Here is the summit group during our hike to Hannegan Peak yesterday (click any picture to enlarge). Most of the rest of the group (the other 10) hiked to Hannegan Pass, but some of us decided to give the peak a try. Last year I didn't go that far, and I'm not sure I will again next year. It's 4 miles up about 1,800 feet to the pass from the trailhead, which is a pretty good hike in itself. Then in a little more than a mile you hike up another 1,200 feet to the top of the peak. I couldn't keep up with some of the stronger hikers, so I just plodded at my own pace until I finally got there. Summit fever is all that brought me up the last few hundred feet.
The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been spectacular. We had a few puffy clouds but otherwise it was very fine weather: cool to begin with, quickly warming to a comfortable hiking temperature, and then only at the end of the hike as we descended to the trailhead did it seem warm.
This little natural grotto by the side of the trail caught my eye. A little waterfall and moss, just lovely. If it were in a backyard, I would complement the gardener. As it was, I gave a little glance upward at the Creator in appreciation of the excellent workmanship.
We saw three grouse and a couple of deer for wildlife. Last year, on the hike down we spied a huge bear that looked to be at least 300 lbs. (according to the hunter in the group) and gave me shivers to see him. I looked for him again, but no luck this time.
The guidebook I consulted here at home told me that I could see numerous peaks from the summit, none of which I recognized except for Baker and Shuksan, which I have now seen on almost every hike in the wilderness. On the way back down, I saw Bob making a perfect picture with this incredible view in the background:
That's Amy (in the red) on her way back down. You can see that fall has come to the high country, with the red foliage. In another couple of weeks it should be spectacular, if the weather stays good. Amy will be around for one more week, and then she's off to Nepal to join the group attempting to climb Everest. She will trek to Base Camp at about 18,000 feet while they go on up. She is doing this to celebrate her 70th birthday. Aren't we an incredible bunch? I am so amazed at the fitness level of this group; I thought hiking with these old fogies would be a cinch. Hah! I'm working to keep up!