Thursday, October 9, 2014

High Pass Trail 2014

Twin Lakes, Winchester/High Pass trailhead
Today sixteen Senior Trailblazers gathered to hike up to Winchester Mountain, or maybe the High Pass Trail, depending on how many of us showed up. The Mt. Baker Wilderness Area requires that all groups be comprised of fewer than 12 hikers, so we decided that we would break into two groups, one going up to Winchester Mountain, and the rest of us (today it was four of us) continue up to the High Pass Trail. Since I had hiked up Winchester earlier this summer, I opted to go where I hadn't been before, the High Pass Trail.
Karen with a halo
Neither of these are long hikes: I think it's only four miles round trip to the top of Winchester, and just a little bit more than that to High Pass. But today was a simply perfect day, whichever route one took. Everyone who had never been to the top of Winchester Mountain went that direction, and we rejoined everyone at a predetermined time at Twin Lakes later. The blueberries were so profuse that we ate to our heart's content and still couldn't keep up! Where are the bears?
Peggy picking blueberries
It was impossible not to stop and pick blueberries to pop into your mouth. Each one had a slightly different taste, and I kept thinking I would find the perfect one and stop, but I never did. You can see in the picture below why I couldn't stop.
So many blueberries!
Mercy! By the time we had reached the top of High Pass, I noticed that I wasn't, for some reason, a bit hungry and anxious for lunch. And then we saw the view. Another fine portrait of Mt. Baker, one that you just don't see all that often. From this vantage point, it looks lopped off flat on the top, but from where I am sitting now (my living room), it looks completely round. Here's my view this afternoon:
Mt. Baker from High Pass
What a beautiful mountain! I will never tire of taking pictures of her, and I hope I'll have many more years of hikes in the wilderness to capture this mountain in all of her different characters. Today it was a perfect blend of temperature, clouds, fall colors, and serenity. And then it was time to start back down and join our other Winchester cohorts. It wasn't easy, because we kept having to stop and sample more, well, you know, blueberries.
Al in Blueberry Heaven
It was a really perfect day in so many ways. We only hiked somewhere around four or five miles, with a measly 1,600 feet of elevation gain and loss, which means I am sitting here at my laptop feeling like a million bucks, not tired, and filled with so much gratitude for another fine day in the wilderness. The only part I missed is not being with the larger group and spending time with my other Senior Trailblazers. They managed to have a great time without me, as I learned when we all met up at the end. We headed down to Graham's in Glacier to share some ice cream memories, and now we are in our own abodes, happy to have been on a great hike today.


  1. Those blueberries are beautiful, I would have been tempted to pick some and take them home! Another beautiful hike, I love the fallish colors and of course your mountain:)

  2. Incredible day and hike! What scenery! And I've never seen so many blueberries!

  3. vanilla ice cream with blueberries! :)

    i'd have never completed the hike. i'd have been picking with buckets full.

    such great views!

  4. Drooling! Those berries look so luscious. And you're getting some beautiful colour happening there. Your hikes are just so full of everything wonderful.

  5. def a beautiful mountain...i love berries so i am more than a little jealous of all the blue berries...ha...

  6. Stunning views! And those blueberries...oh, yum!

  7. Super colors on the mountain today. Yay blue berries.

  8. We call them huckleberries, of course, and for may years growing up in Oregon we went up into the Cascades to pick them, bringing back gallons of them for pies and sauces and bags of them to put in the freezer.
    I love this hike today, and the photos are gorgeous.

  9. What a gorgeous day you had for the hike DJan. I love the rare view of Mt. Baker. Fantastic scenery and ripe blueberries, could it get any better?

  10. I can't imagine why you weren't hungry! lol

    Beautiful country you share with us. Of course, I always enjoy going on the hikes with you and your senior buddies!!

    Now...'bout those wild blueberries? I have the batter all ready and prepared for you to show up with some of those luscious orbs....and we'll have a pancake feast.

  11. DJan, the colors are absolutely awesome, and none of us who do not climb could have the privilege of capturing them.

  12. I was really impressed with the amazing colors along the trail. Blue is one of the loveliest.
    Wonder how come bears are in people's back yards with so much fruit available.
    Glad you got to hike but it wasn't grueling enough to leave you sore. Think I would schedule more of those.

  13. Blueberry Heaven, that's for sure. I will never have another blueberry without thinking of you, DJan.

  14. Mmmmm ... blueberries. And what a view!

  15. The blueberries are amzingly plentiful! What a treat. Good hike and good to be out in nature. Thanks for taking us along.


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