They say the early bird gets the worm but I think that’s a sentiment meant for spring. I love early mornings, but my sleep has been so disturbed I wondered how that 4am alarm would be. No problem. That familiar alarm tone makes me giddy every time. My brain knows it’s an adventure kind of day.
There’s still a lot of snow and ice off the side of the trail, though nothing like my last trip down here. One of the viewpoints is plowed but the other is still gated. The road is clear of snow and ice all the way to Clearwater Lake.
I was early today, arriving at civil twilight, so I had my choice of where to watch the sun come up. I didn’t see s single car on 504. I stopped several times in the middle of the road to snap a photo. This is how I love it here. Quiet.
I lingered after sunrise near Coldwater Lake. There’s a short walk between the picnic area and the boat launch and while I could hear the birds stirring I couldn’t see a single one. (The bathrooms are open and stocked at the boat launch, but the restrooms are closed in the picnic area indefinitely due to last years senseless vandalism.)
I was the only car in the Hummocks parking lot. (Yes!) I tossed bear spray in my pack as I headed out. Lots of animal tracks, coyotes I suspect, but this area is known for mountain lions too and they scare the beejeezus out of me. The tracks I saw were large, but nothing fresh enough to scare me off.
The trail, with some meandering toward the West Boundary, was only around 3 miles. A perfect walk. I forget how precious the light is in these trees and how I am always mesmerized by color even in the winter. There’s a footbridge where the ground has collapsed that requires some good sense, but aside from this one spot, there is nothing impassable on this short beautiful trek.
I miss having my camera. The saga continues as Asurion mailed it back to me DOA. I sent it in for a dial issue, fully functioning otherwise, and they returned it to me with a power issue and unable to even boot. I’m not sure how far I will pursue this but my frustration with this company and their “service” is high.
All that said, I bought a new camera yesterday. It’s not for birding or wildlife (or maybe it is) but for a new plan I have. This is a very big upgrade for me in quality so I hope it translates. I am really excited about some new possibilities. The lens will be here tomorrow. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, enjoy all of these phone shots. (I love my old workhorse of a phone.) It was a really lovely start to the weekend. And I made it to that cool Poplar Tree Farm on my way home!