The Kaleberg Journal - June 2022


06/16 - Hurricane Hill - First Time

We made it up to Hurricane Hill for the first time this year. We've been watching the webcam and following the park road announcements. The road from the lodge opened maybe a week ago, so we got a moderately early start and headed up the hill. There are now two booths at the entry station, a result of last year's construction, which should help somewhat this summer. The road was busy, but we have seen it busier. The parking lot where the Hurricane Hill trail starts was full, and the lot at the closer picnic area was almost full. No one wanted to park in a huge puddle, almost an inland sea, that spanned three spaces, so we parked offshore. That's what hiking boots are for.

The hike itself was wonderful. The views of the mountains and glaciers were magnificent. There were glacier lilies out but no phlox yet. Most of the trail was clear, but the shady patch was still covered with snow. Once again, that's what hiking boots are for. The high country was beautiful with melting snow and fresh green. The marmots were out, still plump and eagerly chowing down on the greenery. It was good to see them after most of a year. The high country is open. Here's to a good hiking season.


Mountains and melting snow

The first segment of the trail, out in the sun

Those mountains again - Are they really that far away?

Weathered rock

The first marmot sentinel

Another marmot

That guy again on young grass

Another marmot on a hill

Yet another marmot

Almost summer, but the ground not yet green

A glacier lily

Another view

Mountains and clouds

The same mountains, a different sky

More glacier lilies and friends

A grayer sky

Another view

Yet another

The view north

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, marmots, summer


06/14 - Little River to the Healing Pools

We weren't up to a longer walk, but we wanted to get back to the Little River Trail, so we only took the trail up for a ways. Most of the trilliums were gone, but the mock Solomon's seal was out and smelled wonderful. There was also tiarella and a surprise, Pacific dogwood, a whole patch of it along the trail.

Mock Solomon's seal

Tiarella

Mushrooms

A few trilliums still white

Some older trilliums turning pink

One of the passages

Pacific dogwood

More of the Pacific dogwood patch

A big trillium

A very lush trail now

The river

Another view of the river

The trail

Rushing waters

Fallen logs over the river

Early for Halloween

A warning?

Mock Solomon's seal

One of those pretty and probably toxic mushrooms

Keywords: halloween, little river, trillium


06/12 - Spruce Railroad Trail with Woodpecker

The Spruce Railroad Trail isn't the forested foot trail we remember. It's more of a road, flat and wide, with most of the shrubs and many of the old trees removed. Still, it offers wonderful views of the lake, and many rewards if one keeps one's eyes open.

Some trilliums

Still some forest

The road: the right hand side has a softer surface for horses and others whose feet get sore on hard surfaces.

The lake, beautiful as ever

Paintbrush

Cedums

A rock garden

More rock garden

Yet more, in the sun

Still more

and a closeup

The trail again

A double trillium

A woodpecker

Another view

This guy wasn't shy

On yet another tree

Keywords: spruce railroad, trillium


The Kaleberg Journal - April 2022


04/30 - Little River Trail - To The Waterfall

We've been hiking along the Little River Trail for years now, but we never went much beyond the second foot bridge. We walked out along the trail for about an hour, then turned around and headed back. This time, we kept going for another half hour and got to see the waterfall. We're probably going to do this again as soon as we can.

The trail along the river was beautiful. The trilliums are out in force and other flowers - little violets, violet orchids, colt's foot - were coming out as well. There were columbines in bloom along the trail as our reward for going on. They like open rocky surfaces. The river was flowing briskly, but not at full flood. After we crossed the second foot bridge, we headed upward along the valley wall with glimpses of the river below.

We heard the falls before we saw them. Then we saw a bit of white water through the brush. Then we saw the waterfall. We found a side path that let us get a better view of the falls. It was in rough shape, but passable. The photographs don't really do the falls justice. There are actually two falls where the river seems to divide and rejoin, and it's hard to fit them into a single picture. The photographs don't capture the roar of the water either.

Now we have a new goal, and, perhaps, some day we might head farther. The trail ends all the way up on Hurricane Ridge where it meets with the Hurricane Hill Trail. It's pretty snowy up there with seven feet of snow up on the ridge and trail leading up the north face. We are unlikely to ever follow the trail that far, but it's nice to know we can keep going and going, at least until our feet start to give out.


