Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Solstice at Heather Meadows 06-18-2011

After the short road hike to Hannegan Pass Trail head, a select group of Solstice enthusiasts (aka nwhikers) made a quick trek out to Heather Meadows.

There is still plenty of snow up there, and no indication that anyone plans to do any snowplowing anytime soon. In fact, rumors are circulating that the road to Artist Point may not have a chance to open this summer. EDITED TO ADD: Hey, just saw this tonight in the Bham Herald: Artist Point will not open this summer. Read it here.

The snow is still deep (10 feet at the parking lot) and the Austin Pass restroom building only has its roof visible.

Views were difficult to come by, so I took the liberty of playing with some photoshop effects. Not sure if the differences will be visible in the small versions or not.

Regardless of how the pictures turned out, it was a good trip.

EXCEPT... I must comment on the number of frozen Roo Nuggets that are literally all over the area. What a disgusting mess... for those that don't know: Pack out your poop (and/or your animals poop). Do you leave gifts like that in your friends freezer? Utterly gross. Just becaue it might be covered by snow shortly after a 'deposit' doesn't mean it becomes invisible forever.

Mostly uneventful ride home, except for DHM's dramatic wrong turn into the snowbank (and other assorted driving distractions that kept some on their toes). It sure is nice to be a passenger on Hwy 542 sometimes because the scenery is just so fantastic!

Back to Jen's a bit late for dinner & an evening of relaxing on the farm.

Happy Trails!


Next hike is scheduled for July 16th. Details still TBD.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Road To Hannegan

Location: Hannegan Road, located off the Mt. Baker Highway #542 where it crosses the Nooksack river for the final time before it ascends toward Heather Meadows

Hikers: Jen, Janet & Moi

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weather: Much wetter than the meteorologists led us to believe

I meet up with Jen & Janet out in Maple Falls. Our original plan was to hike the Goat Mountain trail (in the same vicinity of Hannegan), but with the obvious low level clouds and precipitation, we accepted the fact that views would be minimal, if at all.

We also accepted the fact that a walk along the Hannegan road would suffice in these conditions. Jen had already done some research and knew that snow along the Hannegan road was preventing people from driving all the way to the trail head.

Since this would be my first time out that direction, I was excited to visit this area - even if was just a road walk.

On the way up Hannegan Road, we took a short detour to the Nooksack Cirque trail head (another new spot for me). The Nooksack Cirque trail used to start with a bridge, but the bridge is gone so it's necessary to cross on a couple of downed trees, a couple times. It's a risky task, and can prove to be even more risky when you return later in the day if the water level rises, as it generally does.

Eventually, we passed the Goat Mountain trail head and shortly thereafter we parked at a wide spot in the road and started hiking. And picture taking.

Saw a woodpecker with red feathers. Just like Woody. This is what he looks like if I wasn't wearing contacts.

Crossed a solid mass of snow and debris left over from winter avalanches.

Enjoyed the beauty of the crystal clear Nooksack River.

There is a new outhouse at the trail head.

It was pouring buckets by the time we arrived at the trail head, so we had lunch in the sturdy shelter while we waited for the rain to slow down.

Once it did, we ventured up the actual trail for about 100 yards or so, took a picture of a cool rock with a stripe and a picture of the rocky hill above us.

No bears today. It seems the majority of trip reports from hikers heading to Hannegan Pass along this trail include bear sightings (the primary reason that I've not done this hike yet) but they were probably at the annual Bear Solstice Party instead of foraging for food in the rain. Probably it was a potluck.

Lots of False Hellabore or Corn Lily's (Lillies?) were popping up all over the place. Love these plants!

Returned to the vehicle without incident. Back to Jen's house a short while later where we transferred stuff from one car to the other and then headed out for a second hike with others up at Heather Meadows. That report will be coming in the next few days.

Stay tuned...

Happy Trails!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thinkng about a summer solstice sunset hike tonight. You?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weekend Plans

Joining up with a few of my favorite hiking buddies for a visit to Goat Mountain on the Mt. Baker Highway and the 2011 Summer Solstice get-together.

As is the norm for this time of year, we aren't expecting a summit... just a casual hike with fun folks, enjoying the long days and getting familiar with the scenery (and avoiding bears).

Meeting/Departing from Jen's place in Maple Falls at 9am on Saturday.  Home on Sunday for Father's Day.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The hills are calling. Hiking next weekend.

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