Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hannegan Pass on a beautiful October day

In the parking lot at the start of the day
I know this post is late today. Because the days are growing shorter, and we are losing a half-hour of daylight every week now, I just returned home from our wonderful hike a short time ago. I needed to download my pictures and pour my wine, which I am enjoying as I write this chronicle of our wonderful day. Ten Senior Trailblazers met at 8:00 and, when the above picture was taken, we had traveled many miles and almost two hours to get there. We started before 10:00, with two groups: a faster group who would try to make it to the peak, and the rest of us who would make it to Hannegan Pass and maybe, after lunch, a little bit more. I was in the slower group.
The canyon walls and blue sky
On a fine day, this is a beautiful hike, with views right from the beginning, as we traveled up the valley, with gorgeous expanses emerging as the early morning fog lifted, giving us some clouds. But it was cool and crisp and clear the entire day, with occasional clouds across the sun. There was no breeze at the beginning of the day, but as we ascended higher, there was a little bit. It was nowhere near as warm as last week, but nobody was complaining.
Our lunch spot at Hannegan Pass
We reached the pass just a little after noon, knowing that the faster group would be pushing on until the reached the summit, but we enjoyed a very nice break after four uphill miles to this nice spot. We kept having to move in order to stay in the sun, because the shadows were very long and growing longer. We decided, after a short break, to join our summiteers on the trail to the peak, and we began climbing upwards.
Ruth Mountain on the left, the Nooksack Cirque on the right
The views were stupendous, and although it was a rather tough climb, every time we turned another corner there was more to see. And then we saw the others on their way back down, so we stopped. I was worn out and glad not to take another upward step.
Bill in red, Peggy in front with Chris and Al behind
In this picture, you can see the summit, the high point in the middle. Three Trailblazers made it up to the top: Doug, Roger, and Rich. Steve went almost all the way up but turned around to join the rest of us before summiting. So seven of us didn't make it all the way to the top, but we sure did go a long ways, more than nine miles and up more than 2,700 feet. To reach that summit from the beginning, it's 10.4 miles and 3,100 feet, and although we had some distance to go, we were up there!
Carol and Steve on the trail
And then it was time go to back down the way we had come. All ten of us set out together on the return trip to the cars. All I can say is that today was one of the best times I've spent on Hannegan Pass, with the weather, the company, and the views unparalleled. It's almost 7:00 after starting my day twelve hours ago or thereabouts, and it was almost perfect. Our driver, Peggy, got us back to the Senior Center in record time, and we went our separate ways, with me wanting to get this post written before my wine runs out (it's close, but I'm almost there).
Returning to the cars
On our way back down, I captured this picture of the continuing beautiful day and a few of the hikers in front of me. The return trip seemed long (but it often does), and now I am signing off, with two inches of wine still in my glass. It was a day I won't forget any time soon. It was truly a great day!


  1. That's a lot of hiking, but I can see that you were well rewarded!

  2. Such beautiful pictures. As always, you inspire me to get out of my chair and keep moving.

  3. Great photos on today's hike. Great views , colors and shadows. It's always a bonus with fine weather.

  4. How absolutely beautiful. Thank you for taking us along. Love those views, and the clouds...
    Enjoy that well deserved wine.

  5. Most exquisite photos! And, you have a great smile!
    Sorry I haven't been able to join lately due to a medical condition. Love to you all and hike on!....

  6. Another great hike with such pretty sky and scenery! :)

  7. Looks like you almost made it to the top. But as your photos show, it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey.

  8. What beautiful scenery, well worth the effort. I can't imagine driving 2 hours to get there. But, as I said well worth the effort.

  9. truly beautiful skies and views! really wonderful.

  10. That is a LOT of climbing. What a great looking day and full day. You and your dedication always amazes me. Think I would need wine by the liter to make the same climb.

  11. Such beauty. But the real story here is your stamina. You rock.

  12. That sounds like a really great hike, on a beautiful day! Glad you can handle 10 miles and 2700 feet in elevation!


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