Railroad Grade hike 14 August 2018

Railroad Grade is a hike that skirts the lateral moraine of the Easton glacier of Mount Baker. This was my first hike with the SnoKing Happy Hikers group; my friend Brenda introduced me to this fun group.  The route starts with a walk in the woods and then a stream crossing on the trail to Park Butte. Luckily, the bridge was in place! After a few miles of walking, there’s an intersection; we turned upward on Railroad Grade. After about a mile of climbing, we took a side trail to the shaded High Camp area where I had nice lunch with Carol, Brenda and Ed.  We saw lots of nature: marmots, butterflies and lots of intriguing plants.

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Route up Railroad Grade (purple) recorded by Gaia navigation app, plotted using CalTopo
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Happy Hikers ascending Railroad Grade
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Siesta view of Mount Baker from High Camp

After lunch and a siesta, Brenda and I continued up to the trail to the climbers camp at 5800 feet. We explored this alpine, rocky area. We scrambled up the rocks alongside the glacier; I eventually went up to about 6400 feet while Brenda decided to stay a bit lower. We saw lots of climbers, many of them practicing climbing skills on Easton glacier. After a few hours up high, we descended down to the high camp area for dinner. We then decided to walk out. We had a little navigation challenge after crossing the bridge but after a few minutes we spotted the trail into the woods and out to the car. This was a great first hike with the Happy Hikers,  a group I hope to do many more hikes with.

As I often do, I made a number of naturalist observationsiNat20180814

Alpine Lakes Grand Tour 2-7 August 2018

The best challenges help one grow physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The Alpine Lakes Grand Tour challenged me in all these dimensions. My friends Linda, Roger and I set out to do this tour from the Snow Lake trailhead near Snoqualmie Pass to the Snow Lake trailhead near Leavenworth. We estimated this as a 134 km (83 mile) hike, including about 31 km (19 miles) through the Enchantments region of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness  of Washington state. The elevation gain was 7,897 meters (25,910 feet) and elevation loss was 7,555 meters (24,787 feet)

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We started this trip at 8 AM on Thursday 2 August and finished at 1215 AM on 8 August; a total time of 136 hours and 15 minutes. We originally planned this as a 5 day trip, about half way through we needed to add an extra day.

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Alpine Grand Lakes Tour route (link to CalTopo map)

Daily Itinerary and highlights

  1.   20.6 km (12.8 mi)  Gain 1,053 m (3,455 ft)  Loss 1,151 m (3,776 ft)
    (Snow Lake, camp at Hardscrabble Creek)
  2.   20.1 km (12.5 mi)  Gain   955 m (3,133 ft)  Loss 1,092 m (3,583 ft)
    (bushwhack to Dutch Miller Gap, Lake Ivanhoe, camp on PCT above Waptus Lake)
  3.   21.5 km (13.4 mi)  Gain   898 m (2,946 ft)  Loss    943 m (3,094 ft)
    (Cathedral Pass, camp at Paddy Go Easy trailhead)
  4.   23.4 km (14.5 mi)  Gain  1,335 m (4,380 ft)  Loss 1,703 m (5,587 ft)
    (Paddy Go Easy pass, Meadow creek trail, Jack Ridge, camp at Trout Lake)
  5.   18.1 km (11.2 mi)  Gain  1,377 m (4,518 ft)  Loss 1,019 m (3,343 ft)
    (Windy Pass, camp mear Stuart Colchuck trailhead)
  6.   30.3 km (18.8 mi)  Gain  2,279 m (7,477 ft)  Loss 1,647 m (5,404 ft)
    (Asgaard Pass, Enchantments upper basin)
    Total stats
    134 km (83.3 mi)  Gain  7,897 m (25,909 ft)  Loss 7,555 m (24,787 ft)

Physically, this was a challenging backpacking trip.  There were lots of up and down.  (I’ll add a map and elevation profile once I process my GPS recordings.)  The first two days, I was experiencing nausea and fatigue, these were side effects of receiving a shingles vaccination the day before we started the trio. Also, my backpacking style is old school with almost no ultralight equipment.  I started out with a pack weight of 18 kg (39 pounds).

