erik lundegaard

Hiking posts

Sunday August 03, 2014

Photo of the Day: Mount Dickerman Summit

It was a beautiful day for a hike in Seattle, and with P down with a broken toe I decided to summit Mount Dickerman, which I haven't done in about 10 years. It's about 8.5 miles roundtrip, 3900 feet elevation gain. Here's a shot of the summit.

CLICK ON THE PHOTO FOR A BIGGER VERSION. 

Mt. Dickerman summit: August 3, 2014

I actually think of Dickerman as “the Derek Jeter hike,” since the first time I went, 10 years ago, my friend Jim, who grew up a Yankees fan, kept going on and on about how great Jeter was and—get this—I was too tired to argue back. Imagine. This time, I also ran out of gas a bit near the summit. But not that bad.

The wildflowers were out, too. 

Posted at 05:41 PM on Aug 03, 2014 in category Hiking
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Wednesday July 09, 2014

Mt. Rainier, Sunday

We took this on the Noble Knob trail on Sunday. Click on the pic for a bigger version:

Mt. Rainier from Noble Knob, 2014

Looks unreal, doesn't it? Like a painting? P always thinks this. It's like Rainier is just too stunning to be real. 

This was the second time we'd hiked the Noble Knob trail. The first time was more than 10 years ago, and I had some vague sense of dislike about it. Was it too hot? Not shady enough? Too flat and thus not challenging enough? Did I dislike the fact that you could see Rainier all along the trail, rather than at the end, so it felt like getting dessert before dinner and I'm too Puritan for that shit? 

It was all of that, but it was mostly the dirt road you have to take to the trail head: bumpy, dusty, rocky for six long miles. We bottomed out three times on the way up, no times on the way down, but ... that stretch isn't fun. On the way down I timed it and it took us 40 minutes. Not exactly speedy. Ultimately the trail isn't quite worth the road in. 

But Rainier? It's real and it's spectacular. 

Posted at 11:33 AM on Jul 09, 2014 in category Hiking
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Saturday August 10, 2013

Above the Clouds on Granite Mountain

“Writing is of use to the psyche only if the writer discovers something he did not know he knew in the act itself of writing.”

-- Norman Mailer, “The Presidential Papers of Norman Mailer,” pg. 219

I read that quote early this morning while I was contemplating a hike up Granite Mountain. I'd planned on the hike but woke up to see a different weather report. Rain? Thunderstorms? Possibly? I decided to drive out to the trailhead, see what it was like. At worst, I'd just turn around and come back.

Norman was big on the journey without a known destination. He was anti-repetition. I kept thinking about that in the early stages of the hike. I was on a hike whose ending was known to me—I'd done it two or three times over the years—but today I didn't know what I would find. Would the weather turn bad? Would I have to turn back?

About a third of the way up, I came upon a clearing with blue skies peeking through and inwardly rejoiced. A second later, the switchback switched back, and when I came out on the woods on the other side we were socked in again.

Then I noticed the wildflowers. They looked beautiful with the sun filtering through the condensed air.

Granite Mountain wildflowers

Granite Mountain wildflowers

The wildflowers were even more out when I left the woods completely and scaled up the south side of the mountain.

Granite Mountain wildflowers

Off and on, we were still socked in. I worried there would be no view. But near the top, before the final ascent to the lookout tower, I got above the clouds and could see the Cascades, clearer than normal on a late summer day.

Granite Mountain

And by the time I got the top, well, no complaints.

The view from the top of Granite Mountain

The view from the top of Granite Mountain

The view from the top of Granite Mountain

Here's to not knowing what the end will look like.

Posted at 04:59 PM on Aug 10, 2013 in category Hiking
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Sunday June 30, 2013

Mt. Rainier from Mt. Si

My friend Ben and I hiked up Mt. Si today on one of the hotter days of the year in the Pac NW. I was looking for a good hike with a view that was less than 4500 feet, since that's where the snow line is right now, but maybe 8 miles roundtrip with 3,000 feet elevation gain isn't a good hike to inaugurate the year. I'm still feeling it. The top had swarms of dark black bugs that hurt when they bit. Anyone know what they are? Crowded trail, of course, with a few runners. One guy passed us going up (as we were going up), then passed us going down (as we were going up), then passed us going up again (as we were going down). That's commitment. Or something.

In the end, not bad for a couple of 50-somethings.

Mt. Rainier from Mt. Si, North Bend, WA

Rainier from Si.

Me on Mt. Si, June 2013

Me on Si.

Posted at 04:12 PM on Jun 30, 2013 in category Hiking
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Sunday May 05, 2013

First Hike of the Season: Lake 22

Beautiful weather today in Seattle—81 degrees right now, which is insane for this time of year—so Patricia and I took advantage by hiking up to Lake 22 off the Mountain Loop Highway. Well, not all the way to Lake 22. After 90 minutes or so, we ran into one patch of snow, then a second, then a lot. We stopped at a lot—I'm guessing about a half mile from the lake. Maybe those who hiked all the way know.

Nice hike, though. The mountain streams and waterfalls are flush with clear spring runoff. You'd get near one of those waterfalls and the temperature would drop 10 degrees.

Lake 22 hike on the Mountain Loop Hwy

Patricia on the long bridge.

Posted at 05:52 PM on May 05, 2013 in category Hiking
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