“The Mountain Is Out”

Standing: Laurie Rosenbloom, Diana Bedwell, Lynn Warren (photographer), Sandy Mednick, Ron Hoffman, Douglas Elijew, Barb Kripps, Mary Hill, Ron Grove, Dana Thomas, Jan Sherwood, Tom Wellman, Nancy Love, Jim Gillespie, Atsuko Arner, and Alex Elijew; kneeling: Cherlene Elijew, Pat Wilson, Kay Thomas, Ann Rohlman, Nadine Eder, and Art Arner

Jan Sherwood

That’s the phrase Seattleites use to determine what the day’s weather will be. If you can see Mount Rainier, it’ll be a sunny day. Twenty-three members of the PebbleCreek Hiking Club traveled to Washington state to explore trails in western Washington. Ann Rohlman, Jan Sherwood, and Nancy Love planned and led hikes that sampled the western side of the state. First up was the most popular and challenging hike from Sunrise Point in Mount Rainier National Park. Then came a trail to two of the more than 700 lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Finally, hikers chose either another lake destination trail through a dense forest with multiple creek crossings along the I-90 corridor, or a trail to view an impressive series of three waterfalls, one with a 360-foot drop. Washington is not called the Evergreen State for nothing. The forests are filled with greenery, from the ferns on the forest floor to the towering Douglas Firs, Mountain Hemlock, and Western Red Cedar, their limbs covered with lush moss.

The weather was perfect for summer hiking, sunny with temperatures in the 50s to low 80s. Aside from the barren, tundra-like trail at Mount Rainier, the other trails were shaded under a dense canopy, and the trail surfaces were mostly soft forest debris with glacier-dropped rocks and tangles of roots to step over. Of course, no hiking week in Washington state would be complete without a day of “liquid sunshine,” a light drizzle as hikers departed from Washington.

The hikers are on their way back to PebbleCreek, their summer homes, or venturing further. Some headed north to Alaska, east to visit more national parks, or enjoyed the scenic roads along the Oregon and California coasts. Wonder which state the club will hike in next summer?