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One big lesson learned is to convert myself to ultralight backpacking. Lucky for me Roger and Linda are experts that can help me.

Mentally, this trip let me explore the flora and fauna of the Cascade mountains. The more I observe, the more I want to know.  This quote is often on my mind: “Each one of us adds a little to our understanding of Nature, and from all the facts assembled arises a certain grandeur.” – Aristotle as quoted by Bradford Washburn.

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Shasta Fern (Polystichum lemmonii) on Paddy Go Easy Pass

Emotionally, there were some ups and downs for me. The first couple of days I felt awful, seriously thought of turning around and walking back out.  I think my ultrarunning experience gave me some added emotional resilience to keep going.  Also, when we decided we needed another day on the trail, there were some challenges communication the delay to my wife. Eventually, I was pretty certain I got a text message out. Also, I asked a couple of folks driving away from  trailheads along the way to call her, happy to say that both of them did this!

There were some real ups as well, such as looking back from slogging up Asgaard Pass and seeing beautiful Colchuck Lake or sauntering trough the wildflowers on the Meadow Creek trail. It made me appreciate my place in the Universe.

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Colchuck Lake from Asgaard Pass
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wildflowers on the Meadow Creek trail

Many thanks to the  designer of this excellent 2018 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge route  and for Linda and Roger putting up with my grumpiness when I was sick the first couple of days.

 

Easy Pass UPWC 28-29 July 2018

With a name like Easy Pass, it must be easy… perhaps in a relative sense.

Summary

On 28 July 2018 I set out with my friends Linda, Roger and Rob on my third UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge EasyPass.  We fastpacked the route, starting at Easy Pass trailhead and camping overnight at Junction camp. We finished the next day at Colonial Creek campground. My elapsed time was 28 hours 51 minutes. Overall, it was a wonderful 40 km trip, despite hot weather and a plethora of flies.

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Easy Pass to Colonial Creek Route

Easy Pass route

Details

We set out from the Easy Pass trail at 8:01 AM on 28 July.

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Intrepid UltraPedestrians John, Linda, Roger and Rob

Our route up the Easy Pass Trail climbed up steeply for about 6 km, until we reached  2100 meter Easy Pass. Near the top, there was an observation camera from the Cascade Carnivores project; situated to look for wolverines, martens and other rare carnivores.

After a nice rest and a bit of exploring at Easy Pass, we headed down switchbacks  into Fischer Basin. During the day, I made more than 40 botanical observations.  This entire section had some spectacular views.

 

Had a nice brekky and some great views of the mountains.  Around 8 Am, we started descending down the Thunder Creek trail. The forest ecology during the descent was quite different and I made about 30 botanical observations on 29 July.

 

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Thunder Creek was raging

 

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Forest ecology on Thunder Creek trail

I was out at the Colonial Creek trailhead at 12:51 PM, elapsed time was 28 hours 51 minutes.  Overall, this was a great two day fastpack trip and another fun UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge. Not running allowed me to observe the ecology closely while enjoying the company of three excellent companions. Next UPWC trio is

Lessons Learned

  1.  First time using Gaia app on my phone.  Gaia worked well and I was able to download .gpx and .kml files.
  2. Decided to use a bear vault, added several pounds of weight. My base weight was about 11 kg. without food and water. I am going to lighten up a bit for nest backpack.
  3. Brought a battery pack and was able to recharge my phone. Unfortunately, forgot the correct adapter for my camera so my photos were mostly lower quality cell phone images. I had been hoping to obtain some high quality macro images with my new Olympus TG-5 camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking East from Easy Pass
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Looking West from Easy Pass

As we walked through the Fischer Creek basin we moved from alpine to  meadow and then forest ecosystems.

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Fischer Basin alpine meadow descending from Easy Pass
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Forest Ecosystem

About 2 km east of Junction Camp we encountered a gnarly section of trail. There was a poor run-out if one should slip and the trail was eroding as we walked on it. Looking back, we light have been better to climb up and around this segment.

