Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vacation Day 3; Skyline Divide

Day 3 was going to be one of the harder hikes of our trip.  From the trail notes, the first 2 miles would take several hours and mainly be through thick woods, a fairly boring hike and a huge incline.  One you get to the top of the mountain, the hike was supposed to pay off.  It did, in a way that puts this hike high on my list of all time best hikes.

We arrived at the trail-head by about 7am, it was a little overcast, cold enough to see your breath, and high enough that the air was thin.  Fortunately, we had each found nice hiking sticks by now and began to pack up our gear and lunch.  Up the mountain we went.  The steep hike and thin air made us both short of breath often and it took us a long time to go just two miles.

Then, nearly out of no where, the trees broke and we popped out onto a massive mountain ridge.  The ridge was steep on both sides and covered with meadows filled with wildflowers.  The wildflowers were so plentiful that the entire area sounded of bees.  A constant buzzing and a strong scent of wildflower potpourri.

The ridge continued on for about 2 more miles along the steep crest with amazing views of the Mt Baker range.  It was quite an astonishing sight with massive snow capped mountains close enough to throw a rock unto.

We spend several hours hiking along the ridge and just enjoying the views.  I took pictures but they were unable to capture the true feeling of the top of the mountain we were on, it felt like we were in another country.

The trip back down the mountain felt much shorter and the sun had warmed up the air enough that it was far more pleasant.  After making in back to the car in under 2 hours, we headed back to our favorite campsite which we had reserved for two night.  It was around 5pm and we were going to meet up with some old friends of mine, Todd and Tina, for some camping and next day hiking.

We decided to get a campfire going and have a cookout.  We had some tempeh, veggie dogs, potatoes, garlic, spinach, onions, and more for dinner.  Long conversations with old friends and a hot meal over an open fire concluded with much needed sleep in the open night air made this one of the best days of our trip.

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