Yesterday we hiked a longer loop trail in the Cascade Mountains, to Horse Lake and Sunset Lakes. The trail was almost 9 miles. Lots of up and down; none of it was too steep but it felt like there was a LOT more uphill than downhill! We did NOT realize how close we were getting to lightening caused wildfires until after we had already hiked more than halfway round the loop. After lunch, we noticed airplanes and helicopters overhead; then we met firefighters on the trail. They explained the planes carried two crews of smoke jumpers; and the helicopters were dipping huge slings for water into the lake to dump on the fires. Our local news media had reported on other fire locations, but there was no report on the smaller fires on Horse Mountain (above Horse Lake) or we would have avoided the area.
The hike was really beautiful. We hiked on a trail through the woods, and then went off trail to circle around the Horse Lake. We had lunch on a rock peninsula with lovely views. The views were slightly hazy, but the smoke was blowing in the other direction and we had no idea we were within two miles of the fire line.
Bear grass and elderberries on the rocky peninsula at Horse Lake
South Sister behind Horse Lake
We continued off trail around the lake to rejoin the loop, and hiked past two smaller mountain tarns. We reached the Pacific Crest trail after crossing a large meadow (thatís where we met the first firefighters). We continued, crossing on a high rocky ridge through an area burned about 7 years ago. The views were amazing.
Asters along the trail
Mountain views through the old burn
Last weekend was a great summer break with lots of fun activities and achievements.
1. Had dinner out with friends twice; ate moderately and stayed within my eating plan
2. Completed pulling weeds (cheat grass and medusa head) from the back portion of my yard. It looks MUCH better
3. Went to art walk and the county fair for a little cultural enjoyment
4. Attended Zumba class, and took a long hike
5. Talked to mom; I know she is weaker (she canít get out of bed any more) but she sounded much more like herself -- less angry and depressed.
Iíll visit mom again at the end of the week, Iím looking forward to seeing her again.