I had hoped to leave home Sunday afternoon and hike to Camp Handy Sunday night, but I was reluctant to leave because my parishioner John Steller was near death. I had visited several times and anointed him with oil the day before, but I didn't want it to look like I was abandoning him and his family. I talked with his wife, Janet, and she assured me I should go. I contacted Dick Scott, a retired priest, and he said he'd be glad to visit at the time of death. So I felt free to go on Monday morning.
I left home at 7:15 am and started hiking at the Dungeness River trailhead at 9:00. The morning was cool and pleasant and the first few miles reeled off easily.
I love the grove of huge firs on the lower part of the trail.
A photo taken with the camera timer.
By mid-morning I was sweating up the inclined trail to Boulder Shelter. Three vigorous and fit women in their fifties passed me at the river crossing. Two women in their seventies passed me, then I passed them. Then a group of five hikers passed me while I was resting. When they stopped for lunch I pulled ahead of them and kept going. Quite crowded on the trail.
\As I approached Boulder Shelter, I started seeing wildflowers. They were out in full force this time of year. These are harebells.
A field of flowers near Boulder Shelter.
As I progressed up the valley, the trail eased up and I began to see ahead to the skyline and the pass. I was quite tired by mid-afternoon and went slowly. I crossed a rocky-strewn slope and entered the last incline to Home Lake. I arrived about 4:00. I met a man in his fifties and his teenage daughter who were camping at the lake and had a pleasant conversation.
As the sun was setting, the side of Mount Constance began to glow with sunlight. I grabbed my watercolors and made this painting, swatting away mosquitoes as I painted:
My camp overlooking Home Lake.
As the sun began to set, the alpenglow on the ridge to the East was lovely.
The next morning I awoke by 6:00, had breakfast, and started up to the pass by 7:00. There were flowers everywhere.
Switchbacks on the way up to the pass.
At Constance Pass.
Looking off to the South, I could see the back side of The Brothers.
From the pass, I continued up the ridge, with the views increasing at every step. It's wide open tundra, easy going.
From the ridge, I could see the entire Dosewallips drainage including Anderson Pass, Lost Pass, and Hayden Pass. Grey Wolf Pass was hidden behind the ridge, but I could look down on all the trails I have hiked.
Wandering in the alpine. I felt free and elated to be in the high country.
Fields of flowers.
"The joy of the universe came rushing to meet me and I embraced here. Yes, yes O yes!
I started down the moutain and arrived at my camp at 9:20. I took a half hour break and started out at 9:50.
Home Lake see from above. You can just see the first wisps of smoke coming into our area from the fires in Canada. The smoke would last for a week before it cleared away.
There were fields of flowers on the way out.
Big flowers against a dark background.
Had lunch at Boulder Shelter and continued down the trail This is just below Boulder Shelter. Returned to the car at 4:10 and drove home, stopping for ice cream and coffee.