Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island

You are mostly going uphill. We did not see or hear any birds in the huge forest on the way up but once we arrived at the higher elevation we so so many different birds and wondered if the Fall migration had already begun in the Pacific Northwest.

As you can see the view into the distance from this ridge is pretty smokey. over 135 fires and one million acres are on fire just to the North in British Columbia. The North winds are blowing the smoke throughout Washington State and all the way to Oregon.

We continue our upward trek.Fewer trees and more views.

The Admiral and I are not "Hikers" This young mom and dad ARE Hikers with their two young kids loaded on there back and complete with hiking poles they blow by us. Real Hiking is like fast walking straight up. We just kind of meander around.

We stop to marvel in the beauty even though much is obscured by forest fire smoke.

We take lots of pictures and talk about what we are looking at. 

Sometimes we just sit and enjoy the quiet.

The Morning ridge Trail was as far UP as we made it this trip.

those are the Wasp Islans looking off towards the West

The Madrone Trees are prevalent in the San Juan's

I'm sporting the 2017 Center For Wooden Boats Wooden Boat Festival shirt for the first time on this day. Im So proud to be bringing the Spirit of Lake Union to Turtleback Mountain through the very creative and spiritually inspired work of  the Livery Manager Shelby Allman who did the artwork for this years t-shirt. She captured the very essence of the Spirit of Lake Union. Have to know it to understand but I'm proud to bring that spirit to all the special places I visit from now on.

See What I Mean? Absolutely awesome Shelby Allman!

Well we chose the starboard trail this time so we missed the peak, but we promise ourselves to return some day and hang a left next time. 

Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island

It was going to be the hottest week of the summer so we were glad to be accompanying our Seattle family back to Orcas Island where the daily temps were going to be about 10 degrees cooler. Less than 20% of the homes, including condo buildings have air conditioning in Seattle. Some smoke was just beginning to drift into Seattle from some Forest Fires in British Columbia but at the time we were unaware of the extent of the fires. By the time we got to Orcas the smoke was more prevalent. My first stop was at the local grocery store to get a 6 pack of my new found favorite IPA, the cashier assured me that the smoke would be diminishing over the next two days and we would have great weekend skies. The Admiral and I planned on continuing what we started the last time we were on Orcas and continue to explore unseen areas on the Island. we started with Turtleback Mountain, Why, because it is there, and we read it is a very popular hike for the locals.  We continue to amaze ourselves as we go on these extended steep walks. We are not hikers.  You need equipment to hike. We just go in our tennis shoes and carry a small bottle of water. Even if it takes us three hours or so we surely wont die since we have plenty of water waiting for us in the car.Hikers go for all day and sometimes for days on end. They carry all sorts of survival gear and instead of going up several hundred feet they go up several thousand feet. They also make good time. A hiker could do what we did in a little over two hours in 30 minutes.

When you are in the forest the smoke visible from the higher elevations is not even a concern, heck you are in a Oxygen producing factory. Even though is has not rained in an unusually long time this season in the Pacific Northwest there are still mountain streams flowing and you kind of wonder where is that water coming from? If there was any snow on Turtleback it melted way before now.

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