September 29, 2011
|Shelli, Candy, Ginger, and Dan on top of Lakes Lookout|
Today I returned to the top of Lakes Lookout on a glorious fall day! Shelli Swanson was visiting from Alaska and wanted to hike up in the Elkhorns. Candy Arledge, who would much rather ride her horse than walk, was going also so we needed to pick a relatively short, but spectacular view, destination! The Lookout was perfect!
Shelli drove to the ski area parking in her rental car (it had free miles she said!) and we parked right behind the Bogarts and Johnsons who were going to explore the loop around Dutch Flat Saddle and Black Lake. As their pace was slightly faster than ours, we never saw them again!
|Fall colors in all their glory!|
We arrived at the top of the peak in about an hour and a half, having hiked the entire way up the access road rather than cut cross country up the hill. Candy preferred a trail! Took a little cajoling right near the top when the trail got rocky! But she made it. Her husband Dan was already on the top by then!
|Ginger and her Inuk with Gunsight and|
Van Patten in back.
Since we spent so long up on top of the peak, we opted to NOT take the alternate route back down via Hoffer Lakes. Candy's hip was starting to bother her as well. So back down the road, which obviously seemed longer on the return than going up! Or so I thought!
|Look what Ginger found!|
A beautiful day with good friends!
September 24, 2011
|Crest trail as it heads north |
to Elkhorn Peak.
Click HERE to view hike pictures
|White spot in the middle is a goat!|
The road is in no better condition than the last time we traveled up in Moon's borrowed pickup truck, but driven slowly it is definitely doable! The Honda did great. Fall colors beginning to show, especially on the south west side of the Elkhorn Ridge. The beauty of this trail is always the ability to snag views both to Baker Valley and Sumpter Valley on either side.
When it became clear Rick wasn't going to get to the top, he took time to watch mountain goats on the hillside and some good views down into Goodrich Lake.
Back to Baker City just in time to pick up the vegetables!
|Late blooming lupine overlooking Baker Valley from Elkhorn Ridge.|
HIKE TO HEAVEN 2011
September 18, 2011
|Group picture on the summit|
Today we lead our 14th annual Hike to Heaven for the youth and families of the Presbyterian church. Our destination is Lakes Lookout, hiking up from the ski area parking lot, for a round trip of about 4 miles and 1500 feet in elevation gain. Our group shrunk to nine by the time we actually left, having lost people for a variety of reasons, especially illness! Hiking this year were Molly, Bryson, & Spencer Smith; Liz Romvedt; Greg & Christian Miles; Mike Braymen, Rick and myself. (Plus Spicer - Molly's father's dog!)
We follow the road up "Road Run" for a short distance and then take off up Starbottle and Avanlanche ski runs (I have never skied this part of the mountain as they aren't beginner runs!) to the top of the hill. The last steep uphill part takes us out right at the beginning of the Lakes Lookout trail - exactly Rick's intent!
|Can you spy the cross on the mountain slope?|
Luke's "wild African turkey grass" is in full fall splendor, casting a reddish hue to the hillsides. It is especially beautiful around the Hoffer Meadow area in contrast to the bright green meadow grasses.
|Bryson is first to the top!|
|Ginger leads worship from the summit|
Worship follows with the theme of "Living Signposts" - short and sweet, but always profound when offered from the top of a mountain. As we finish worship, the air cools, the wind picks up, and we decide it is time to leave....NOW! People are getting cold!
Down off the mountain with Bryson and Christian in the lead and going down the road, while the rest of us take a slower pace and retrace our ski run trail. Back at the picnic area we find Annie and Jason McClaurey and son Jake who have built a fire, cooked a few hot dogs, and in general have our lunch ready and waiting. Disappointed that more couldn't join us today, either on the hike or on the picnic, but we had a great time. S'mores, hot dogs, and plenty of brownies. Thank you God for friends and a church family and the beauty of your world!
|Hoffer Meadows and Gunsight Peak|
Labor Day, September 5
|In front of Van Patten Butte|
Rick and I are off this morning for a short, low impact hike - I'm still tired from the San Diego trip and Rick enjoyed a fairly strenuous hike with Mark Bogart just two days earlier. His knees need a break!
We are off to explore a new road - specifically a jeep road that takes off to the north about a half mile from the Anthony Lakes cabin road. We park right at the junction. It appears to be a veritable highway as it departs from the Anthony Road, but soon is blocked off with HUGE boulders and a sign saying no motorized vehicles. It is obvious that is ignored frequently as we follow ATV tracks the entire way!
|Rick confirms they are elderberries!|
|We startled a huge woodpecker!|
|Funny fir cones!|
All in all, we hiked in about 2.25 miles and then turned around and hiked back out! Drove up to Anthony Lakes just for a quick view and homeward!