Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sauk Mountain Hike - My Journey Continues!

I can understand how hiking becomes addictive.

**Looking back over this, I think it's important to add to it. For those that have read the 'about me', you know that I have (mild) MS, as well as very bad knees and hip. (degenerative arthritis) My ability to get out and do these 5 to 8 mile hikes are as much as an emotional journey for me as well as a physical one. I had a major set-back last year after suffering from horrible whiplash after being rear-ended on I5. This is my first step to strengthening, losing weight, getting out in the world and pushing myself to do more than I ever thought I could do again. **

Two weeks ago I posted about my first 'real' hike in a year, at Baker Lake. I liked the trail so much, that when my husband and I decided to get out this past weekend, I took him back there.'s just so beautiful. I didn't take as many pictures this time around, since I had just been there, but I brought my new wide angle lens to try out. This is the best one I came up with:

Can you understand now why I keep feeling called back there? It's so quiet, and peaceful and reflective. Like another world where none of the daily stresses transpire.

That was this past Sunday. Monday, I got back out with my new hiking partner and like photographer, Dellene. We are headed to Yosemite on a 4-day hiking/photo trip at the end of this month. I am SO excited!!! I've got all my gear together, and I am psyched. :)

So anyway...Monday Dellene to took me on the Sauk Mountain trail. Now, I have heard of this place many times. In part, because of an unsolved murder that is believed to have happened there. (the missing woman's body has never been found) Now that I have been there, I can understand how this might have happened.

You start out at over 1,000 feet above the valley and then you climb another 1,200 up switchbacks to the top of a ragged peak:

This is the trail head. If you look just above the picnic table, THAT is the trail, which I have zoomed in on in the image below.

This trail is crazy. It's only a couple of feet wide, and if you happen to fall off...well, you hope that your descent might be stopped by the next switchback down!

Some of the far corners in the switchback were still covered in snow, and we found ourselves climbing hand over hand to get past it without sliding off.

However, in spite of this rather exhilarating ascent, it was worth it! The views the whole way up, and especially at the top were simply breathtaking!

Skagit Valley, Washington

Glacier Peak (an active volcano)

Over the top, (and after trudging through several feet deep snow) we were rewarded with sweeping vistas of the North Cascade Mountain Range:

Some hikers that passed us on the way up, and continued around the crest

Wildflowers clinging to the hillside

All I can say is... EPIC. And I can't wait to get to Yosemite and share that experience with you, too!!

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