5-mile LOOP HIKE of SNOQUERA FALLS

Save you the curiosity question; The name ‘Snoquera’ is actually an amalgamation of Snoqualmie and Emergency Relief Appropriations, a completely made-up name. It’s a pretty powerful waterfall starting from 480-ft high cliff, creating a 300-ft drop in a 90-pitch straight down and 20-ft width. It becomes into view only after climbing little under 1000-ft vertical dirt trail. Below: Past the Boy Scout campsite, and a quaint mini amphitheater, a glimpse at the falls.

Below: Nature’s amphitheater in dense forest
Below: Climbing. Our Saint Mocha, way ahead of me (in the black circle) waiting patiently.
Below: Trail ends, start bushwhacking & rock hugging to the base. Steve & Mocha made it.
Below: Snack break. The mist from the powerful fall is everywhere.
Below: Nice group- Adams Family, from Heath, Ohio.
Below. A little biology tidbit from Steve: This is a very unusual “nurse” tree. The original downed tree – one trunk grew to two that were 100+ years old – has four ‘new’ trees growing on top of the Nurse tree, which is rotting away and adding nutrients for the new trees’ roots.

NOTE: Only for this week most of my e-books on Amazon Kindle are offered FREE downloads. Download them now, read them later. Search Amazon for Author name Dee Tezelli. CHEERS.

AHTANUM RIDGE LOOP- UNION GAP, YAKIMA VALLEY

When it’s cloudy and only mid 50’s in Seattle a 170-mile road trip back to sunny 80-deg. Yakima Valley fills your passion to HIKE! The old town of Union Gap, pop. 6100, incorporated back in 1883, has high ridges @2000-ft and beautiful Yakima River. Multiple extra steep dirt trails will lead straight up to Ahtanum Ridge (Indian name meaning Creek by the long Mountain) allowing you to make your own custom-made loop, anywhere from 4 to 10 miles. The valley is a haven for fruit orchards and all sorts of farming.

Below: Most trailheads are @ Agricultural Museum, acres of ancient farming equipment, identified by original owner histories.
Below: Negotiating the first half of the 1000 vertical climb.
Below: Almost reaching the rocky ridge. Mocha, our hiking Saint leads. Note the unusual shades of the blue sky streaked with wispy clouds.
Below: Poacher(?) left a good size deer’s partial hind leg. Bear scats were also present. Hard to tell COD! Probably from last fall’s snow cover?
Below: Hydration and lunch break at the top. Now take your pick of down-trails. Some will end at the nearby Fullbright Park with facilities, picnic areas.
Below: Union Gap underfoot, rolling hills, sweet sagebrush scents all around, dotted with a maze of down trails.
Below: All down trails are extremely steep. Afternoon hour is waning. Picked one with less switchbacks.
Below: Bonus find. Rare pink wildflower-only two- subalpine Erythonium – mostly called avalanche lily.
NOTE TO FOLLOWERS: THERE ARE SEVERAL FREE DOWNLOAD E-BOOKS ON AMAZON KINDLE UNDER AUTHOR NAME: DEE TEZELLI. NOTE #2: NEW E-BOOK: BROWN GIRL of the EAGLETAIL MOUNTAIN is moving through editing&formatting. READY by AUGUST!

2nd PEAK of METHOW VALLEY -LEWIS BUTTE @3350-ft

Despite the forecast calling for rain and thunderstorms, the motto is: Plans made and Plans kept. Overnight for R&R @ the rustic Winthrop Inn, early at the trail head of Lewis Butte 5-mile hike. Vertical gain of 1100′ with 360 degree views all the way up. Below: Only concern is when will the predicted squalls arrive?

Below: Looking from the bottom to the top, a collapsed old barn and trail still DRY! But clouds are circling.
Below: Almost to the top. Eye on the squall coming across the valley.
Below: Creeping up fast, getting ready for it to let loose.
Below: At the summit: quick photos before getting wet.
Below: Squall now in full force. The whole hike there were only 2 couples besides us. The other two wisely cut it short and returned halfway.
Below: Totally drenched, Steve and Mocha on the way down. However, the last few hundred feet before the parking lot, the SUN reappeared to help dry.

1st. of two SUMMITS in historic METHOW VALLEY – PATTERSON MOUNTAIN LOOP in WINTHROP @ 3550 ft. PEAK

Forecast sunny and near 70-deg. a 200 mile-road trip via North Cascades Hwy 20 from Seattle. Consider every mile and the fuel cost worth it for the surrounding views you get from the summit of Patterson Mountain. Town of Winthrop is a hub for skiers, hikers, rock climbers and rafters all year round. HWY#20 drive is also renowned for its dramatic jagged mountain tops and the snow fed white capped waters of Methow River. Below: A look from the Sun Mountain Lodge, at Patterson Mt.’s gentle slope 5-mile climb and Patterson Lake.