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We reached Junction Camp, having walked about 23 km from the Easy Pass trailhead. Along the way, we took a number of breaks due to the heat. I didn’t bring a thermometer but I’d estimate it was more than 31 degrees. I had a leisurely dinner and a good nights rest. I borrowed a bear vault from the Parks Service to store my food.  (Concerned about bears and other creatures getting into my food).

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Mountain View from Junction Camp, maybe Tricouni Peak, with hanging glacier?

Had a nice brekky and some great views of the mountains.  Around 8 Am, we started descending down the Thunder Creek trail. The forest ecology during the descent was quite different and I made about 30 botanical observations on 29 July.

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Thunder Creek was raging
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Forest ecology on Thunder Creek trail

I was out at the Colonial Creek trailhead at 12:51 PM, elapsed time was 28 hours 51 minutes.  Overall, this was a great two day fastpack trip and another fun UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge. Not running allowed me to observe the ecology closely while enjoying the company of three excellent companions. Next UPWC trio is Alpine Lakes Grand Tour starting on 2 August 2018, 4 days after the Easy Pass challenge.

Lessons Learned

  1.  First time using Gaia app on my phone.  Gaia worked well and I was able to download .gpx and .kml files.
  2. Decided to use a bear vault, added several pounds of weight. My base weight was about 11 kg. without food and water. I am going to lighten up a bit for nest backpack.
  3. Brought a battery pack and was able to recharge my phone. Unfortunately, forgot the correct adapter for my camera so my photos were mostly lower quality cell phone images. I had been hoping to obtain some high quality macro images with my new Olympus TG-5 camera.
  4. Instant mashed potatoes are delicious.
  5. Made sure to keep drinking plenty of water with electrolytes, I felt great on this hike.

 

 

Southwest Spring 2018 Road Trip 

 

Southwest Spring 2018 Road Trip  (22 May to 7 June 2018)

“Tomorrow is a good day to do everything”

I signed up to do the Bryce Canyon 100 mile run in early 2018, along with my friend Roger. Since the run was at high elevation (7000 to 9500 feet), I wanted to go down to the Southwest early to acclimate to high elevation, sunny days and cold nights.  Brenda was the only one of my friends crazy enough to want to do this. They did some initial planning in March, but decided they would be flexible and would try to explore places they hadn’t seen going to and from the Southwest.

The theme of the trip came from an Andy Griffith show where Opie says: “Tomorrow is a good day to do everything.” This proved true from the start of the trip which was delayed by a day so I could get a temporary crown installed on a tooth that broke that weekend. We packed up Brenda’s new Subaru on 21 May and set out on the road the morning of 22 May. Brenda was the driver for the whole trip; John was the navigator. With one or two exceptions that worked out well. Brenda’s Subaru was a great road trip vehicle and she is now a master of all the new electronic systems – they worked well.

Our first stop was the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, just outside of Walla Walla, Washington. After a picnic lunch, we climbed up the hill to view the grave site of the missionaries who were massacred here. The view was spectacular. We thought a bit about what life must have been like here in the 1840s.

We camped the first night at Minam State Recreation Area campground, along the Wallowa River in northeast Oregon. It was a pleasant site and we enjoyed walking along the river and seeing some wildflowers. We slept out in cots most of the night, except for a brief thunderstorm interruption. In the morning, I fired up the JetBoil stove for several cups of coffee… we did this every day. After all, we don’t have a problem with coffee; we just have a problem without it.

IMG_20180522_181523Minam State Recreation Area and Wallowa River

We drove down along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway into Elgin, Oregon. We had a nice breakfast at the Cowboys and Angels restaurant. We continued down to La Grande for a brief resupply. We talked to the local high school cross country coach who recommended visiting the Mt. Emily Recreation Area trails just outside of town. We headed southeast on Interstate 84 and after just a couple of miles, CRACK – a rock smashed into the windshield. It immediately started to crack. Luckily, the crack never crossed into the driver’s field of view.

