Saturday, July 29, 2017

Upper Royal Basin Beauty

After our 7 mile hike to Royal Lake, enjoying exploring the lake, and dinner, two of us headed toward the Upper Basin. I was loving the mountain views.
As we hiked up, the stream was so lovely.
There were more flowers to enjoy in the higher meadow.
As we rounded the corner, we saw that the stream was coming right off of this glacier fed waterfall and under a snowfield. We enjoyed this view for quite awhile with amazement.
We headed back down for camp for the night but let the rest of our group know that we must all return in the morning to enjoy this breathtaking area.
On the way down we saw a marmot sunning himself on the rock.
The next morning we all came up again. Looking back we saw the mist still settled over Royal Lake.
 We crossed the little stream coming down from the waterfall and continued up to the next ridge.
The mountains were so amazingly beautiful.
There was still quite a bit of melting snow at this elevation.
At the top of the upper basin we found this little snow melt lake with its pretty reflection.
We continued to enjoy the upper basin with amazement, feeling on top of the world!
We all decided we would like to live here and it was hard to head back down to the lake.
There was a deer with her fawn enjoying the high meadow with us.
We saw several marmots and heard them whistling. This one decided to pose for me! We reluctantly started the mile down to the lake and then hiked the 7 miles back to the trailhead.

Royal Basin Pt 1

To support my self care habit, I have joined a great hiking group in Washington. They go to all of my favorite places. I was super excited to see the Royal Basin. We met up in Sequim and drove to trailhead to start a 7 mile hike to Royal Lake.
The forest was lovely with an unrelenting slow climb. I loved the Tiger Lillies.
There was lovely moss and rippling creeks and streams.
This forest was very much alive with sounds of water everywhere.
Before long our hard work of climbing paid off and we started seeing mountains through the trees.
We took plenty of breaks to catch our breath.
There were Columbine to enjoy along the way.
After about 6.5 miles we arrived at the lower basin with it's beautiful alpine meadows.
We took a break at this rock before continuing to Royal Lake.
The lake was so nice, surrounded by mountains with jumping fish.
I decided to take a swim!
It was a little on the cold side but nothing compared to glacier fed streams. I liked that it got deep quickly.
After setting up camp we just relaxed, explored around the lake, and took naps.
I checked out the other side of the lake.
On the way to the privy there was a large bolder.
The view from the "ranger station" which was a tent on a platform.
We cooked dinner and enjoyed the reflection on the lake.
Many deer wandered through camp, we had to hide any straps that might tempt them to eat our salty gear.
We continued to enjoy watching the reflection and the sky.
One more picture of the lake the next day.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bull of the Woods LOVE

I had just been camping on the Rogue and Umpqua rivers, come home for a night to celebrate my husband's birthday, and wanted to squeeze the last precious sands of time out of a holiday weekend. On Sunday afternoon, I drove to the Whetstone Mountain trail in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness with my friend Corrine. As we entered the forest, this purple trillium was striking.
It was still spring in the Bull of the Woods. I enjoyed seeing Trillium and still a bit of snow.
The trail descended steeply for a short time and then started climbing.
We climbed through the beautiful forest and I knew I was already in love with this place, then we started seeing mountains! Mt. Jefferson in the distance.
We came up onto a high saddle and soaked in the view and the sunshine.
The rhododendrons were blooming all over the place!
Sheer Joy. Connected to my strong body, open to the gifts of this place, grateful for a friend to share it with.
Cliffside view.
In my element- we continued our climb and then started descending down to the twin lakes to complete an 8 mile day. We got a late start- about 2:30pm but we made pretty good time.
Lower Twin lake- I thought not a lot of people came to this amazing spot but it was PACKED with campers.
The upper lake did not look as accessible and we headed back to the lower lake, checking out any potential flat spot.
We claimed a very small patch of dirt, trying hard not to trample any flowers in the process. It was getting to be a bit on the late side and we needed to call it a day.
I made this yummy stroganoff meal with pork jerky, sweet potato noodles, coconut cream powder, and dried okra. It was a tad "al dente" because I was impatient but the flavor was quite delicious.
In the morning I spent some time filtering water and we found a patch of lake to enjoy after some other campers packed up and left.
After breakfast we headed back up the hill toward the saddle.
All my favorite flowers are hearty in this wilderness- paintbrush.
Enjoyed some more rhododendrons.
We took a side trail up Whetstone Mountain and got quite the views of Mt. Jefferson.
Corrine on top of the world.
The viewpoint was amazing. We could see the three sisters.
We spent some time gazing at the mountains before heading out for the drive home.
Bull of the woods is so great! I think I may have found my new favorite backpacking destination in Oregon!
We completed our 10 mile day and headed home- making the most of every moment of the holiday weekend.