Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paleo Meals to Go

Yesterday a box of goodies from "Paleo Meals" came in the mail.  They look yummy, I can't wait to try them out.  Check them out at

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mount Ellinor from the Upper Trail

It's probably been three years since I have gone all the way up Ellinor and maybe 8 years since I did it from the upper trail head, not counting the time I did it in the dark.  Ellinor is too crowded for my liking.  I figured that it might not be too bad on a weekday in October with rain in the forecast.  I only saw three other parties on the mountain, so the crowds were almost tolerable.  One woman was taking pictures by setting her tablet in the middle of the trail and she took a long time doing it, I finally had to ask her to stop so I could walk by.  Mount Ellinor attracts many atypical hikers.

There was no view at the top, but I got a good work out.  There were no mushrooms other than some bears heads that I knew I would not be able to reach.  It took me about an hour and 45 mintues to make the climb.  I believe that this was the first time that Patches has been on the summit of Ellinor, not counting the time I went up it in the dark.  It's normally too crowded  for dogs on Ellinor.

3 miles RT with 2,400 feet elevation gain

Too high to reach

Tea time

Looking back down to my red truck

Patches and my hand made day pack on the top 

track and elevation profile

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wagonwheel Lake

My track log going down
Wagonwheel lake trail is actually
even steeper than the signs advertise.
I was feeling a bit under the weather so I did not want to push myself too hard by going up the ridge above Wagonwheel.  I made it up to Wagonwheel lake in about two hours and fifteen minutes.  I was surprised by my time.  I think listening to my music helped my time.

Another thing that saved time was not having my camera.  It turns out that I left the house half cocked without my wallet or my camera.  So no drivers license and no national parks pass.  The full moon was just above the shoulder of Mount Rose as I turned onto 119 so I slammed on my brakes to get a picture and then realized I did not have my camera.

I did however have my external flash and a spare Nikon battery.  I have a new used Nikon D90 that I was going to take on its trail run on this day.  I was quite unhappy to realize I had left my camera at  home.  But really there was nothing to take picture of on this hike and after a big weekend of photographing oysterfest I was a little burned out on photography.

The lake was as ugly as usual and the forest was just as dark and spindly as usual.  There is not much to see on this trail, but I might start doing this trail all the time.  Mount Rose is getting too crowded for my liking and with a recent post to NWhikers net that I asked the poster to take down (they did not)  I know that Mount Rose is going to explode with people and be ruined for me forever.  I expect Mount Rose to go the same way that the Vance Creek Bridge went.  Killed by popularity.    The city slickers who infest Mount Ellinor will soon all be on Mount Rose as well.

With this hike I broke my annual elevation gain record.
My totals for the year are now:
Elevation gain 88990 Miles hiked 518.05

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The little lake that you can see from the top of Mount Ellinor

Photo I took of the lake in 2010.  I took this photo with a media loan camera
on the  day that I hiked up Mount Ellinor to catch the sunrise.

There is a little lake that you can see when you are on the summit of Mount Ellinor.  You kind of have to stick your head over the edge to see it.  I've never seen anyone down there.   Years ago I decided that I wanted to go down there.  Years ago I did not have anyone to do these crazy off trail trips with, but now I do.  So once again I teamed up with Phil and we went on a slide alder, devil's club, lake bagging, route finding adventure.

The route was only 2 miles but it took us five hours to reach the lake.  It looked so much easier on the topo map, but doesn't it always?

Trail looked good at first, it's 9:50AM

Then it turned into a boulder field with no obvious trail

More mossy boulders with big gaping caves under them

Then the trail turned to brush

Then more brush with rocks we could stand on to look out over the brush

We lost a lot of time route-finding and stopping to rest 

We have to go up the meadow  yes,  but do we really have to cross that notch?

Standing on a big rock in the meadow trying to find a less brushy route

We had to brush crash for about an hour, neither of us had gloves
and there was a lot of Devil's Club and Goose Berry thorns to deal with.
I lost my gloves on the way up and Phil forgot to pack gloves.

Then we tried to crucify ourselves by  bouldering in a slimy creek bed to get over the notch

Tricky when wet

Looking back down where we came from while standing in the creek

Out of the creek and into the woods there were flags of many colors
the orange ones are mine, don't follow them, we found a much better route down

Big Lion's mane, there were three on this log, I only took one

Patches rests on top of a log, since she is at my eye level I snap a shot

Time for more bouldering, Patches struggled here

There was a field of big boulders right before the lake
the orange speck in the middle is me.  Phil took this picture.

we hit a big flat rocky area just below Mount Washington

We found a grassy area where big animals had flattened  grass while sleeping

At about 3:45 we found the lake.  Mount Ellinor is the peak on the left

Another view of the lake and Mount Ellinor, it was bigger than I expected

We realize that we have no time to stay at the lake, it took us 5 hours to get there
and there are only 3 hours of daylight left. There is no part of the route that we want to do in the dark.
We at the very least, want to make it through the slide alder and devil's club before darkness sets in.

Found another one of these on an easier route on the way down

Back down into the slippery creek bed Phil fell and nearly did 
the splits right before I took this photo.  Patches is barking her head off
because she is not sure how to get down and she wants us to hurry up.

The sweet light

The clouds are chasing us down the Mountain

It's 7:10 and the dark sets in just as we hit the big mossy boulder field.
There are giant holes under the boulders and we don't want to fall in.
It's time to put away the camera, put on the head lamp and cross our fingers.
We lose the trail many times because there is no trail.  Brush crashing by headlamp is
difficult because you can only see the branches in your face and nothing else.

At 8PM I lose the trail  yet again and I look around with my head lamp and then
 I see  see my license plate glowing on the road ten feet away from me
How to make goddess laugh?
Tell her your plans.

Our actual route the long straight line is where I turned off my GPS on the way
down in order to save battery power
 Home now and stiff and sore, scratched and bruised.  Tomorrow I'll start pulling the devils club out of my hands, I'm too tired to deal with it today.