Wednesday, July 15, 2015


July 8, 2015

          Earlier this week I told Rick I wanted to get out for a hike - partly to wander among the wildflowers covering the Anthony Lakes region and partly to get in shape for a potential backpack along the Crest Trail later this summer.  So we set off this morning bound for Lakes Lookout, hoping to beat a thunderstorm forecast for later in the day.
Looking toward the peak from
Road Run
          What a glorious walk up the ski road, flowers lining the path on either side.  The ski runs were covered with the blooming white spires of Western dock, lupine, pussytoes, alpine asters and paintbrush.  The creeks were lined with pink monkeyflowers, buttercups, columbine.  We stayed on the road most of the way as the openness was less inviting to the hoards of mosquitos buzzing in the bogs and meadows.  Quick crosscountry up the draw to the top of the ridge and the junction with the Lakes Lookout trail.
          Just as we got to the top of the ridge, a huge thunderclap rolled and rumbled for over 5 seconds, giving us pause.  But we checked the skies and the winds and decided we could make a run for it!  (Tongue in cheek - I don't RUN up any elevation gain!)  It appeared that alot of work had been done clearing the west side of the trail - there were many brush piles stacked up and ready for slash burning in the fall.  The lupine was in full bloom along this section of trail, whereas it was starting to fade down near the ski area parking lot.  Valerian and dock with the lupine to line the trail.
Lakes basin peaks L to R: Van Patten, Gunsight, Angel, Lees, and Lakes Lookout
Atop Lakes Lookout!
          We stayed up on top just long enough for a brief snack and a picture!  The clouds were moving in unpredictable ways and we could see rain falling to the southwest.  As we got to the end of the Lookout trail the first drops of rain began to fall!  We cut down the gap to the road and enjoyed first a sprinkle, then a more steady rain, but the dusty road never was completely wet.  My shirt was damp but not soaked!
A new type of gilia?

       We found a new flower along the ski run road and I wrote to Dave and Shelli for help in identification.  None of my books, including the really good one Shelli gave me, helped.  Well, long story short, neither Dave nor Sabine were SURE and Dave sent it on to another botonist with the forest service, Gene Yates.  He wrote me an email and wanted more info as to the location so he can go up and find it!  That was kinda exciting!

More flowers from today's hike:
Bog orchid


Pearly Everlasting
Lewis Monkeyflower
Mountain bluebells
Wildflower Beauty

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