I left work an hour early on Friday, and shot out the Mountain Loop Highway for an early evening hike up Mount Dickerman. The trail is pretty much all switchbacks going up, with limited views until near the top. The trail has about 4000 feet elevation gain in four miles. The views up high are terrific, with Glacier Peak being a highlight. I did this trail some 15 years ago—good to be back.
I didn’t quite make the summit this time. I should've left an hour earlier. I became a little leary of descending completely in the dark, without anyone there to catch my fall. (Billy I. reference, catch that?) The trail is a rocky one, with sudden one or two foot drops, and some steep slopes off the side—not a problem in the light, but it didn’t look fun in the dark.
As it turned out, it WAS really fun in the dark. Friday was a hot day, 95 degrees, and walking down the hill in early dark was perfect. It’s been too long since I’ve done a headlamp adventure.
Bottom line, I got a great workout to end the work week, plus a nice drive up the Mountain Loop Highway. I'm calling this a hike, but I pushed hard going up, jogged a bit on the down. I managed to see some North Cascade peaks and wildflower patches, and still got home by 10:30. This left me time for home, work, and family stuff over the weekend.
I could take a few more weeks of August this year.