Trail Difficulty – Easy
Trail Type – Road/off-trail
Distance – 9.2 miles
Elevation Gain – 170 Feet
Camera in hand we headed out for Hike 12 and the Weekly Photo Challenge; Sun on the Little Naches River.
Finding established trails with the length we need is still a challenge; we drove up to a mountain pass that is still closed and walked up trails as we found them. We only saw about ten cars the whole day.
The first time we went off trail we discovered something a little worrisome; footprints in the sand. A couple of miles later we saw a Coyote that dodged my camera, but to me it looked like Cougar tracks.
The day became even more ominous when we looked up and saw Turkey Vultures circling the treeline. The wingspan on the second one in the trees was impressive. We started to get a little nervous.
We came across a nice open stand of Ponderosa Pine that had been burned at some point – while taking a picture of the incredible bark, we saw the Mayfly. In this phase, he only had a few more hours to live and was spending time basking in the sun.
There was a lot of run-off from the snowpack melting creating mini-waterfalls everywhere.
We saw the next waterfall it temporarily confused us – the water appeared to disappear and it drained into an underground channel.
We left the road and went off trail and were surprised to find an empty campground at the top – the sun was making quick work of the snow.
On the way home, we stopped at walked around a small lake when we discovered a pair of ducks enjoying some quality time – if anyone knows the breed I would love to find out – they were striking, especially their eyes.
We hiked a little over 9 miles – in two weeks we will start working on elevation. It was an amazing day.
I can’t wait to see what happens next week.