Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sauk Mountain memories

Mt. Baker peekaboo on Sauk Mountain 2013
The Senior Trailblazers are hiking up Sauk Mountain today, without me. Note: see below; they went somewhere else after all.) I figured maybe it was time for me to reminisce about some of my earlier visits to the mountain. My knee is still a little wonky, and this hike is pretty challenging on the uphill. The trail winds interminably up the side of a mountain, and while it's not long, it is definitely steep. So I stayed home.

In 2013, when this picture was taken, I realized that I had left my trusty camera at home, and it's the first time I ended up taking lots of wonderful camera shots with my phone. I was simply amazed at the quality, and so it was also the last time I carried another camera. According to my blog, I've been on this hike with the Trailblazers five times, and each time I got some tremendous pictures. The first year was in 2009, ten years ago.
Switchbacks up the mountainside 2017
This picture shows the steep switchbacks that take you to the ridge above. It's claimed a few lives lately, with two people in two subsequent years slipping on the steep dusty trail and falling to their deaths. It was one factor in my consideration about whether to risk it today or not. I am not feeling my best, and after yesterday's colonoscopy, my balance is also a little off. There's always next year.
Looking down at Sauk Lake
Only once in my trips up Sauk Mountain did we end up taking the side trail down to the lake. It's another mile and around 1,000 feet down, and the trail is not as well traveled, so there were a few places where it wasn't obvious, but we made it. Of course Richard decided to go swimming, which he almost always does when there's a body of water, summer or winter.
Heading down to the lake in 2016
The one thing I remember the most about the trip to the lake (other than having to climb back up) were the numerous bugs: flies and mosquitos seemed impervious to my repellent. The entire trip only covered a mere six miles in total, but the elevation gain and loss was considerable. I hope to get a good trip report for today's hike and will add an addendum if I do indeed get one.

(News Flash: Melanie just texted me that they didn't even do Sauk Mountain but went to Park Butte instead! Oh well. Here's a picture of the group that Melanie sent me.)
The Park Butte crowd (taken by Melanie)

Note about yesterday's colonoscopy: the good news is that I don't have any obvious signs of cancer, but I did have a few small polyps (3-4 mm in size) removed. The bad news is that I apparently have a rare condition: a tortuous colon, which meant that my highly skilled doctor had to work hard to accomplish the procedure, but she did, and for that I am very grateful.


  1. That was a very steep slope shown in the photo.

  2. I am glad that most of the colonoscopy news was positive - and that your doctor is skilled and dedicated.
    Thank you so much for sharing beautiful memories.

  3. Looks like an incredible place to hike! Hope your knee wonkiness goes away soon so you can get back to hiking with the group.

  4. Good news with NO cancer!

    Beautiful memories of those gorgeous hikes!

  5. Amazing landscapes!

    I hope you're feeling better soon.

  6. Good news indeed! Hope the knee repairs itself soon too.

  7. Great photos. I have a loopy colon, too.

  8. Great news about no cancer but sorry about the tortuous colon. Me too only my doctor wasn't skilled enough and I had to have a barium enema. Same prep, not fun at all.

  9. That looked like a harrowing climb, but they went elsewhere anyways. Glad the colonoscopy went well! Good news is always welcome. :)

  10. That's a beautiful but strenuous hike. Best that you opted out. Why did the others opt out also?
    Tortuous - full of twists and turns. I guess you could actually say you have knots in your stomach. I'm glad all is well.

  11. Wow... just gorgeous! The photos remind me of a trip we took to Ouray, CO years ago. The inlaws had their 5th wheel trailer and we had a pickup and camper. The boys were about 2 and 3 years old. We were camped in the valley with the river running just a few feet from our camp. Lovely memories! Thanks!

  12. Good news then with the colon...yeah you! They usually send the polyps in for evaluation, hope they are all okay. You are a trooper:)


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