Thursday, June 13, 2013

Heading up towards Excelsior Pass

Trailblazers on Excelsior Pass attempt (I took the picture)
The Senior Trailblazers knew that there was little possibility that we would actually get to the top of Excelsior Pass today, since it's only mid-June and snow would most likely block our path. Last year at about the same time (June 21), we made it a little bit farther, which I wrote about here We had a larger group today, with Rita's two visitors from last week included, and nobody was inspired to continue a long distance in the snow.
The trail is steep the whole way
They got to see last week what our hiking is like at sea level with sunshine, and then today, the opposite. Our trailhead today in the High Country started at a higher elevation than we climbed anywhere last week. At almost 2,000 feet of elevation, with clouds, our trailhead today was also much cooler with a threat of rain, but we were all prepared for the weather.
Al and mossy rock
At the beginning of the day, we were hopeful that the skies might clear and give us sunshine. This picture of Al shows the best it got all day in the mountains. We almost cast shadows. It was pretty perfect temperatures for us, as we moved steadily upwards. And then, at 4,000 feet of elevation, we encountered the first snow on the trail.
The first of many patches of snow
We were able to navigate our way through another 400 feet of elevation, with the snow going from patches like this until it completely obscured the trail. It's almost exactly a repeat of last year's trip, except that we stopped earlier today for lunch.
LInda and Ward on their blow-up seats
There didn't seem to be much reason to trudge higher through the snow, since it would be another 800 feet or so with no sign of the trail, just lots of snow, and no view as it was cloudy. Lunch was not a long affair, since it wasn't warm and there was no basking in the sun like last week.
Sharon, Sandra and Rita in the SNOW
I had to get a last picture of these three ladies who are old friends. Sharon and Sandra leave in the morning to return home to Virginia. I'm so glad I got a chance to know them, to see how gamely they tackled the elements today, and to be able to capture just a smidgen of their enthusiasm.
Al in the forest
After we finished lunch and started back down, we got some rain showers. Not terrible, but you can see that Al now has his raincoat on and plastic pack cover, giving a splash of color in the middle of the greenery. Although it was nothing like last week, it was still beautiful. We covered more than six miles (I was going to say almost seven but that's a stretch), but we went up and down more than 2,600 feet of elevation in that short distance. My knees know all about it.

And just a short aside: I want to send all my readers a very humble THANK YOU for the comments you left for me after my last post. I am no longer feeling like I might have taken a wrong turn; I know for sure that this is the right path for me. You have no idea how moved I am, and although I might try out a tweak or two, I'm not going to change much. I'm sticking around!


  1. your last paragraph made me breathe a sigh of relief. :) we are interested in YOU and your life. :)

    i'm just amazed at the lush green moss and ferns, then SNOW, then back again to green-land. :)

  2. I'm mighty impressed by the two guests stamina to make that hike. Good for them. So glad you're sticking around. I need to keep seeing all that moss and the beautiful ferns. Lovely, lovely.

  3. June is just the most beautiful month. All those glowing greens surrounding you on the trail. You may not be able to get into high country yet, but oh, the beauty of the green!

  4. Tweak all you want! What a great hike..good to see your snow:)

  5. it was still beautiful...ther eyou have mossy rock..hope you friends travel safe back to my neck of the woods...though they may want to stay considering much of us are without power due to the storms rolling through today...and downed trees...

  6. Oops ^ I'll try that again.

    A year ago last June, we were exploring the mountains of Colorado and the kids were thrilled to find snow to play in.
    It was warm & sunny above the treeline, so a snowball fight was refreshing after the climbing - which is hard work - kudos to all of you for tackling that climb in elevation as if it's just another day in the park!
    I smiled when I read your short aside - glad to hear!

  7. Great decision on your blog. I tweak or two I could handle.
    I want to ask you about the snow. Is this snow that your feet go down in and if you're walking in a foot of snow or is is hard and you walk on top? Here I've walked for miles on a snow field. The snow banks left over from the winter are amazing.

  8. Wow, what a difference from last week's hike. I am amazed at the moss! it all looks so beautiful.

  9. I like those blow up seats, that one way to keep the tush dry and a little warmer. All to the lush greenery is so pretty.

    A tweak or two sounds good. I was getting a little worried about you. We have been together here in Blogville a long time.

  10. I pray for safe traveling for Sharon and Sandra. So glad that you were able to meet them and that new friendships are born. Love that!
    Mid June and snow at 4000 feet? Such a difference that latitude makes! I am typing this from 4000+ feet, and I assure you that if I saw snow, I would KNOW that something baaaaad was wrong here! Amazing, my friend.l
    Love reading your blogs....