Originally, we planned on visiting Craters of the Moon National Monument in central Idaho.  We called ahead and asked about the weather. The ranger said 70% chance of thunderstorms that night. Uh oh, neither of us are fans of thunderstorms. We looked at some other possible sites in southern Idaho, it was even worse. So, time for some quick replanning; we decided to drive into Salt Lake City a day early. Brenda put the pedal to the medal, we cranked up some tunes on the CD player and I got on the phone to change our reservations at the Salt Lake City bed and breakfast. (By the way, that was the only planned reservation the entire trip). We arrived at the Ellerbeck Mansion B&B about 8 PM, where we met our hosts Tara and Scott. We found our rooms and then got in a nice walk of Temple Square, the Utah State capitol and Memory Grove Park, returning after dark.

 

 

 

Salt Lake City Evening Walk to State Capitol

 In the morning, I got in a nice 5 mile run around downtown Salt Lake City; it’s quite peaceful at dawn. We had a great breakfast at the Ellerbeck B&B, and then packed up for the Grand Canyon area. After breakfast, we had another nice walk around the old section of Salt Lake City.

 

Morning walk around Salt Lake City

On Wednesday 24 May, we left Salt Lake City in the late morning so that we could avoid the traffic mess around this hectic metropolitan area. We drove on Interstate 15 for about 200 miles and then cut over to Highway 89 via Highway 20. On the way down, we decided that we’d do a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike, so we booked the Trans Canyon shuttle to get us back from the South Rim to the North Rim the following Monday. Brenda has become the master of the cruise control; her new nickname is Flicker Finger. We proceeded south until we reached Kanab, Utah where we stopped for a nice Mexican meal (and some Polygamy Porter) at Nedra’s Too restaurant, an old favorite of ours. We then headed towards the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

We drove out to the East Rim viewpoint of the Kaibab National Forest, along the Arizona Trail where we set up camp. This location was about 8 miles from the Grand Canyon National Park entrance. John had camped here previously. Our location was along the rim and about 0.4 miles roundtrip from the car and bathroom. We slept out on cots; it was cold and windy but very beautiful. There was no one else camped here. We kept our camp set up in this area for 5 nights.

We woke up early (and cold) on Friday 25 May. We decided that it was to be a no driving day so we explored the Arizona trail. We just had a mellow day hiking and relaxing while also getting used to life at 8900 feet elevation. Saw lots of flowers, deer and a Greater Short-horned Lizard.

 

 

 

 

Sunrise and Sunset on our East Rim camp

On Saturday 26 May, we headed over to the North Rim area. Along the way in, we saw a bison herd in the meadow. We parked at the campground store and then walked the Transept Trail over to the lodge for breakfast.

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Hiking the Transept trail beats driving

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American Bison in Grand Canyon meadow

  Afterwards, we hiked back and then spent several hours hanging out at the porch of the store while John organized his gear for the upcoming race. We met Gunter from Austria, who was quite an adventurer. He once rode a bike from Tibet to Austria; he was also going rim to rim the same day as us. We talked to a couple of bicyclists, Bill and his wife from Tucson. They were in their early 70s and gave us some tips about staying fit. Bill recommends Elete Electrolyte Drops and Vitacost ROOT2 BioCell Collagen Hyaluronic Acid for joint health.

After another walk of the Transept trail, we came back to the campground and met a nice couple from Russia who we traveling the world in their car. John was able to use a bit of his rusty Russian to say hello. They had many adventures as they traveled through Iran, Pakistan, Australia and lots of other places. They were heading south to Mexico.

Here is their YouTube channel Mirvmeste (It’s in Russian) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmEgTvZv_JE7rFAt82dU2Wg

 

New friends from Russia, they are world travelers

  On Sunday morning 28 May, we were up very early for our rim to rim hike. We drove in to the North Kaibab trail head about 4 AM to get a good parking space. On the way in, the temperature was about 25 degrees. We arrived at the trail head, had coffee and breakfast and took a little rest. We left around 7 AM and head down the familiar North Kaibab trail.  We stopped at Coconino Overlook, Redwall Bridge, and Roaring Springs for a while. We made a longer stop at the Manzanita rest area where we met a three generation hiker family from Georgia (72 year old grandfather, father, and 17 year old grandson.) The grandfather told us he hikes Rim to Rim, takes a 3 day break at a lodge and then hikes back Rim to Rim. While we were talking a rock squirrel almost chewed a hole in my pack to get at our peanut butter!

