Posts Tagged With: Olympia

165 – Sauk Mountain

Having camped at the Gorge Creek Campground after we hiked to Blue Lake – Rainy Pass the day before (see #164 – Blue Lake – Rainy Pass), this was the day we were finally (finally!) going to hike the Sauk Mountain Trail. It was a long drive up a steep, twisted, rutted, more-or-less one-lane gravel road to the trailhead of Sauk Mountain, but once we pulled into the parking lot and took in the view, we were in awe. We had been experiencing several days of thick, lingering fog in the lower elevations, and what a treat to have gained enough elevation to escape that dreary fog. This is the view right out of the parking lot – thick clouds below with clear, blue sky over head. Perfect!

Trailhead view . . .

Trailhead view . . .

At the Sauk Mountain trailhead.

Sauk Mountain trailhead

Sauk Mountain trailhead

It’s always nice to have facilities at the trailhead, and this has got to be one of the prettiest toilets with the grandest view I have ever seen!

Chalet lu . . . with a view

Chalet lu . . . with a view

The trail climbs up – constantly, up, up, up.

The climb

The climb

For approximately 1,000′, it’s nothing but switchbacks, up, up, up.

Colorful switchbacks

Colorful switchbacks

There’s a beautiful view of Mount Baker from the switchbacks leading to the top of Sauk Mountain.

Mount Baker from the trail

Mount Baker from the trail

We could see where the Sauk River meets the Skagit River as we climbed up those switchbacks.

Where the Sauk River meets the Skagit River

Where the Sauk River meets the Skagit River

And here’s Mount Shuksan from the Sauk Mountain Trail.

Mount Shuksan from Sauk Mountain

Mount Shuksan from Sauk Mountain

From the top of Sauk Mountain, there is a junction to another trail that will take you close to 1,000′ down again to the shore of Sauk Lake. Although there are said to be a couple of nice campsites near the lake, I doubt if that lake gets many visitors as the trail did not look very well traveled. It’s a pretty little lake.

Sauk Lake from Sauk Mountain

Sauk Lake from Sauk Mountain

We ran into snow on the back side of Sauk Mountain.

Autumn color along the trail

Autumn color along the trail

This is an in and back hike (or in this case, up and down!), we turned around to make the hike back down to the trailhead.

All downhill from here

All downhill from here

But of course, not before we sat and took in the view as we enjoyed the picnic lunch we’d packed in our backpacks.

Autumn color . . . along the Sauk Mountain trail

Autumn color . . . along the Sauk Mountain trail

Sauk Mountain is the site of a former fire lookout, so the views are spectacular, making this very popular hike well worth the effort. For more information and driving directions to the trailhead, go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/sauk-mountain. In the winter months, the Sauk Mountain Road is a popular snowshoe destination as well. Go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/sauk-mountain-snowshoe – for more information on snowshoeing there. The views are spectacular along that road, so I can see why it is popular for snowshoeing too. Happy Trails!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

164 – Blue Lake – Rainy Pass

Having recently upgraded from a two-person, three season tent to a three-person, four season tent and anxious to give that new tent of ours a try in the great outdoors, we car camped along the beautiful Gorge Lake at the Gorge Lake Campgrounds. Not far from Rainy Pass, the Gorge Lake Campgrounds is our favorite over the more popular (and crowded and noisy) Colonial Creek Campground. Gorge Lake Campgrounds sits enough off of Highway 20 and, protected by Gorge Lake, doesn’t suffer from all the traffic noise that often interrupts the beauty of the Colonial Creek Campground, and since it’s such a small campgrounds, it has a more wilderness-like feeling to it. We left home early in the morning on our two-hour drive to the campgrounds, and it was all but empty when we arrived.

New tent at Gorge Lake

New tent at Gorge Lake

Once our camp was set up, we headed to the Blue Lake trailhead to hike.

Blue Lake trailhead . . .

Blue Lake trailhead . . .

There was a little snow on the boardwalk leading into the forest, but we were expecting snow and were well prepared with both our snowshoes and ice trekkers.

Along the trail

Along the trail

We were in search of the golden larches, and it felt like we hit the jackpot!

Golden larches

Golden larches

The trail was an easy thousand foot elevation gain over its just over two miles to the lake, and as we got higher, more snow covered our path. The snow was crusty so our ice trekkers made for great traction.

(pic by Kenton Doughty)

(pic by Kenton Doughty)

Sunshine, golden larches, snow, a beautiful day and the best hiking partner, who would ask for anything more?

Along the trail

Along the trail

Blue Lake was pretty much frozen solid, and in a position that was mostly shaded, so the larches weren’t showing as brilliantly gold as the ones along the trail to the lake, but it certainly was a lovely, alpine lake. We sat above the lake and enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back down to the trailhead.

