Thursday, September 9, 2021

Back to the Chuckanuts

Melanie and Al

The rest of the Senior Trailblazers headed up to the High Country to hike the Yellow Aster Butte trail. Since I was pretty wiped out by all the rocks on last week's trip, I asked Mel if she'd stay local with me, and she agreed. Al went to the Senior Center parking lot to send the 14 Trailblazers on their way and then joined us for part of our hike up to Madrone Crest. 

A mound of pine cone chips

I was really enchanted with this picture, showing a stump covered with little pieces of pine cone chips, left there by myriad squirrels and chipmunks after feasting on the tasty inside parts. We could hear them chattering away in the trees for most of the hike.

Mel taking a picture of me taking her picture

Mel likes to call this spot on the Lower Salal trail the "over and under" place, since we have to climb over a large tree root and then under this natural bridge. Once we finished this part of the trail, Al turned back to head home.

One of the many signs

These trails are well maintained and the signs certainly help hikers to tell just where you are. We had just finished the Salal trail and rejoined the North Lost Lake trail after having enjoyed a quick lunch at Madrone Crest. There is no view there any more, as the trees have grown up to cover it, but it's still a pretty spot. 

Coming down the Madrone Crest trail

I did get this picture after we stopped for lunch, showing what a lovely place we had all to ourselves today. We didn't see any other people until we were halfway back down the Hemlock trail.

Banana slug

We did see a little wildlife (ha!), if you can call this banana slug wildlife. He's outnumbered in the forests by the black slug, which is not native to the area, but this yellow one is. We were careful to give him a wide berth on the trail. Pretty big guy, huh?

Turkey tail mushrooms

And we saw lots of this variety of mushroom, hard to the touch and nothing like the ones we see when it's not so dry. They are very pretty, though, and apparently harvested sometimes for their medicinal properties.

Ferns galore

Our forests are definitely filled with plenty of lush greenery, even after a long period of drought. The streams are dried up, but we still have plenty of beauty to enjoy. I never used to hike these areas in the summertime, before Covid, but now I know these trails so much better, seeing them year round.

Maidenhair fern

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this beautiful maidenhair fern, my very favorite of the many different kinds of ferns we have around here. By the time we reached our cars, we had covered more than seven miles (7.22 to be exact) and 1, 600 feet up and down. I was tired by the time we finished, but now I'm rejuvenated after sitting for awhile. I'm so happy to still be able to do these wonderful adventures with my pal Melanie.



  1. I am also very glad that you can continue to have these adventures - and blown away by the beauty you share. Thank you.

  2. That still sounds like a great hike even if you didn't get up into the High Country. We first saw those giant slugs about 45 years ago on our first camping trips out west. The kids were thrilled!

  3. 7 miles is pretty good for an old timer. Good on you for being in good enough shape to do something this strenuous.

  4. We have ferns like that growing wild, in pots, on our rock walls. I like the maidenhair fern that have large round leaves but they don't like me too much. One of these days I will "tame" them.

  5. Third time is a charm I guess. First two comments never published...
    ...beautiful area, nice scenery (the slug not so much) D J.

    Have a terrific weekend.

  6. That was another great day hiking. You and Mel have wonderful adventures! Great photos as always, Jan.

  7. I'm so glad you have Melanie to wander with. And Al was even with for a while, too. Love the ferns. We don't have slugs here so they look very alien to me. Have a super weekend! :)

  8. Can't believe that for a second I missed the slug in the picture as I was looking at the pretty yellow, then it was OMG.
    Seven plus miles is no sneeze.You do set the bar high for a lot of us.

  9. Nice hike! Quite an endurance test. I like those ferns, too, and have five Boston ferns hanging under my eaves. They are so pretty.

  10. I always enjoy you hikes! So glad that Mel goes with you and it was good to see Al again too!

  11. I love Chuckanuts! Not only the pictures, but the name. That 3rd picture is my favorite. But all the ferns and overgrowth and... just nature thrill me.

  12. We have maidenhair ferns here too. I think they're awfully pretty too. I love your forest walks. I would love to walk it if it weren't so far and uphill. LOL. I really don't like walking uphill.

  13. Discovering things on a trail is the highlight (like that banana slug)


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.