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Coconino Overlook, on our way rim to rim

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Kaibab Agave Agave utahensis ssp. kaibabensis a favorite plant of mine

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Brenda at Roaring Springs junction

We continued journeying toward the Colorado River. We took a several hour siesta at Cottonwood campground, where we found some nice shade from the 92 degree afternoon heat. We had a great conversation with four young people from India who were in the US studying computer science. They were very interested to hear Brenda’s impressions of traveling around India. We were fascinated to hear their opinions of the USA. We also met some young Americans from the Midwest. They were pretty surprised to hear that we were doing a one day rim to rim hike.  While we rested, we both consumed quite a bit of electrolytes. We used the Tailwind and Nuun brands of electrolytes on this hike.

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Desert Spiny Lizard Sceloporus magister

We left Cottonwood about 5 PM and sauntered down to Phantom Ranch. It was hot, but tolerable. It was us and lots of lizards on the trail. We made it down to Phantom Ranch just after dark. While fine dining was happening at the restaurant, we had a feast of peanut butter sandwiches – we even gave one away to a fellow hungry hiker. We fired up the stove and had some hot coffee and cocoa.  We rested a bit and left Phantom about 10 PM, using John’s bright headlamps. We encountered a couple of ring tail cats and a weird hiker; we sent him the opposite direction from us. We crossed the silver bridge and walked along the moonlit Colorado River. We started upward and had a nice rest as we climbed out of the basement layer of rock.

 

Our night time route finding went fairly well with one exception. We hit an area of high grass or reeds in the area of Pipe Creek. We lost the trail for a few minutes and had to scout around to regain it; more excitement than we cared for at 2 AM! Having a paper map and a GPS helped. We reached Indian Garden about 3 AM and had a nice long rest along with some food and electrolytes. It was about 60 degrees here. The entire walk out we never had to add extra layers. We left Indian Garden about 4 AM and walked the rest of the way up the South Rim, with 15 minute rest breaks at 3 Mile and 1.5 Mile rest houses. We reached the South Rim about 7 AM

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View from South Rim Looking back to North Rim

 As always, it’s a little disconcerting to walk out of the canyon into the crowds. We headed to the Bright Angel Lodge to cleanup and have breakfast, which was delicious (and reasonably priced). We walked over to the Backcountry Office to ask the rangers a few questions and then rode the shuttle around the South Rim complex (Grand Canyon Land). We rejuvenated ourselves with some large ice cream cones and then made our way over to Bright Angel Lodge to wait for the Trans Canyon Shuttle back to North Rim.  I did some napping on the 4.5 hour shuttle ride, having been awake for about 36 hours… perhaps with a little shut eye during rest breaks. We got back to our East Rim camp in the early evening, tired but happy.

On Tuesday 29 May, we broke camp at East Rim. While packing up, we met a mountain bike camper who was heading out for a couple of days along the Arizona Trail, this looked like a nice adventure. We headed back in to the North Rim for breakfast. On the way in and out of the park, we saw the bison herd, this time there were some newborn bison calves.

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Baby bison calves, Grand Canyon meadow

We left Grand Canyon behind and headed towards Kanab, Utah. On the way, we stopped for several hours at the Jacob Lake Trading Post. We had quite a long conversation about sand paintings, Navajo rugs and creation myths with John Rich Jr. We wanted to go to John’s lecture that night but we were pretty tired when we got to Kanab.

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Hand woven rugs, Jacob Lake Trading Post, Arizona

We stayed two days at the Purple Sage Inn, which was a hospitable bed and breakfast just one block from downtown Kanab. We had a nice dinner at Nedra’s Too restaurant and then had a walkabout through Kanab.

