Perfect day. So clear from the summit you could see Adams, Hood, Rainier and St Helens.
Ended up doing most of this after initially setting out for just a stroll. The many waterfalls and lack of views kept us going higher and higher though. Crossed the river via a tree at Chinook Falls, headed up a debris and snow covered trail before stopping once we hit a ridge off to the east of the summit. Getting late in the day for a summit but got great clear views of St. Helens, Rainier and Adams.
Started up the nicely graded Siouxon Creek Trail which just has beautiful views into crystal clear waters and waterfall after waterfall. Crossed the bridge and was awed by Chinook Falls. Had to throw rocks into piles above the running water to get across. Decided to take the Chinook Trail up and it was tame except I ran across a recently eaten deer skeleton in the middle of the trail (time to motor on). Hiked up the old road to the trail and on to the summit. Got a call from my wife at the summit that she got some results from some recent medical testing and it was good news, talk about feeling spiritual on a summit, that was a great one.
Headed on to do Huffman Peak but the trails are not well-marked and I overshot it and climbed some unnamed thing to the west. Light was beginning to become an issue and I pushed on down the Huffman Peak Trail, not knowing if I was on the right one or not. Just about the time I was wondering if my wife would have to call in sick for me at work tomorrow while I slept out lost in the SE Washington woods, the trail deposited me on the Siouxon Creek. Only there was no bridge. Rolled up the pants and took off the socks and shoes and waded into the thigh deep water. Talk about taking your breath away! Halfway across I started shivering uncontrollably and was having a hard time making my legs move the way I wanted them to, it felt like I had 50 pound weights strapped to my feet.
Finally made it across thanks to some adrenalin and I quickly dried my legs and feet in a fleece top. Got going quickly and had to take out the headlamp. Finished up in the dark on a trail where I swear every shadow was a cougar. Back home about 8 pm with a big hug for my wife. Did 18.6 miles and over 5000 feet of gain on this one in about 8 hours.