Dry. Dusty. Hot.
As a last minute alternate to a Picket Range traverse due to a partner injury, I was able to find another trip to tag along on and headed to the eastern North Cascades. Along with being dry n' dusty n' hot, it was also buggy. What a perfect quad-fecta of conditions ! But good company and nice scenery more than made up for it. The flowers were incredible ! Lots of marmots were observed, whistling as they scampered for their lairs amid the rocks. We also got some fine views of some various fowl, more than a couple hummingbirds, and an attractive little woodpecker eating bugs from a burned snag. all in all an A+.
Beginning at East Fork Buttermilk Creek late in the afternoon, we made good time on easy to moderate trail up and over Hoodoo Pass to meadows below. The wildflower display was awesome ! As it would be everywhere we wandered. Purple n' red n' yellow n' white. Everywhere... We found a spot for the night and relaxed for the evening. While getting twilight shots of purty lil' flowers,
Twilight flowers n' peaks
I saw a moose mucking around in the marshy ponds. I sat and watched him for a bit until he got too close for my comfort. First shouting, then standing, then waving and jumping. He was imperturbable and just kept coming closer. So I gave and headed back to camp, Mr. Moose staring me down the whole way. I told my partner and he got excited and stuck his head out to see, and upon hearing his voice Mr. Moose decided to become perturb-able and gangled off. Seriously ? My feelings were hurt at not being perceived as more of a threat to encourage his earlier departure. My thoughts drifted towards wondering what moose jerky would taste like...
Today we headed over to Bernice Lake. Buggy Bernice Lake. Again with the camp making and then we headed off for Star Peak.
Up n' over one short ridge, then up another ridge and a scramble to the summit. Fantastic views to the west of the North Cascades marched north to south.
And back to the east we could see from whence we came.
Then it was looping back to Bernice Lake on lower slopes around jutting ridges for a meal and some well deserved leg relaxing. I tried my hand at some night photography for the first time, with a waning full moon lighting up the sky.
Big Dipper over Bernice Lake
From camp at Bernice Lake we headed along trail over to the pass at the head of East Fork Fish Creek. I stopped there while Gary headed up a very nice looking Gray Peak. I opted instead to head the shorter distance up to Baldy Mountain. More fine, fine views of the North Cascades.
after I had drank my fill, it was again back to Bernice Lake on lower slopes around jutting ridges for a brisk, brief swim in its waters. There was a good breeze now that kept the bugs entirely away so I could get some quality sunbathing time in before dinner. As dusk approached the wind died and the skeeters returned. So off to bag down for the night.
So we broke camp and headed along trail
back over to the meadows below Hoodoo Pass. Made camp and took a jaunt down to Boiling Lake. Then back to camp for relaxin' n' picture takin'. It was another fine evening and I again tried my hand at some night photography.
Below Hoodoo Pass on the south side.
Then in the morning we broke camp and while Gary headed up Mount Bigelow I wandered slowly along trail back to the TH, then a VERY nice meal at the Twisp River Pub. O M G. They are great. The new best buffalo wings I have ever had. And all local fare, from meat to produce to dairy. It was amazing.
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