Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

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pdxflowergirl
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Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

Post by pdxflowergirl » July 3rd, 2011, 4:07 pm

Day One:

Departed Portland around noon only to get delayed on I-5 with the bridge raised. Got moving after twenty minutes of sitting at Jantzen Beach exit only to get delayed again around Ridgefield due to a collision between SUV and RV. All of their belongings piled on the side of the highway was a sad sight. Fortunately it looked like there were no injuries even though both vehicles looked to be in bad shape. Was relieved that there was no traffic along WA-503 and it was smooth sailing to the trailhead. We hit the trail around 3:30pm to sunshine and a steady breeze.
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MSH
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Trail condition was good. A few trees down, but easy enough to navigate. Some snow, but nothing that obscures the trail enough to cause confusion. We arrived at the junction w/Loowit Trail around 7pm. We set up camp and sat down to dinner. Had the entire canyon to ourselves until a group of goats appeared along Pumice Butte. I was happy to have my binoculars, but cursing my camera's weak zoom feature. This picture includes four females and one baby. The male sat above monitoring the group. Watching their evening routine was so entertaining!
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These cool clouds moved in around twilight
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We were treated to sunset views on both Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Hood was a bit too far for my camera to capture, but here's one of Adams:
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Day Two:

Awoke the next morning to a few clouds in the canyon and beyond...lenticular cloud atop Adams:
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Within an hour, clouds obscured the canyon and Adams...
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Oddly, our campsite and MSH were sunny!
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But it did not last...when we set out for the Plains of Abraham less than an hour later, we were inside misty clouds. Here's the post for the trail junction (I think). It's missing the sign :(
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Cairn at where I think the Plains of Abraham starts...at least that's what it looks like on my map.
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Tough to see much since the misty clouds made for poor visibility. But it looked open and flat from what we could see.
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Figuring that the clouds weren't clearing anytime soon, we headed back to break camp and hike out. Since there were no mountain views this morning, we focused more on the forest scenery. This log looks like a face:
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Beautiful shrub that I can't ID...
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For my first backpacking trip at MSH, I am so thrilled to have had solitude, plentiful mountain views (MSH, Adams, Hood, and Ranier), numerous wildlife sightings (goats, marmot or prairie dog - couldn't tell from a distance, ground squirrels, hummingbirds, frogs, grouse), very few bugs (only one mosquito bite), sunshine, cool clouds, and the list goes on and on. We only saw a few other groups who were all dayhiking. At the trailhead this morning, we saw one mountain biker pumping up his tires.

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Beautiful, blue skies at sunrise this morning...misty clouds obscured peak within an hour!
Last edited by pdxflowergirl on July 4th, 2011, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kam

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Crusak
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Re: Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

Post by Crusak » July 3rd, 2011, 6:04 pm

Very cool! Mountain goats and solitude. Sounds perfect. I liked your photos, especially the MSH pano and the 'campsite' photo. Great shots.
Jim's Hikes

Solvitur Ambulando

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pdxflowergirl
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Re: Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

Post by pdxflowergirl » July 4th, 2011, 10:13 am

I found these pictures online of the view we would have had without the misty clouds:
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IMG_2623 by suffusion, on Flickr

Here is the view we had on Sunday morning:
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Crusak wrote:Very cool! Mountain goats and solitude. Sounds perfect. I liked your photos, especially the MSH pano and the 'campsite' photo. Great shots.
Thanks, Crusak! It was an excellent trip.
Kam

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romann
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Re: Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

Post by romann » July 5th, 2011, 12:10 am

Lol, I thought about this area but figured out it would be crammed on a holiday weekend.

Great sunrise and sunset pictures, and lucky to see the goats! Hopefully, they will become more common on MSH.

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Re: Ape Canyon Trail #234 (July 2-3, 2011)

Post by joerunner » July 5th, 2011, 4:56 am

Beautiful pictures! That looked like fun.

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