Hiking Log: Bandera Mountain (Ira Springs Trail)
Distance: 6.5 miles
Buttkicking factor: Do not try this at home!
I was going to head out to Leavenworth again today, to catch the Chatter Creek Trail and possibly attempt Grindstone, but due to staying late at sharkins
's Solstice + 1 week bash, could not
get up early this morning. A note on the bash: this was great fun, up at sharkins
's mountain hideaway. We got the bonfire to explode up to 20 feet high
at one point. Christmas trees are nicely dried out by summer solstice and it's the perfect time to get rid of them.
The Mighty Tim was there. He's the reason the bash was postponed a week, as sharkins
wanted to have a Christian to roast and he was the only veggie Christian we knew. (Nice and tender!) He protested the cannibalism but agreed to give us the pleasure of his company anyway. We didn't eat him. I shall upload a picture into my Flickr account shortly to prove it. ETA: Alive, uneaten and well!
He's looking in fine fettle, living the life of the perpetual student. Only two more years until the Ph.D. is done and we all have to call him "doctor" with a straight face. I so wish I had a picture of him from our college years, swooning around while wearing a tricorn. (He probably still has the damn thing, at that.)
Anyway, I blew off Grindstone (probably saving my own life) and went up to Bandera instead. The problem with Snoqualmie Pass hikes, or hikes within an hour of Seattle, is that there are approximately 150 cars at any given trailhead. This was the case today, but I sighed and laced up my boots. The first mile or so was easy, but after that...holy cow! The trail turned mean
. It was a real killer. I passed a miserable woman who bitched, "The book said this was a family
trail. What did they mean? A family of mountain goats?"
I passed another woman who was walking on the trail through an avalanche field. Not particularly scary in my opinion, but with a cliff on either side. (Nothing like last week, Lynn.) She was chanting softly to herself, "I'm not scared, I'm not scared. I'm not going to die, I'm not going to die." Her boyfriend looked a little helpless, a little amused. The woman was sheet white and not joking around. I wondered why she didn't turn around. I was pretty sure she was heading to Mason Lake, because at the 2.5 mile mark, the trail branched, with a slightly more gentle path heading toward the lake.
I, however, wanted to summit Bandera and looked around for my
trail. I eventually found what looked like a goat path, heading straight up (I mean, steep, ladies and gentlemen), straight up the mountain. It was actually tons of fun to climb, because you could not go fast. This was a grab-a-handhold type trail and went on forever. At one point, I looked down and saw a plane flying below me
. Steep, but wonderful. It's a good thing I didn't try to take polyhex
on this trail.
The beargrass is in bloom and is outdoing itself this year. The entire mountain was alight with botanical torches and scented like lilies. ( Two pics - hillsides of beargrass torches )
Going down was quicker, but a little harder on the knees. I hit sushi at Sushiman in Issaquah, bought some Lush in Bellevue, and blasted home. I'm dead tired, so off to bed. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.
P.S. Solstice party again... James has a really cool tattoo.