(pic by Kenton Doughty)

(pic by Kenton Doughty)

Kent Doughty, at Blue Lake.

Kent Doughty at Blue Lake

Kent Doughty at Blue Lake

This was the second Blue Lake we’ve hiked to recently. The other Blue Lake is on the way to Dock Butte (go here #161 – Dock Butte & Blue Lake – to read about that hike), and this one is by Rainy Pass. Go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/blue-lake – for information about the Blue Lake, Rainy Pass hike, and here – http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/camping.htm#CP_JUMP_628809 – for information about the Gorge Lake Campgrounds. There are even more Blue Lakes in Washington, it would be fun to hike to all of them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

163 – Olympia – Waterfront Walk – Port of Olympia & Fiddlehead Marina

Just because it was business that took us to Olympia didn’t mean that we couldn’t take time out to explore some of their urban trails too. We like the charm of Olympia and could easily relocate there, so we did our best to add in as much outdoor, urban trail time as possible between the business sort of commitments of our day.  Having thoroughly explored the Capitol grounds and buildings earlier in the day (see #162 – Olympia Capitol Buildings & Grounds), next on our list was their lovely Waterfront Walk along the Port of Olympia and Fiddlehead Marina.

At the kissing statue

At the kissing statue

There is a lovely boardwalk along the dock at Fiddlehead Marina.

Dock at Fiddlehead Marina

Dock at Fiddlehead Marina

We were “here”!

We are "here"

We are “here”

Fiddlehead Marina, beautiful – even on an overcast day.

Fiddlehead Marina

Fiddlehead Marina

I admired the houseboats docked at Fiddlehead Marina.

I could live HERE

I could live HERE

Live entertainment was provided by this playful little harbor seal. So sweet!

Harbor seal swimming

Harbor seal swimming

For more information on the Port of Olympia, Fiddlehead Marina and this walk, visit the Port of Olympia website here – http://www.portolympia.com/.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

162 – Olympia – Capitol Building and Grounds

Visiting Olympia on business, we planned our trip to include plenty of extra time so that we could enjoy the city. In many ways, Olympia is similar to my home town of Bellingham. It’s rather like a small version of Bellingham and I always feel right at home there. I enjoy the fact that it’s not as congested nor crowded, that it doesn’t seem to still be stuck in the trying-to find-it’s-new identity mode like Bellingham, it’s quaint, composed, classy and to me has more sophistication and charm than you can find further north. It was the season for fall colors, and even on an overcast, drizzly day, colors were intense.

Having a great time, wish you were here

Having a great time, wish you were here

We spent several hours along the paths and trails throughout the Capitol grounds before heading into some of the official Capitol buildings for our own, private tour. We covered a lot of ground!

Our State Capitol buildings . . .

Our State Capitol buildings . . .

Then we went inside for our own, private tour of some of the Capitol buildings.

At the door to the Legislative Building

At the door to the Legislative Building

We were surrounded by beautiful marble.

Looking down

Looking down

And lots more detail.

Capitol building details

Capitol building details

Then it was time for lunch – a working lunch on the Capitol grounds. Others were out on their lunch breaks getting fresh air and exercise along the trails through the Capitol grounds, and some were repeatedly running up and down the steps of the Legislative Building for their daily workout (who needs a gym anyway?).

Computing on the Capitol grounds

Computing on the Capitol grounds

Go here –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_State_Capitol – for information on Olympia, the Washington State Capitol.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Fringe Association

Knitting ideas, inspiration and free patterns, plus crochet, weaving, and more

#hotelprius

The blog about living life out of a prius and the adventures and life lessons along the way.

Oregon Coast Living

Life on the Coast

Central Oregon Coast NOW

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW)

Wool Ewe...

wash-card-comb-spin...wool?

Southern Oregon Trails

Living & Hiking in Oregon

The Knitting Theologian

A Knitter's Blog

On the Needles

Knitting isn't so hard... sometimes

Live To Ride, Ride To Live!

Life's just better on two wheels!

Hiking Frogs

French hikers around the world

40 Days in the Wilderness:

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through Oregon with Gretchen, Dave and (not) Tripp

Mots et Pensées

A story about knitting, crochet and words

Feel Good Knitting

Because Knitting Should Feel Good

Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

woodlandknitter

Wool, Waldorf and Wanderings

Other time, other place

Just another WordPress.com site

Wandering the Wild

Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail and Beyond

Deep Green Love

The happy side of green!

Guthook Hikes!

Hike Light, Hike Far, Hike Often

%d bloggers like this: