Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sky High~

2802' - Above it all~
A long time coming - how I'd missed being up here~  Our route to Stimson Hill goes up Mt. Washington.  With the heavy logging & truck traffic, it's been impossible to get even close during the week.  It's fun to have a partner for this ride - since it's long & difficult.

Charlotte had the time - so we made a plan to meet at the MHC & just see how far we could get.  It was a hazy, cool morning & as usual we were the  only ones there.  It was super to see Fancy again!  The mares recognized each other & Farah was So happy to have Fancy as her companion for the day!
The End of the Trail!
We took the usual forested trail out, the one that has always gone past the quarry & still did my last visit here in February.  Before we'd even reached the spot where the trail turned to go by - the trail disappeared.
Clear-cut & Mt. Washington
 Slash from the logging everywhere & deep in spots.  No sign of where the trail had been.
New View of the Quarry
We did some hunting - I got off & looked for a way around - we came out to a newly made & rocked road.   Now, I knew we would be able to get out.  The way around the end of the gate on the power line - is now treacherous, narrower than ever & getting soft - with a nasty drop off the edge if a hoof were to miss the footing :-(  Past that!
On our Way!
Gunfire alerted us to a group firing off high powered rifles - luckily at a shot block - which put the four of us on edge.  Both mares just dug in - attacking the first levels of the climb with minimal effort.
Mt. Rainier on the Skyline~
We couldn't have picked a more perfect day, moderate temperature, light breeze & at least the haze wasn't so thick that we couldn't see Mt. Rainier.
Charlotte & Fancy - from Mt. Washington
We took a short break after the first long, hard pull~
Connie & Farah, Mt. Pilchuck to the left~
I'd told Charlotte that I could find my way over to Stimson & that was our goal, which put a lot more climbing ahead of us...
View south from Barbara's Bench~
Before long we reached just over 2,000 ft. at Barbara's Bench.  We both had to climb up & get photos!
Toward the North with Victoria in the distance~
It's such a unique feeling - to be able to see over to where I ride so often & admire it's rise above the surrounding country.  From this viewpoint - 500 ft. higher than the highest point there.  We were still going, up & up.  Soon coming to an intersection that gave us a choice of up or down.
From Stimson Hill - Whitehorse~
At ten-miles, we decided to go on another mile - then if there were no views, turn back.  About half-way up this hard pull, here came two hikers with walking sticks.  They stopped, raised the sticks over their heads - Farah instantly 180'ed :-)  They explained that they'd hiked in off Cedarvale Loop.  We went for the views!  I did this ride for the first time New Years Eve of 2013, but we'd taken a lower fork.
The Whitehorse Trail from 2802 ft.
 What a thrill to recognize the Whitehorse Trail, my Green Valley & Cloverdale Farm below us!  The line of trees in the upper third, of the right side of the photo above, is the trail.   We stopped just short of the break-spot where Joyce & I had rested another time (post) we went exploring this far - right at the apex of the climb. 
Victoria's peak~
Heading back, we were on foot, talking away - when I realized that we'd taken a wrong turn!  Joyce & I had gone that way in 2013, exploring the lower road, but it wouldn't get us back to the MHC.  Luckily, I caught my mistake before we'd gone too far out of our way.  I programed my Garmin to take us back to start - & it did a fine job of telling us when a turn was coming up.  Once back, it read;  Returned to start :-)
Our route~
It was, as it always is - an impressive ride.   Twenty-two miles, total elevation gain of 4,131 ft. & high point at 2,802.  Moving time;  5hrs. 40 min.  Total time 6 hrs. 40 min.  Average moving speed 3.9 mph.  Both mares impressed us as much as the ride.  Farah learned so much from going out with an experienced, professional, exceptional mare.  I wish we had the opportunity more often.  She was so good all day, until on the way back, when she shied twice - while we were doing a good trot.  I should have turned her back etc., but by then - it was almost 6 p.m. & we all had dinner waiting!

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, you can see so FAR from where you were at!


Always Welcome~