Thursday, September 16, 2010

Indian Bar, Mount Rainier National Park

September 12, 2010

We did this as a day hike from Box Canyon (on the Wonderland Trail) to Indian Bar. It made for a long day but a good one - we hiked 14-1/2 miles round trip and gained 4,850 feet of elevation.

The first few miles along the Cowlitz Divide on the Wonderland Trail are mostly in the forest, no big views unless you enjoy looking at big evergreens like we do. There are some giants! The Wonderland trail transitions to meadows as it climbs to the first of several "high points" - on a clear day there would be views of Mount Rainier. Today we admired corn lilies (hellebore) as their green leaves transitioned to gold.

The last few miles of that stretch of The Wonderland Trail are along an undulating ridge with views on both sides. Views of what? Tarns, outcroppings, hints of other peaks hard to define in the mist and clouds. That part of the trail is heavy on meadows and everywhere you look you want to stop and take photos (we did).

Of course, every time we reached the top of another meadowy knoll we thought we'd see Indian Bar in the distance. We began to wonder if Indian Bar even existed but the terrain was beautiful enough that we were under its spell and kept on hiking.

Finally the rock shelter came into view below us at the edge of a meadow near the start of the Ohanapecosh River. We had it to ourselves, there was no one there. I'd only been there once before, a long, long time ago. It must have been about 25 years ago!!

We lingered as long as we could - we didn't want to hurry back or race the darkness. Neither words nor photographs (perhaps poetry?) can do justice to this magical place. It almost breaks your heart to leave and you cannot help but wonder as you climb away - will I see Indian Bar again?

I certainly hope so!

A major error on my part

I've made a major error - I apologize to anyone who has written comments to me. Because they did not appear on my blog (and my blog page says I have zero comments) I did not think I was getting any comments.

Now I have several comments I'd like to address but it will take me some time to catch up. I am very sorry this happened - I'm pretty inexperienced at the ins and outs of blogging.


August and September hikes

If you've been following my blog it may appear I've given up hiking. I haven't. I've just been hiking more than anything else but now that the rain has returned I can do better about keeping up. I prefer to write about my hikes shortly after completing them but it's been a busy summer.

Here are a few of the places I've been over the last few weeks ....

Backbone Ridge

Indian Henry's Hunting Ground

Camp Muir

Indian Bar (as a day hike from Box Canyon)

Blue Lake (North Cascades)

Lake Ann (Teanaway)

Tamanos Mountain (via Owyhigh Lakes)

I still have a busy hiking schedule!! (That's good, not bad).