 

 

Purple Sage Inn Kanab, Utah and book shopping at the Thrift store

On Wednesday morning 30 May, we started with an hour long breakfast feet at the Purple Sage Inn. We spent the morning walking through downtown Kanab. One highlight was the Thrift store, we spent several hours shopping and talking to some interesting local people. I bought four interesting books for $7.  We had a pleasant afternoon napping and hanging out on the back porch of our inn.  Tory gave us some great insights into mountain lion behavior.  We had an excellent dinner at Wild Thyme restaurant and then a nice long walk around Kanab, including a visit to the local library. That evening, we had a wide ranging conversation at our bed and breakfast with Cathy, Tory, John and Lavonne about politics, religion, travel to China, hunting, and hiking.  The think I remember most came from Cathy: “Hands that help are holier than lips that pray.”  While we all came at our conversation from different approaches, it was a pleasure to have an intelligent exchange of views.

 

 

Relaxing day exploring Kanab, Utah

 On Thursday, we had another great breakfast at the Purple Sage Inn. We got an interesting view of immigration from Manny, a Korean- American who spent a lot of his childhood in Mexico. His view towards immigration was very conservative: “Stand in line.”  We spent an hour after breakfast on some last explorations of Kanab. We visited the Best Friends Animal Shelter downtown info storefront. In a future trip, we both thought visiting the large Best Friends complex just outside of town would be worthwhile.  We headed north to Hatch, Utah in the early afternoon. A few miles outside of Hatch was Proctor Canyon, the starting point of the Bryce Canyon 100. We set up our dusty camp and then met Roger and Linda, who had flown down from Seattle. We attended the pre-race meeting and went to bed early, anticipating the race start at 5 AM.

On Friday June 1 we were up at 345 AM; time for some coffee and a quick bite to eat and then off to the Bryce Canyon 100 mile race start at 5 AM.  There’s a whole separate story about this run. I ran with Roger but his cold caught up with him at Mile 34.  I went on to finish 80 miles; it was memorable.

 

 

Roger and John running near Bryce Canyon

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Mile 80 was the end of the line for me!

Brenda and Linda were able to explore Bryce canyon National Park while Roger and I were out running around. The next morning (Saturday 2 June) I connected up with the gang at Mile 80. We headed up to Bryce Canyon General store and after a shower (I needed to use the handicapped shower) and some salad, ice cream and coffee I started feeling human again. We headed back and packed up our dusty camp at Proctor Canyon. After that, we headed into the Best Western in Cedar City, Utah for a couple of nights. The hot tub was AWESOME!

On Sunday 3 June, we all had a leisurely breakfast at the Best Western (and some of us hit the hot tub). Afterwards, Linda, Roger, Brenda and I got in some short hikes at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

 

Cedar Breaks National Monument

On Sunday afternoon, we cleaned up our gear and repacked Brenda’s Subaru. We could carry an impressive amount of gear in this car but it sure helped to have it organized. We had a nice dinner at Sizzler, the salad bar was a great deal and we ate copiously.  We went for a nice walk after dinner through the Veterans Memorial park and on the trail along the river.  The hot tub was a good end to a fun day.

 

 

Cedar City trails and Veterans Memorial

After breakfast the next morning, Roger and Linda headed back towards Seattle.  Brenda and I spent a few extra hours in Cedar City, which is the home of Southern Utah University. We had some great coffee at the Grind Coffee House. In the early afternoon, we headed up to Great Basin National Park. The driving was on some out of the way roads, we saw quite a bit of open range cattle and some pronghorns.  At one point, Brenda was racing a wild turkey! We stopped for nachos and beer at the Great Basin park café and the headed up to the Wheeler Peak campground at 9900 feet. After setting up camp, we hiked to the Bristlecone grove. We also determined that going to the summit of Wheeler Peak (13,060 feet)  wasn’t going to be possible for us due to snow (we didn’t bring crampons).