Below: Startled a good-looking doe
Below: View of the Trappers Peak and Diablo Lake [See our past post of Trappers Peak] in Newhalem.]
Below: Rare shot of a halo above due to high humidity.
Below: Halfway up the trail, lost in the beauty of valley climbing.
Below: At the summit viewing the mosaic art that was privately funded in 2017 by a local business owner to cover all four sides of the formerly dreary concrete cistern, each side a different season. We assume that the four mosaic panels were helicopter delivered to the 3650′ summit. What a joy it gives to the tired hikers! Looking at Summer. Fall is the mosaic behind me. Spring and Winter mosaics are on the other two sides.

THANK YOU, FOLLOWERS, who also follow my ebooks on Amazon Kindle. Murder on the HIgh Rockies is special this week.

DEVILS MOUNTAIN (plural) in SKAGIT COUNTY

About 70 miles north of Seattle there is a prominence, its peak a little under 2000-ft. and a spooky looking lake below that has no living fish in it! Even the fishermen’s site says, ‘Go find another lake, there is no fish in Devils Lake’. Researched why a mountain with a decent road trail, 6-mile roundtrip hike, that even used to have a fire lookout point until 1970, deserved ‘Devils’ name. In this nice dry, partly sunny day, we stopped to talk to locals, one couple who lived there for 30 years thought probably because a man’s body was found by a hiker (suicide victim-20 years ago)??? The fact that there have never been any fish in Devils Lake probably had something to do with it. The vertical climb of 900 ft made it a perfect workout for us anyway. Below: View of the Cascades, Big Lake and Mt Baker in the clear distance.

Below: Beautiful purple flowers (unable to identify the right name of the vegetation)
Below: Entertaining butterfly activity on the way up
Below: A huge chunk of uncompressed sandstone. We kept a keen eye on Mocha, because evidence of bears and cougars are around. But mostly, the trail today was dotted with ‘goat’ scat, as a man trains a group of his pack goats here frequently.
Below: One wrong turn added another 3 miles. After spotting the summit (pointing) hiked back down to the juncture, then take the correct trail-back UP!
Below: Windy at the top-BUT the 2-day old pizza made all right.

NOTE: Final plot work, twists and new climaxes, of my new e-book, are nearing fruition. Title set: BROWN GIRL OF THE EAGLETAIL MOUNTAINS. In a nutshell; trials and tribulations of a Tohono O’odham 17-yr. old girl (descendants of the ancient Hohokam Indian tribe) whose overnight rise to be named as the sole heiress of an old professor.?? Quirky, unbelievable? ETA, by end of September. Other e-books on Amazon Kindle- Search, Author: Dee Tezelli. CHEERS.

6-MILE GLORIOUS CLIMB OF BALDY MT. above Yakima River Canyon

If sun doesn’t come to you, we go to the sun; drove 130 miles to climb this picturesque mountain on this ONE sunny day. After following a steep trail, gaining 2000 vertical feet, reached the summit. Rolling hills, making canyons that envelope each other, with blackbirds chirping under the bluest sky. Below: Sizing up our destination; communication towers @ 3212′ summit! Took 1 hour and 45 mnts. Straight up from the gentle Yakima River water level through the basalt cliffs.

Below: Trailhead right @ well maintained campground. PS: dozens of RV owners are here today, Blue ribbon trout fishing, hiking camping, eagle and hawk watching.
Below: Memorial for T.P. Jim: A Central Washington graduate, a guide who mentored youth for hiking and climbing. The summit towers are (up there) looking like eternally far!
Below: Eagle perch though the bird is out hunting. Perches are covered with white dried fecal matter. Vultures leave similar distinctive, white-coated perches.
Below: Still another mile &1200 vertical feet to go.
Below: MADE IT!!! Surprisingly wind calmed down. Temp. 60+
Below: So did they. Not a single other hiker to take our together pix. Next down: Steve Celebrating.
Below: Did we really climb all that? Earned our P&J sandwiches
Below: Two dramatic things happened @ the high level: almost stepped on a loudly rattling snake! And this very out-of-place (normally in southern states) cactus – is flowering!
Below: Finally back down processing what we’ve been through!

NOTE: RECOMMENDING MY MOST RECENT E-BOOK on Amazon: FOR THE SAKE OF JUSTICE: Story in a nutshell: Unsolved ax murder case in London. Leave it to London’s female top cop, and she solves it after 34 years? Cheers.

