14 and a half hours and 400 miles after leaving my house this morning, I was safely back home on the couch.
Oh, and did I mention “wiped out” ?
What an awesome day !
47-202-103 to get there.
101 and 30 to get home.
That’s a lot of highway.
I have put, what I can only describe as blind faith, into my WAZE traffic app. I log my destination and it finds me the best way to get there. I don’t use any other navigation. I don’t carry a book or a map. Today was an adventure in every sense of the word.
On the road just after 4 am I was able to travel during civil twilight. God, I love that time of day. The skies in my rear view went from creamsicle to tangerine to full-on peach salsa. It was a glorious beginning. Breakfast sky ♡
After leaving I-5, I found myself on a route I’ve never taken. It was a series of twists and turns, along with deer and bicycles. Oh, and the logging trucks. It must be a back door route for truckers because I passed plenty. Scary.
I drove through countryside where there were silos and barns and “Believe in The Lord” signs nailed to trees. There were pockets of harvested forest, clusters of rural mailboxes and fog-filled fields. Was it lavender I saw beneath that layer of linen white ?
The sky was clear and blue, but these fields in the valley had a layer of fog hovering over the green. I was fascinated. The next turn took me through a tiny town called Mist. (Of course, I’ll have to get a little history about that name…)
So much to love about my morning.
I hit the turn-off to Saddle Mountain Natural Area just before 7:30. Another 7 miles up the road is the trailhead.
(Fairly large parking area and decent bathrooms. Always a good beginning.)
I’m going to let these pictures tell the story of my day, but I’ll say this: it’s a challenging climb and the summit trail is up, up, up. I’ve read it is a fairly busy hike but today was perfect. Enough people to know you aren’t completely alone, but few enough that you could forget they were there.
The flowers were everywhere. I can’t pick a favorite anymore, I just love them all.
The trail shots were quite other-worldly. I know that every time I hike I seem to have a new favorite, but honestly, the PNW is that special. I feel so grateful to be able to spend my days taking it all in.
The last 2 miles or so have this chain link over the loose rock on the trail. I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but I quickly became a big fan. It is steep in parts but so, so worth it.
Silly me thought I might hike TWO mountains today. Neahkahnie will have to wait. Instead, I drove to Seaside and walked the beach, then sat in the sand awhile. My head in the clouds in the morning, my toes in the Pacific in the afternoon. Not a bad way to spend a day *