of course gorgeous views of the mountains especially my favorite mountain, Mt. Rainier.  And not to mention it is a relatively flat 4 mile loop that makes it perfect for Daniel's little legs. 

And yes, this was the hike where I sprained my ankle, badly.  This time last year the spot in the picture was completely covered in snow with a little stream flowing under the snow where Rue is.  Knowing much better, I wasn't paying attention and walked right over the creek and down I went spraining the inside and outside of my ankle.  Rue had all kinds of teasing remarks for me this time.  Thankfully no sprained ankles this year.

Rue couldn't resist and jumped into this little lake.  It was a bit cold.
Dasiy's friend Ciara joined us.  Daniel wanted to hold her hand a lot and she was very sweet to let him.  

Mt. Rainier!

I am hoping to get in at least one more hike this season.  I'd love to do another big one with just Rue and me.  I have a couple ideas of where I would like to go. 

It rained a few days ago and I have to say it did feel nice and cozy and I felt like I should be baking some pumpkin bread.  It's back to being sunny and even though it's warm the air feels different and the sun isn't quite so intense, the mornings are starting to be more crisp.  

Now I'm off to bake some cookies for my hubby's little camping trip he is doing with some guys from work.  They are going to camp at Mt. Rainier for a night and do an epic guy hike.  I am a little jealous but the guys do need their guy time and my Gramma is visiting from LA right now and I want to spend as much time with her as I can while she is here.  She is going to treat us to a trip to the zoo so you can be sure I will have a zoo post coming up soon!  :) 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall is on the way...but it's not here yet!!

I am not ready for fall to arrive and thankfully our weather here in the Northwest isn't ready either.  We had a light sprinkling of rain last night, the first in quite a while but the rest of the week is suppose to be dry and sunny with the end of the week being in the high 70's.  I absolutely LOVE autumn but I am just not ready yet.  I still have hikes I want to do and after our long winter I still feel like I need to soak in some more sun before another winter sets in. 

This is a picture of my father-in-law George and Daniel up at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.  We camped at Heart O'the Hills and drove up to Hurricane Ridge one evening.  We went on a little walk and enjoyed the evening light. 
The next day we hiked up Hurricane Hill.
Daisy and my mother-in-law Bonita.
Relaxing at the top.
My parents camped with us for 4 nights.  My mom made a shower set up.  That's what the blue tarp is.  They have a shower bag that has a shower head.  It worked great! 
This is how my dad slept.  He was more comfortable sleeping in his chair than in the van.  We called him bear bait.  :)
We did a lovely little hike to Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent.
Marymere Falls
 My mom watched Daniel for us one day so Rue and I could take off and do a nice big hike just the two of us.  We drove out on Obstruction Point Road.  It is the old survey road back in the day when they wanted to put a road through the Olympics but when they saw the scenery it would cut right through they abandoned the project.  You can still drive out on the dirt road.  It is 8 miles out to Obstruction Point.  The road goes through some amazing scenery but it's not a road you would want to drive a little car on.  You probably could if you wanted, but I wouldn't want to.  The road starts at Hurricane Ridge and it feels like you are driving right over the edge of Hurricane Ridge.  It was a lot of fun!  
This is looking back toward the Obstruction Point parking lot.  In the far left of the picture you can see the road going up and over a hill.  
Mt. Olympus.  I had never seen this view of Mt. Olympus before.  We hiked out towards Grand Lake.

Starting the descent down towards Grand Lake.  We didn't go all the way to Grand Lake but we found a nice little "lake" to eat our lunch next to.
Rue wasted no time "jumping" in.  He's actually lying down in the picture.  
It was so great to be out on a hike all by ourselves.  That is my kind of date!  We are both looking forward to doing more hiking and exploring in this area.  We are also talking about doing our first backpacking trip in the next year or so.  

Monday, September 03, 2012

Summer Vacation, Part 4: Glacier Hikes...

We ended up camping for three nights at St. Mary in Glacier Park. One morning my hubby was kind enough to stay with Daniel at the campsite so I could have my first summit climb in Glacier.  Bonnie and Frank took Daisy and I up Mt. Oberlin.  It's not a long climb but it is incredibly steep.  Daisy had already done this climb when she was 8.  She "climbed" down the whole thing on her rear.  This time she stayed on two feet all the way up and all the way down.  :)

When we got to the top this little lady greeted us.  She walked over to that rock turned around and looked at me as if to say, "Okay, go ahead and take your picture.".  The view from the top was breathtaking and it's hard to describe the thrill of finally being on top of a mountain in Glacier, even if it was a small one.  The summit is not very big and its a LONG way down on all sides.

Looking down.  The line going across the green a the top of the picture is Going-to-the-Sun Road.  The height would make anyone a little dizzy.

We climbed down a different way and we came to a spot with all kinds of little pools and streams.  It was something out of Eden.  I could have spent all day lingering here.  (With bear spray, of course.) :)

The next day Daisy graciously stayed at the campsite with the dog and Rue, Daniel, Bonnie, Frank, Melanie and Patrick all hiked up to Lunch Creek Basin.

There are some spots where you have to scramble up and Daniel tackled them like a pro.  At the "toughest" parts we had his little Bob harness on him and Rue kept him very close.  I am glad to be getting him used to this kind of stuff. I want it to be second nature for him as he gets older.
Lunch Creek Basin.  The last time Daniel was here he was 5 weeks old.  I carried him up in the Snuggli.  This time he carried himself up.  I changed his diaper in that meadow.  Gone are the days of me carrying him in the backpack on hikes.  He's just too big now.  I have to say even though I enjoyed those days it is nice to have all the weight on my back.  I am really happy I put all the effort in to bring him on hikes with us starting when he was 5 weeks. Those are priceless memories that I wouldn't trade for anything.  

It was quite windy in the basin.  It felt like all the wind in the park was being funneled through there.  Rue found a nice little shelter for Daniel.
Daniel in his little harness.:)

 Going down was harder than going up for Daniel.  Rue was so sweet and stopped to give him a little pep talk.  Can you see Bob saying hi to the camera? :)

The day we headed back to Kalispell we drove into Many Glacier and did some touristy stuff.  The is the view from the Many Glacier Hotel.  
Big sky!  Uncle Frank took us the scenic way home.  This is looking west toward Glacier.  I love Montana!  

Whew! Done, finally! And this is only a fraction of all the pictures I took on our trip! I took almost 500 in all!  

We have had a blast this summer and it's not over yet.  Tomorrow we are heading up to do a hike near Mt. Rainier, the Naches Peak loop.  It's the fated hike where I sprained my ankle and was in a walking boot for 2 months last year at this time.  I don't plan on spraining my ankle this year! 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Summer Vacation, Part 3: Glacier Park...

We spent our 8th anniversary hiking to Avalanche Lake near Lake MacDonald in West Glacier.  This is Avalanche Gorge. 
Avalanche Lake
Uncle Frank had to work so only Bonnie came with us on this hike.
The next day Uncle Frank and Bonnie cut us loose in the park and we headed up to Logan Pass just the four of us.  We decided to hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook at Logan Pass.  
There were countless mountain goats with their babies and we saw three big horn sheep.  I had never seen big horn sheep in the wild before and I was in awe.  They are so majestic and they carry themselves as if they know it.  
Here are two big horn sheep.  I tried to enlarge the picture more but it was cut off the blog page. 
Rue found us a lovely picnic spot off the beaten path.  We are used to being off the beaten path in Glacier away from the tourists' crowds thanks to Bonnie and Frank being mountain guides in Glacier. 
Momma and baby goat.
Hidden Lake
My handsome men.

To be continued...