Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sunrise Wildflowers (at any time of day)

My friend and I volunteer as Meadow Rovers at Mt Rainier so we hike a lot of trails, talk to a lot of people and take a lot of photos. The trails in the Sunrise area are bursting with wildflowers, the likes of which I don't think I have witnessed previously. Even the road is lined thickly with Lupine!

We found one area that still had lingering snow but should be gone in another week or two. It's on the Wonderland Trail from the Shadow Lake camp going toward Frozen Lake and there is one easy-to-cross snow patch, then one that's a bit more steep. Poles and decent shoes should suffice.

One of the goals as Rovers is to keep people on the trail and off of the meadows. Even one boot will erase (I don't like saying "kill", especially when kids are around) many flowers. I looked at Gaia and it shows trails that are not on the Green Trails map or the yellow handout map the Park gives out. They are not secret trails - they are just NOT trails. Please stay on established trails when in the "front country" area of Sunrise to help preserve the flowers and not freak out the animals.

And, please note, there is currently construction on Hwy 410 and in the park that will cause delays. Check the WSDOT site for current location.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Pedal #1

The conditions were finally right for taking my Litespeed down off its perch in my apartment. But first, the bike computer warned me that the battery was "very low" so I scrounged one from another source and replaced it, causing all values to reset to zero. Admittedly, I hadn't put many miles (no, let me qualify that to say I put scant miles) in so far this year so it was "Just like Starting Over". That became the theme song for the ride, playing repeatedly in my head even though I don't remember all the words.

On the road, it started out like my commute - down Roosevelt (though I took the car lane because I could), up Interlaken and across the hill on 19th Ave. I call this my Ridge Route because I stay high as long as possible before dropping down to the lake. I passed by one of my favorite little coffee shops, QED (yes, it IS proven - all you math geeks), and joined the lake road at Mt Baker.

All of humanity was out walking, many with dogs, people biking and many cars were a big part of the traffic. In fact, I had to wait quite a while to turn left to Lake WA Blvd while the southbound traffic made like a parade going by. Parking lots at the city parks are all closed, so not sure where they were headed... At some point, Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" took over as the song of the ride.

I managed to score a slice of road without much traffic and made it through the Arboretum unscathed. There's a new trail that just opened which connects from the exit of the Arb to Montlake Way, but I wasn't quick enough to pick up on it and continued on to the now-old detour route. On the road through the UW campus, I spied the bloomin' cherry trees, like a brilliant white light shining.

When I got home, a friend sent me the following video:

Enjoy the sunshine and laughs!