  11. I am so glad that we were able to convince you how important you are. Your posts are something I look forward to so much. Inspirational and beautiful. And I suspect that Sharon and Sandra are as impressed at the enthusiasm and vitality of you and your friends as you were at theirs.

  12. That was quite a hike you did. Love those blow up seats must look out for one of those.

  13. I was a baby blogger when I came aboard DJan and my writing skills have SO improved since then. I look back every now and then at some of my earlier posts and really? - I think to myself - YIKES, did I really write that, and I would like to go back and rewrite some of those, but I have seen gradually how I have grown, because of writers like yourself. You have this wonderful gift to write and have done so for a large part of your life. How great is that? I not only truly enjoy your posts, but also have learned much from your writing skills; so just to let you know, when you get hungry, tweak a little or tweak a lot. I like it when you break away from the ordinary hum drum (MEANT IN THE NICEST WAY POSSIBLE) and present something NEW to us, we were not, you see DJan others learn from you. Thank you from my heart for that.
    Now to chat about your post. I have become familiar with this trail and some others. It is really neat to see the differences as we enter each season. This is what I love about our great Country and our neighbours like yourself and the world of blogging. I cannot travel there, but I can virtually read and keep updated to the news, hikes, jumping outta planes, visits, the cafe crew, the streets and flowers of Bellingham, etc,etc,etc. Its like I have my own little newspaper and you are the creator, writer, editor, photography dept, etc,etc,etc. I remember this hike and the moss on the trees. I did not expect you to run into snow so early on, however; your knees were probably quite grateful - nice group shot and you really have to find a way to set your camera on a branch of one of those mighty trees or a boulder, set the timer and jump in. Al certainly did stand out in the forest. Love the colours and shades of green. Thank you - in ending this over extended paragraph, I shall simply say - Dearie, I likes tha cut o' yer jib n I likes yer news, so thanks a bunch :) Saucy

  14. Sooo glad you have decided to stay. I need someone to make me think--'see what I could do if I got off my lazy butt'. You set the bar high girl.
    I too am impressed with those blow up seats. Will check that out.

  15. Wow, 6 or more miles in steep elevation, and you say that your knees know it. Lol. I must say that I admire your fortitude, DJan.

  16. Snow in June - it boggles my mind!

    So glad to hear that you are feeling better about the blog and its direction. Tweak away, my friend. As I said before, it's your place, so do with it what you will.

  17. Another super post and wonderful pictures along with the great commentary you always share with us.

    Oh, and on a side note, I would like to have one of those inflatable long as I can deflate it when necessary to be able to zip my jeans. Do they come in sizes? [kidding of course]

  18. I'm glad you were moved and inspired by all your thoughtful comments. I read them as well. I think I learned something. I'm going to try to be more descriptive when I post travel or hiking etc... I usually try to keep things short. But I
    will try to share more about my experiences.

  19. Trying to get my mind around that snow in June thingy. It sounds like a strenuous climb in steep terrain. Kudos.

    Glub, glub--having buckets of rain in PA

  20. When you all are deep in the tall woods with all the mossy rocks--it looks like another world to me. I'm glad the company was able to keep up and had a great time. And I am glad you are going to keep sharing all of this with us!!! :):)

  21. I love how green everything is, except the snow

    the giant moss rock looks like it has a goiter!! that makes me laugh

    love ya
    hugs from me and Hope
    we're always glad to see you and to visit you

  22. First to answer the question on your last post-- I enjoy your blog very much and find your photos lovely. I'm inspired by your hiking and skydiving, and although I doubt I will ever be able to do either, I very much enjoy hearing about your travels and seeing you and your friends in action. Visiting your blog is neither a "habit" or a "payback" for when you visit mine. I enjoy it, plain and simple. So I'm hopeful you'll feel more satisfied with your blogging and stick around :-)

    And on this hike-- Snow! You know me, that would be a deal-breaker. I'm such a wimp.

    Have a great weekend and sending wishes for a defrost and warmer, dry weather.

    xo jj

  23. Oh I am so jealous of your hike in the mountains- I wish I were there now.

  24. Yay! Glad you're going to stick around. This hike, by the way, looks wonderful!

  25. These photos are wonderful: vibrant colors, interesting perspectives, not too repetitive (SP?). Are you using a camera or cell phone camera?

  26. Oh my goodness! Another exciting climb with wonderful friends. You are so lucky to be in such great shape.


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.