Sunday, September 6, 2015

Green Mountain

On Saturday I hiked up to the Green Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. The Suiattle River Road into this hike has been out, more or less, since 2003, and just re-opened last fall.

This was a morning for cloud hiking. Fall was clearly in gear, with temps somewhere around 40 degrees, and signs of frost on the plants. Right now it should be called Red and Green Mountain.

The hike is about 4 miles to the lookout, which is perched at 6500 feet. I've seen the pictures, and the views are spectacular, of Glacier Peak and the surrounding area. My own views were restricted to lower elevations, as the lookout was in the clouds the whole time I was there. I was able to make a cell phone call from the lookout--there is that.

This lookout was the point of litigation recently. A non-profit group from Montana successfully sued the feds for using the aid of an helicopter in repairing or improving it, contrary to the Wilderness Act. Subsequently, legislators got involved to preserve the lookout, successfully. All this law and policy business made seeing the lookout that much more of a priority.

Coming down, the clouds lifted, and the open meadows came more into view. Spectacular splashes of red and green--my pics don't really do the views justice. Very beautiful.

The Suiattle River Road is full on washboard after mile 14 or so. I had to slow to 10-15 mph, or so, or the car would've shaken apart. The drive from Mount Vernon took a little more than two hours. Good times, listening to the new Mad Season-Benaroya Hall cd, a show which we attended in January. I was second up to the lookout for the day, but the trail got busy later on. Recommend the early start.

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