I am slowly but surely waking up from my marmot-like winter hibernation, so while I’m stretching my paws and getting my hiking mojo reset, I’ll play catch-up with some of my favorite trips from this fall.
Since we had our furry running coach, Brutus, with us, we picked a trail we knew would be excellent for running, the Ptarmigan Ridge trail on Mount Baker, but due to the heat (omgz way too hot for September – little did we know it would rain the rest of the month) and my getting over a cold, we ended up just hiking most of the day…
…with lots of breaks to cool off in streams and roll around on snowfields.
I love this trail. Similar to Paradise and Sunrise on Mount Rainier, Ptarmigan Ridge lets you cheat your way through thousands of feet of forest and drive straight up to the timberline. Alpine views from start to finish!
Last time we were here, we stopped and camped at the turquoise lake, but this time we had our eyes set on the Portals, which you can see in the distance in the photo above. Last time we also didn’t have any views until the last fifteen minutes of the hike, so we were kind of blown away this time.
Still, I was feeling pretty blah from my cold, so Brutus and I took a very satisfying nap while JK and the Italians explored the Portals.
The hike back to the car was breathtaking (the views, not the trail – it’s mostly flat) – Mount Shuksan ahead…
…and Mount Baker in the rear view mirror, all taken in while snacking on trailside huckleberries. Hells yeah.
Oh, and marmots, marmots all around. All in all, it was an excellent summer for marmot sightings.
It was hard to leave, so we stopped the car at Heather Meadows to watch the sunset and feed the hounds before driving the long road home to Redmond.
This was the perfect ending to the best and most fulfilling summer of my life – so far.