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Robert Ballard | all galleries >> Galleries >> Washington 2014 Blog > Are you excited?
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10-AUG-2014

Are you excited?

We went to Excelsior Peak. We took the easy route. The hard route is a much easier drive, but the elevation gain is much more than I would be interested in. I feel fortunate that this hike was accessible. The road was closed for several years due to a wash out. The trail was in excellent condition, especially considering that itís been somewhat inaccessible for a few years. Of course trail crews could have taken the long way in, but that doesnít seem overly likely. They wouldnít have had much time to actually work on the trails at that point.

The trail is beautiful. The beginning is forested before breaking out into a clearing with some ponds (Damfino Lakes). After that the climb is forested for a while. Thereís a clearing with some grass and flowers. The best is yet to come. Itís fantastic when the trail emerges from the trees onto a steep slope thatís absolutely covered with flowers. Valerian is the predominant species, with lupine and some others adding to the experience. I canít describe how wonderful it is, and pictures certainly donít do it justice. Later the trail ascends to Excelsior Peak. The views are superb - Mounts Shuksan and Baker werenít shy today. I took a different trail (not on my map) down and circumnavigated the peak. That trail leads hikers through two more wonderful wildflower covered slopes.

Yesterday a restaurant cashier commented about the upcoming 90 degree temperatures. She asked, ďAre you excited?Ē In case youíre wondering, the answer is no. I donít prefer to hike in such hot weather. But thatís not surprising since I donít prefer such hot weather for anything. Well I suppose that maybe that temperature would be okay if I were staying inside. In that case I would have the AC on, so thereís no reason to get excited. I simply canít fathom why anyone would be so happy about such hot weather. But then most people would think Iím crazy for getting excited about walking out in the middle of nowhere.

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Jim Stiles12-Aug-2014 13:36
So glad you're getting to see the wildflowers you wanted to up here! And no, we aren't terribly excited about the 100+ temps we had yesterday. Nor am I excited for the thunderstorms rolling through and hampering our deck staining project.

Keep hiking, Robert and getting these wonderful shots!

--Jim--
waterfalls man12-Aug-2014 01:21
Great Shot V!!
Judi Hastings11-Aug-2014 23:19
Gorgeous! I'm glad mother nature is showing off a bit for you!
fdt11-Aug-2014 16:34
Great shot of this beautiful scenery.