Really? A Norway trip during the winter….just what I thought when my wife Linna wanted to visit the Lofoten area for her February birthday. We invited a couple of other friends, Mike Curry and Emelie Espling to enjoy this winter wonderland with us.
We spent two nights and a full day in Oslo before flying up to Leknes via Bodo. More than two days in Oslo would be just a waste of time.
Yellow Aster Butte Date: September 30, 2016 Difficulty: 6 out of 10 Distance: 7.5 miles / 12.07 Kilometers round-trip Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet / 792 meters Time: 4 to 5 hours Location: Near Glacier, Washington Users Group: Hikers & Dogs Only Permits: Discovery Pass Trail Conditions: Dry Hiking With: My wife Linna, Jim & Ione Darmiento, Erik & Emelie Espling, John Biltucci
Rick Freeman & Jim Darmiento
Freeman The Exorcist
Jim & Ione Darmiento
Jim & Ione Darmiento
Linna Freeman Loving The Views
Darmiento & Freeman With Mt. Shuskan
Our Hiking Route
John Biltucci, Jim Darmiento, Rick Freeman & Erik Espling
Rick Freeman On Top Of Yellow Aster Butte
Our Wonder Dog Macho
Heading To The Top Of Yellow Aster
My wife Linna chose this hike months before our Mt. Baker weekend and she happened to picked the perfect date for beautiful fall colors. Our group rented a beautiful house near Glacier, Washington for the weekend.
Colchuck Lake Date: May 22, 2016 Difficulty: 6 out of 10 Distance: 8 miles roundtrip Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet Time: 3 to 4 hours Location: Near Leavenworth, Washington Users Group: Hikers Only Permits: Northwest Forest Pass Trail Conditions: Dry To Some Muddy Spots Hiking With: Emelie Espling, Sofia Hung, Max and my wife Linna Freeman
Emelie Espling Enjoying The Views
Rick Freeman At The Gorgeous Colchuck Lake
Linna Freeman Awestruck By Colchuck Lake
Data From My Suunto Ambit 3 Watch
Beautiful Colchuck Peak
Emelie, Sophia, Me & Max
This was the second straight weekend we were in the Leavenworth, Washington area for another new hike, Colchuck Lake goo.gl/Tf1vg0. This hike was recommended by a friend and after hiking Colchuck Lake we are passing the recommendation onto other friends…it was absolute gorgeous.
I love the hikes this region offers, but it takes six hours from our house to the trailhead and back…throw in a hike and you are talking a long day. From Leavenworth you take Icicle Road onto Forest Road 7601 to Stuart Lake Trailhead, you will want to arrive early or you will find yourself parking way back on the road. I was totally flabbergasted by the lack of pot-holes on the forest road, I was expecting a rough ride with deep holes I would have to maneuver around. It was actually a very smooth ride, but I could tell on a hot dry summer day there would be a lot of dust stirred.
The Leavenworth area has numerous hikes, but Colchuck Lake hike is one of the two gateways to the famous Enchantments goo.gl/fodFj2. Finally hitting the lake, our group found the perfect lunch spot overlooking Dragontail Peak, Aasgard Pass and Colchuck Glacier/Peak. I definitely want to hike Colchuck Lake in the summer when the ice is finally gone and the lake has warmed up some….swimming looks refreshing.
Sauer’s Mountain Date: May 14, 2016 Difficulty: 5 out of 10 Distance: 6 miles roundtrip Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet Time: 3 to 4 hours Location: Near Leavenworth, Washington Users Group: Hikers & Dogs Only Permits: None Trail Conditions: Dry To The Summit Hiking With: Emelie and Eric Espling, Craig, Tao, Bill and Mae Yoke, Linna and Rick Freeman & my wonder dog Macho
Bill Yock The Almighty
Flowers Were Everywhere
Our Group At The Summit
Sacred Totem Pole
Art In The Woods
My wife Linna and I have been doing a lot hikes that either start in snow or at least have some snow on the trail this year and we were due for an arid type hike. Usually the hikes on the Eastside of the Cascade Mountains provide a whole different environment…more pine like trees and no snow in the late spring. I found Sauer’s Mountain goo.gl/fzh3xz on Washington Trails Association and after reading a couple of trip reports it was exactly what I was looking for. No snow, dry with spring green and tons of flowers for Linna to photograph. We also invited a group friends to come along…Emelie and Eric Espling, Craig, Tao, Bill and Mae.
I had a funny feeling that we would see old man Sauer and when we pulled up to the trailhead there he was out in the open ready to direct us where to park. Old man Sauer is in his eighties and you can tell he loves people. This hike actually starts on his land and according to Sauer he built the trail…so I guess you can name the hike and mountain after yourself.
The hike is filled with carved totems, groovy art things and tons of flowers all the way to the summit. There was steepness to this hike but it’s short so it’s relatively easy. The old man will try to sell you some wine when you come back down to the trailhead. This wine is actually comes from his son Steve Sauer winery, Farmhand Winery. I think the old man built the trail so he could push wine sales, I bought one…small price to pay for a beautiful hike.