 

Brenda racing a wild turkey; View of Wheeler Peak from our camp

On Tuesday 5 June, we were greeted at dawn by Wheeler Peak. After some coffee and breakfast, we hiked the Bristlecone and Rock Glacier trail on the upper slope of Wheeler Peak. We climbed up to near 11,000 feet on a sunny morning hike. We spent a little time exploring and did a glissade down a small slope. We had a great time among the bristlecone pines and exploring the upper reaches of Wheeler Peak.

 

Bristlecone Pine grove and Rock glacier, Wheeler Peak Nevada

We packed up camp and made the fairly short (80 mile) drive to Ely, Nevada. We stayed at the Hotel Nevada – a classic casino hotel. We had a very good Mexican dinner at Juanita and Chava’s Taco Shop. After dinner, we walked about downtown Ely, including a visit to the local library. Downtown Ely seems to be slowly shutting down but there are a couple museums that might be worth seeing on a future trip. We had a free frozen margarita at the hotel bar; they were worth what we paid for them.

On Wednesday morning 6 June, we had a last walk around Ely and then breakfast at the Denny’s restaurant in the Hotel Nevada. We drove north 140 miles on Highway 93 to Wells, Nevada where we explored the town a bit. We had a nice talk with Jessica, the librarian at the county library and walked a bit through town. When you get away from the main road facade, there’s a lot to learn in these small towns. After a nice break in Wells, we headed up to Twin Falls, Idaho.

At Twin Falls, we parked and walked into town across the Perrine Bridge, which spans the Snake River canyon. We watched base jumpers leaping from the bridge to land 470 feet below. After, we had a good Mexican dinner at La Fiesta restaurant, an old favorite. We than made the drive from Twin Falls over to Baker City, Oregon.

In the morning, we explored Baker City. The downtown area is somewhat revitalized. We were both impressed with the beautiful Baker County library; it was our favorite of the trip. We spent some time reading in the quiet room along the river. After some exploring, it was time to head homeward.

 

Baker County library branch in Baker City, Oregon

Our last stop on the way home was Ellensburg, Washington. We had a late lunch and walked around downtown, looking at some of the art… and visiting the local library.

 

 

Art in Ellensburg, Washington

Brenda put the pedal to the metal and we made it back to Seattle around 7 PM. We drove a bit over 2700 miles on our 17 day adventure. We had a great time but it was great to be back home!

Itinerary

 

22 May 2018 Leave home Seattle, Washington
22 May 2018 Whitman Mission National Historic Site Walla Walla, Washington
22-23 May 2018 Minam State Recreation Area Wallowa County, Oregon
23 May 2018 Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
23 May 2018 Cowboys and Angels restaurant Elgin, Oregon
23 May 2018 La Grande, Oregon
23-24 May 2018 Ellerbeck Mansion B&B Salt Lake City, Utah
24 May 2018 Nedra’s Too Kanab, Utah
24-29 May 2018 East Rim Viewpoint camp Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
25 May 2018 Hike Arizona trail Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
26 May 2018 Hike Transept trail twice Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
27 May 2018 Hike North Kaibab Trail Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
28 May 2018 Hike Bright Angel Trail up to South Rim Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
29 May 2018 Jacob Lake trading post Jacob Lake, Arizona
29-31 May 2018 Purple Sage Inn Kanab, Utah
31 May – 2 June Proctor Canyon camp Hatch, Utah
1– 2 June 2018 Bryce Canyon 100 Hatch, Utah
2-4 June 2018 Best Western Cedar City, Utah
3 June 2018 Cedar Breaks hiking Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
4-5 June 2018 Wheeler Peak campground Great Basin National Park, Nevada
4-5 June 2018 Bristlecone and Rock Glacier trail (twice) Great Basin National Park, Nevada
5-6 June 2018 Hotel Nevada Ely, Nevada
6 June 2018 Explore Wells, Nevada
6 June 2018 Explore Twin Falls, Idaho
6-7 June 2018 Rodeway Inn Baker City, Nevada
7 June 2018 Explore Ellensburg, Washington
7 June 2018 Home