One of many trilliums

Another of many trilliums

Yet another of many trilliums

A stone wall

The trail

A columbine

More columbines

The trail along the valley wall

More of the trail

The falls far below us

More of the falls

More of the trail

Stone and moss

At our feet

Good grief, even more trilliums

A view of the river

Along a nurse log

Ferns and trilliums

A few last trilliums

Keywords: flowers, little river, trillium, waterfall


04/02 - Elwha to Altair - Spring Is Here

We were absolutely exhausted but really wanted to take another good hike before the rainy days come, so we headed out from the Madison Falls parking lot and followed the trail. It's a good winter trail, but it's an even better spring trail. We hadn't gone very far before our first trillium, and then came the columbines. Trilliums like sloping ground, usually near water, so they'll grow on hillsides above streams. Columbines like a sunny spot on crumbling rocky soil, and there are only a few places like that on this trail. That's where we found them.

We headed on past other signs of spring. Skunk cabbage filled the boggy fields further up towards the bridge. There were currant blossoms, and there were a lot of new leaves and leaf buds. Even the larger trees were showing touches of green. Columbine season is short, so we'll have to come back soon, but we'll be back again and again as the season progresses. It's a pretty good summer trail too.


Our first trillium on the trail

Yellow violets

More yellow violets

One of the columbines

Another columbine

Another trillium

Some little white flowers that we see every year and never bother to look up in the wildflower book

The Elwha

Another view of the Elwha

Fern forest

The skunk cabbage bog

The Elwha from the Altair bridge

Wild currant

A touch of green in the trees

Most of the snow melted

Yet another trillium

Yet another columbine

A columbine in its place

The mules are back!

Keywords: elwha, spring, trillium


04/01 - Little River Trail - Return of the Trilliums

The Little River Trail is a great trail this time of year. The high country is still covered with snow, but the lower reaches of the Little River Trail are in great shape and, already, there are signs of spring. In particular, the trilliums are out. There are just a few trilliums in bloom, and a few more popping up and getting ready, but over the next few weeks this trail will be lined with them.

Our first trillium of 2022

The forest trail

Little River

Still early spring

Sunlight breaks through

Another view of the river

Down close

More flowers

A blurry photo of our first yellow violet - We have Sasquatch photos that are sharper.

An old log and a new fern

More trilliums

The bridge where we turned around

The ground

Trail maintenance - quite a fallen tree

Little River again

One of the many rapids

Even more trilliums

Another view

And another

Keywords: Olittle river, spring, trillium

Keywords: Olittle river, spring, trillium


The Kaleberg Journal - March 2022


03/31 - Lake Angeles Trail

We are trying to get into climbing shape. In the winter, most of the trails we travel only climb a few hundred feet, but, in the summer and fall, we want to climb higher. That means building up, and the only way to build up is to climb. The Lake Angeles Trail is a great trail for this. It is steep, so it means that even a short climb is a solid work out, it is beautiful, and, if we ever get into proper shape, it climbs for over two thousand feet to a beautiful lake. Well, we have to start somewhere.

The bridge where we turned around

The last snow

The forest

A lot of the scenery is vertical.

More trees

Excelsior

The big rock at 500' apl

Below the big rock

More vertical forest

Keywords: lake angeles, trails

Keywords: lake angeles, trails


03/29 - Cherry Blossoms at the University of Washington

We try to see the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington every year. We missed a year because of COVID, and we almost missed this year because of the ferry staffing shortage. Usually, the ferries run frequently with waits less than an hour, but, this year, they are often and unpredictably running on half scheduling meaning that the time between ferries is nearly two hours.

We watched the schedule and the webcams carefully, and then we made our plans. We arrived early for the Kingston to Edmonds ferry and made our way to UW. The cherry blossoms were beautiful. There was the usual crowd of tourists, couples, friends and families taking in the scene. We made our circuit pausing to admire this view and that tree in the brilliant sunlight.

We had timed our ferries well, but we hadn't timed the weather. By the time we had finished our circuit the skies had darkened and a light rain had started. The crowds vanished leaving us and few other die hards. Raincoats are wonderful things. We wandered around some more. The trees and their flowers were as wonderful as ever.

Then, we headed off. We made a quick stop at Din Tai Fung at U Village to grab a load of dumplings and scooted down to the Bainbridge ferry which was running on full schedule. We made the first boat and ate our dumplings on the crossing. Our lightning trip had worked out perfectly. In this part of the world, one can't afford to let rain be a spoiler.


Our wake on the way over

The cherry blossoms

More cherry flowers

Another view of the cherry trees

A cloud of cherry - thesaurus, please - blooms

A view down the aisle

No caption needed here

It is sort of magical under the trees

More magic

Even more magic

Dark twisted old branches

Graying skies

See, the blossoms are still beautiful.

The quad starts to empty.

Looking upward

Looking across

Even emptier

A raindrop, captured on camera

The wet quad

Keywords: flowers, seattle, weather


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