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!
These are really beautiful photos. Wow
Thanks so much! It’s a wonderful day trip and even better in spring
Ooo, a new camera! And what a lovely trip. The only car! And the marks! To new adventures!
Yes, eager to get that camera out in the world! Thanks for writing, Manja.
I nearly sang out when I got to the part where you mentioned the Z 6 !!! A true upgrade and a serious commitment to your 2nd Act, which also makes me want to sing! Bonnie, a word, a description, a label popped into my head as I read and followed you vicariously on this trek, and I use it with the highest regard: INTREPID…* You have earned that badge, Babe!
Still waiting to get that Z-6 going! Thanks for the encouragement as always 💜
Looks like a pretty trail. Congrats on your new camera and I’m glad they sent your old one back. Maybe there’s a camera repair shop somewhere nearby (?) Cougar tracks would not show claw marks since they retract their claws when walking. Also… what a beautiful Subaru! 😉
It’s short and stunning. I take my time and linger. Yes, I noticed the claw which made think of coyote, and then I saw someone with a dog out there by Coldwater Lake. I didn’t think they were allowed on the trails in a National Monument area. Yes, the camera will go to get checked out and hopefully come back to me someday. My Subaru is Pearl. Yours? 😊
De LIGHT ful in all ways!
Thanks, Nancy. It’s pretty stunning up there early. And a lovely drive 😊
Beautimous. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new camera, and who will insure it–is there another game in town? I hope there will still be herons and owls in your photo feed! I love the poplar forest. Great shots. You probably even got out of your car.
I am excited about “upping my game”. It was really beautiful this morning. I forget how gorgeous that Hummocks Trail…
Congratulations on your new camera. Cougars-Alma and I had 40 acres up in the mountains of Cowiche which is east of Yakima. The area is loaded with elk, deer, bear, cougars, the usual wildlife in the NW. We usually did some exploring, following game trails. One of our neighbors told us that he was viewing his camera that was set up on a game trail and he said it showed us walking by and 6 minutes later a cougar trailing us. We walked along more open trails subsequently.
Thanks ! I’m looking forward to learning it. It will definitely elevate my photography. As for the cougars .. they are scary. Bears don’t bother me nearly as much. I felt great out there today, but the last time I hiked here I had a feeling I was being followed, tracked. And I was on a longer trail. I love it here for the solitude, but the cougars love it here for the same reason.