It’s another vacation week, so yesterday we hiked up to the fire lookout at Kelly Butte. It was cloudy around home, and we got sprinkled on a bit on the drive out, but the sky was clear and the weather was gorgeous at the trail head! The clouds may have deterred some people from that area, since we were the only ones on the trail, and didn’t see anybody until we got back to the car and met another couple getting ready to head up.
I drove my car instead of taking Destin’s truck, and it handled great on the forest service roads. There was a little bouncing around on the wash-boarded parts of the road, but I never felt like I was going to lose control of it. AWD did it’s job! It also got us out to the secondary parking lot for the trail head just fine. That road is sketchy because it’s one lane with no shoulder or ditch to pull off in if you meet another vehicle heading the opposite direction, but I got lucky. My car is now coated in dust – especially the back of it – so washing it is in the plans for later this evening.
The hike was pretty easy – compared to ones like High Rock or Crystal Lakes, anyway, and the weather and temperature really couldn’t have been better, though the horizon was a little hazy. It took about 45 minutes to get up to the lookout, and since we had it to ourselves, we stayed up there for an hour or so enjoying the view and the breeze and the quiet. I managed to find some wild strawberries smaller than my thumbnail and ate several of those. I haven’t had wild strawberries since I was little at Ocean Shores. There were also some berries I thought were huckleberries, but since I wasn’t entirely positive (I haven’t seen those in years either) I didn’t try any.
The views were really great, and I’m glad I took my DSLR instead of just my point-and-shoot. I kept it around my neck instead of in my pack on the hike back down, and got a couple photos of the trail on the way down as well. I’ve got everything up on Photobucket and I’ll hopefully have some captions up soon. Hiking up the trail without trekking poles was pretty easy, but coming down I’m sure glad I’d brought one of mine! They really help with balance… or stopping yourself when you lose your footing anyway. One knee is a little scuffed from a foot sliding out from under me on the way down, but my camera was fine! 😉
Destin works today and tomorrow, but he took the rest of the week off, so we’ll be doing some more hiking! Definitely going to do Crystal Lakes… the snow will be gone this time (unlike last July when we tried it!) and we’ll have to see what else we come up with to do! Today was cat-bathing day, and either Anna’s right about outdoor cats being easier to bathe because they’re used to getting wet, or she just figured it wasn’t worth the battle. There were some escape attempts (and one or two successes) but no crying/hissing/yowling and she didn’t try to scratch or bite, either! She was sure one sorry-looking cat all wet with clumpy fur after! She’s still hanging around, so I’ve at least been somewhat forgiven… even though I just got her with Frontline, too!