2022 RACE CASCADIA ENDURO- MAY 1st.

Our 7-mile hike to the summit of East Tiger Mountain (3000 ft.) got a little more active than originally planned! We still hiked up; all the while 250 daring mountain biking athletes zig zagged across our trail in several sections. The race consisted of 5-stages and male/female competitors, waves varied in levels of expertise and ages between 14 and 18. Their devoted friends & family members camped out hours with video equipment at junctions to snap a photo while they flew high over boulder crossings.

Below: Predator trail. A crucial jump crossing maneuver nearing the finish line.
Below: Excitement is high! Ears to the ground waiting for the roaring wheels from above.
Below: Hearts are thumping; One of the finishers rides high, mid-air. Race monitors are recording.

Below: Spectators bells, whistles, drums as cameras roll.

NOTE: My free to download e-books are on Amazon Kindle; Author name: Dee Tezelli. Recommend ” IMMERSED IN MALICE e-book is recommended for those who have heard of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market and the mysterious races that take place in it. Cheers!

TAYLOR MOUNTAIN, 6-MILE LOOP HIKE

Over the years, each time we trek up this peak (2600-ft.) it seems that we never get enough of its many different routes, raw nature and wildlife. This time even though it was officially ‘cougar hunting season‘ we went up a loop to West Taylor summit that included the funky X-R (x-rated) short cut up. Below: Halfway up to the peak, area completely logged and Steve assessing the job. Once a logger, always a logger.

Below: Mount Rainier soars over the clear cut (and replanted) forest.
Below: Warning! Entering x-rated hiking loop. Created by some wild mountain bikers about 2013. A half mile shortcut that continues to amuse.
Below: The bikers who decorate the trees are true artists: Exhibit 1- Size 8 bra! Bottom is tacked on the next tree.
Below: Man’s brief left by another biker. Apparently commemorating Cross Games 2013
Below: Once out of the secluded x-ray loop this is the hub of black bear country. The obviously full grown black bear is not showing him/herself, but this pile of scat is really fresh. Saw about a dozen piles, so the bears are awake and are well fed. No worries – we carry bear spray, but black bears would rather flee than fight.
Below: Now at the top, Mocha finds snow to roll in it

NOTE: My e-book, on Amazon: IT ALL STARTED with BLOOD IN MARCIE’S CAR will tell you all about Taylor Mountain. Keep in mind that the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy had buried several of his victims in these forests. Some locals even call it Bundy Mountain.

EASTER SUNDAY SNOWSHOE CLIMB – 800 FT VERTICAL

Above: Steve&Mocha, get ready-set-GO! Old Thunderbird up there waiting.

In the hardy days (1950s) of downhill skiing, Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area built the first double chair lift, called the Thunderbird run. Thunderbird Restaurant @3800′ with a unique Navajo image, became the hot spot for pre/apre skiers. It’s been closed for more than a decade but is still our snowshoe destination today. Sweltering hot (40 deg!) April sun hustling 800 ft. vertical slope, in only 1 mile up, same down; Awesome! Below: Group start up photo: Guye Peak behind us, Snoqualmie Mt. on the left. Red Mt. on the right.

Mocha the Snow Dog was in her element.
Below: If no packed route, stomp down fresh snow to make one.
Below: Finally at the top.
Below: Spot the parking lot. Head down.

NOTE#1: Only a handful of likeminded outdoorsy people out there today. Those who hike up and cross-country ski down, a couple snow boarders practicing, BUT we were the only snowshoers. NOTE # 2: My new e-book is in the oven, an engaging plot inspired from our AZ’s Eagletail Mountains trek. Title is SET: Brown Girl of the Eagletail Mountains: Tohono O’odham Peoples Culture, a young climber’s love story, mystic Sedona Vortex rocks, petroglyphs, and a great deal of sleuthing. This week’s recommended e-book: For the Sake of Justice, all about London, London, UK crime scenes all the time. Search author Dee Tezelli on Amazon. Cheers.

5-ml.POST WINDSTORM LOOP HIKE on TIGER MOUNTAIN

What A sobering change after the last 5-month’s Sonora Desert adventures in AZ! Back to 3-layer thermal hiking wear, thermos of hot tea, extra clothes in the pack.

Warmest temp of the day under 40s., snow/hail showers low levels, decades-old trees uprooted, several re-routed or closed trails. No summits, but a hardy typical Northwest hike.

No place to hide- a big snow &hail squall just left summit of West Tiger Two!

Below: But, no worries, our rock-solid Murat’s Bridge stood proud. Mocha, the mountain Saint, is in her element, standing guard.

NOTE: According to my Amazon Kindle stats; last 2-week’s my most read e-books are: Heart Matters, Running with the Spies, Man from Mt. Fuji and Killer Within. Stay Warm. CHEERS!