Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gothic Basin/Mt. Dickerman

Last Saturday was a hiking day for Struth, Glenn and myself. Technically, it was a recovery week so I was taking it pretty easy before I got back to business for some other runs I have planned. Next up: pacing Francis at CCC100. I'm looking forward to running in the dark. That sounds like fun, even if I am directionally challenged. Speaking of directionally challenged, on the way to Gothic Basin, one of my all time favorite hikes in Washington, we took the "scenic way" as I was all turned around as to where to go. But I did get us there, with lots of help. (Thanks Glenn and the man standing in his driveway on some 2 lane road.)
So we get to Gothic Basin and I've planned on it becoming partly sunny because that is what the weather people said. OK, I know I should not listen to them, but I did and thus, I was unprepared for the actual weather. I had to wear my cotton sweatshirt to stay warm and we all know that for hiking/running, basically any activity in which one sweats and sweats for a while, cotton is rotten. Not only was my cotton rotten, but it was pink and Glenn really enjoyed referring to me as a pink smirf. You be the judge:do I look like a smirf?

Anyway...we didn't get too far on this route on account of all the destruction from the winter storms. Yowza! I could not believe how different everything looked from the last time I was there. The Sauk River had been completely re-routed and so had the trail. We didn't make it too far because there were so many trees down and a lot of snow.
Most people we saw coming the other way said they didn't make it too far so we decided to go back and then try Mt. Dickerman, just a few miles away. At this point, I would have been happy to go home and get on my couch and watch episode after episode of the Wire. I was feeling so unmotivated to hike Mt. Dickerman: the weather was not so nice, I was unprepared clothing-wise and I was just plain tired. If Glenn had not been with me and Struthie, I for sure would have driven home, BUT, when I mentioned my low motivation level, Glenn was surprised and he wanted to go and Struth wanted to go, so I was out numbered and rallied for the 8-1/2 mile hike through the fog. By the way, Glenn MADE me smile for this photo. I decided to just have a good time and haul my bum up the mountain pretty fast. I was actually feeling pretty good. The day before I had gone on a run at Cougar and felt pretty strong, surprisingly, so feeling good 2 days in a row after WR was a nice bonus. Although the weather was foggy, it really was quite beautiful in that NW kind of way...despite it being AUGUST! We got past all the switchbacks, followed the snowy meadow, checked out the wildflowers and the next thing you know, we are at the top! Wow!

No views of course as it was socked in and pretty cold. We did not stay up there too long for those reasons. Struth was having a great time, he loves the snow and he loves the weather on the cool side, so this was the perfect day for him. I have to mention the numerous snowballs that were thrown at me again.....Glenn must have thrown about 15 at me. I only threw one at him, but I got him good... :)

We stopped and ate some goodness at a fake shelter. I say fake b/c it was pretty much open, and cold and drizzly and my fingers were cold but my stomach was complaining. We ate fast and took off running downhill. It's quite steep in parts but it was a very fun downhill.

We got down pretty quick and I was SO GLAD that I went. Which I knew I would be, but sometimes it takes a little push and off you go. After the downhill run, we looked for a place to soak our legs lest we break tradition. But in all the parts of the Sauk River that we found, it was either too shallow, too deep or too fast. So, no soak and some sore legs on Sunday. Must soak from now on!
All photos were taken by the amazing photographer Glenn Tachiyama!


gtach said...

it was very cool seeing a member of the pink smurf colony playing out on the trails! unlike the more popular blue smurfs, where females are grossly under-represented, pink smurfs are like the blue smurf bizarro world, where females thrive in abundance.

thanks for playing along with the fake smile and i'm glad they turned into real ones!

Struthie, the ultra dog! said...

hey mom! i know you're my mom and everything, but in defense of my bff, the way i remember it, he asked you politely to smile and you complied. right? and about those snowballs? g told me that because it was a cold day, he made sure they were small and soft and didn't make contact with any skin. on the other hand...WHAP!!! your's intentionally hit skin!okay, i better stop now because you might post that embarrassing photo of me.

Tom M said...

My God I found out how to change my password. this is INCREDIBLE. Back to the topic at hand. You should try biking some time. I bet you'd be a natural.

kendrara said...

Good 4 u just one week out from WR! Yay! It looks so beautiful and dramatic with the mist on top. I also saw a sneak peek of August 10th :) - equally gorgeous. Wow. Looks like fun.