July 2, 2018
Yes, I’m talking about snow in July. We embarked upon one of our favorite hikes today. We went on a hike to Sauk Mountain three years ago on June 21 (blog post here). The original hike was in warm sunny weather. It was cloudy when we left today, but I was optimistic the weather would clear. When we got to the trailhead, it was still cloudy and 40 degrees F. I was still optimistic the weather would clear (not having paid attention to today’s forecast). We arrived at the trailhead and only one car was parked there. Last time we hiked here, the place was packed. We met the other hiking pair as they was coming down. They were finishing their hike as we got started. They said there was lots of snow on the top and it was snowing.
I was still optimistic. Regis was ready to throw in the towel, but not me. We trudged up the mountain in the fog. There was little to see except the flowers on the side of the path. I had forgotten how tough this hike is. There are 26 switchbacks. Once we got within .7 miles of the top, we hit snow. Dart did his ecstasy run and showed off how he could make it through the snow without sliding down the mountain. This snow was very slippery and I gave up fast. We stopped to have water and a snack and it started to sleet. I know many of my friends and relatives are dealing with the heat. We were sitting in the snow while being pelted with sleet on July 2! What’s up with that?
We couldn’t get to the top because the snow and we froze because of the sleet and blowing wind. We turned around and headed back down.
On the way down, the clouds parted a few times to give us glimpses of the view. When we got back to the campsite, it was mostly sunny. Regis and Dart sat outside and we set up our beach umbrella to give Dart some shade. This morning Dart was romping in the snow and\ in the afternoon he was dozing under his beach umbrella.
Partial description of US Forest Service Trail #613: “The trail begins in high mountain meadows offering wildflowers and spectacular vistas the entire length…..A 360-degree panorama of the North Cascades is provided at the old lookout site. On a clear day, Mt. Ranier can be seen to the south, Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands to the west, and the rugged Cascade peaks stretching to the east.” The trail starts at 4300 feet and rises 1200 feet in elevation. It is 2.1 miles to the top and considered a more difficult trail.
Needless to say, the clouds blocked those spectacular views. But, we saw lots of wildflowers and got a good workout. And, Dart got another romp in the snow.