marmot pass and buckhorn mountain

the view northeast from buckhorn mountain (that’s Buckhorn Lake below, the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the distance to the left and Glacier Peak and Puget Sound in the gap to the right)

This afternoon we went swimming in Lake Washington. I know what you’re thinking. You went swimming even though shivering, whimpering Seattle has had only 78 minutes of 80 degrees-or-warmer temperatures so far this summer? Well get ready for this (so you can groan and mock me to my computer screen): it was in the low to mid 80s all weekend. But that’s fairly toasty for here. I spent an hour this morning spraying Adam with the garden hose and making the front yard squishy and spongy.

Saturday I day-hiked to Marmot Pass and Buckhorn Mountain on the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve wanted to visit there pretty badly for a couple years. In 2009 I was literally moments from leaving the house for a backpack to Marmot Pass when I wimped out on account of the heat and that has nagged at me ever since.

It was a long round-trip hike to the summit of Buckhorn Mountain, 12.6 miles and 4,400 feet of elevation gain. It was a crisp 48 degrees when I set off from the trailhead and for a few miles I had the flowing-splashing-humming of the Big Quilcene River to keep me company. Once I climbed out of the valley I was served company with rugged, jagged giants like Mt. Constance, Mt. Mystery, Warrior Peak and Mt. Deception. The scenery was remarkable, is all I can say. I sat at the top of Buckhorn Mountain for a couple hours to savor it.

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