Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Buck Creek Pass Picture Show

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Got in a nice hike this weekend (and Monday) with Stacey and my dad. 10 miles and 3000 elevation up to Buck Creek Pass about 15 miles West of Leavenworth, WA.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It was amazing.

The hike was a bit of a grunt, but the trail started at an old mining town called "Trinity." There are tons of old abandoned mining towns in the Cascades, and this one is fairly well-preserved. The trail then wrapped around mountains and crossed dozens of little creeks, winding its way through the valleys and eventually up a mountainside to the Pass.

It is a pretty remote hike, into the heart of the Glacier Peak forest. It is also currently a detour on the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico, due to flooding which wiped out another section of the trail.

We hiked all the way up to Buck Creek Pass on the first day, leaving Seattle at 7:00am and arriving in camp as the sun was setting around 8:00pm.

Stacey had a few up close and personal experiences with deer, chipmunks, bugs and butterflies. My dad has been hiking in the Cascades for nearly 40 years and that was the closest he's ever been to deer.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

No zoom on that shot either!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The bug is about as long as my dad's finger up to his second knuckle. It had two long antenna-feelers and flew straight into Stacey's face earlier. Well, its brother did... cause his brother got SQUASHED.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This was a meadow filled with butterflies. Stacey's about to touch a little black butterfly in the above shot.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We also had a few close encounters with Marmots. These two were on lookout laying on the rock. They are basically mountain beavers. I wanted one for a pillow.

Sadly, we don't have great shots of the close encounters we had with chipmunks!

The second day we hiked up to High Pass Trail (I believe?) and didn't have to carry our packs, which was niice.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We climbed back down and played cards and rested in our tents for a quick nap in the afternoon. We then climbed towards Flower Bowl and watched the sun set on Glacier Peak.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We had a great kitchen set up, and had some tasty freeze-dried meals both nights.

Monday we woke up before the sun and made our way out to the sunrise on Glacier Peak--so blue. We hiked the 10 miles out about two hours faster than our hike up and got to the trailhead around 1:30pm. We had plenty of time to get back to Seattle, then Portland for the work day today. Except for one thing.

The car wouldn't start.

Dead battery. Quite possibly the worst feeling in the world. On par with toilet water going up to the brim about to over-flow after plugging up the toilet.

Being a weekday, there weren't any hikers at the trailhead, and the first pair we saw didn't have jumper cables (nor did we). Three hours of waiting later, because we were out of cell phone range, two older hikers made their way out from the trail, who we had passed early in the day.

They didn't have jumper cables either.

I decided to divide and conquer, sending my father out with the couple to the ranger station with a cell phone to get some help. My dad is about the least techincally-savvy person on earth, and needed a lesson in cell phone usage. Needless to say, Stacey and I were a bit worried. We distracted ourselves with cards and playing with more chipmunks. We would put peanuts on the side mirrors of the car and the chipmunks would climb up through the engine (the hood was up), onto the front window and then get the peanut.

An hour and a half later, the one private resident at Trinity arrived in a truck with his two husky dogs and one chiwawa. We flagged him down and he thankfully gave us a jump.

We found my dad at the rest stop (I guess there was no ranger station?) with a tow truck. We honked and he was RELIEVED to see us. His story was pretty amazing too, but we all made it back safely to Seattle by 10:00pm and Stacey and I made it to Portland by 2:00am.

Work wasn't too much fun today, even though I didn't arrive until 10:45am!

More summer fun to come this next weekend out at the coast with my three best friends, more pictures for sure!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home