I was going hiking come rain or not; it rained about 1/3 of the time, misted 1/3 of the time, and was foggy the balance. Obviously, the NIkon stayed home, so all pics are iPhone SE2 camera. The hike started in almost dark w/ iPhone flashlight on for first 10 minutes … such a good trail for that btw.

Incidentally, a park crew was working on the trail this day. I stated my appreciation for their work maintaining the trail, as it has been usable without mud so far this winter (it was not that well maintained in years previous). I did make a snide comment that the trail is best when wet because it’s too hard in summer (like concrete).

I had a bit of a gear confusion when my Diamond Peak cork / carbon trekking poles (REI) started getting gummy cork handles. Can’t figure out but the cold moisture seems to make them ‘sticky’. Over a long day, that stickiness increases my probability of finger blisters, yikes! Need to research others’ issues.

The hike went like this – basically an end-to-end Ridgeline with 2 Spencer Butte tops (or, e2e 2up):

  • N. Willamette to Blanton
  • Blanton to Top
  • Top to Baldy
  • Baldy to Top
  • Top back to car

This is what it looked like from the N Willamette TH around 7:45 after going to Blanton and coming back

At the top the first time, the fog was way thick

Suffice it to say, there were not many other people out that day. The birds (even at Cascade Raptor Center) were quiet most of the day. Only the Kestrels were making noises when I passed. It was solitude and quietness – seldom bad things in and of themselves.

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