September… 2020 is 2/3rds over! Maybe I’ll survive this year yet!
COVID leaves me a lot of time to think. Some are ridiculous thoughts like suggesting to my staff that we have a PEEPS diorama contest at work next Easter (this idea was wholeheartedly embraced). Some are more serious, like putting in the work I need to do in healing. I started seeing a therapist again, for all the things I bottle up. We talked early on about how I have experienced an incredible amount of loss in the last few years (to put it mildly)… I don’t often swear on this blog, but a phrase one of my former employees often said comes to mind… “What fresh fuckery is this?!? I think it’s going ok, but that work is damned hard.
I’ve been feeling a bit of writer’s block and it’s making it hard to be more active on this blog. I’m hoping to get my writing mojo back, but I’m trying to be gentle with myself.
I’m still getting quite a bit of hiking in, with weekly forays into the mountains. That is good for my soul…
I also keep up on my typical walks and even a swim in the lake! Two girlfriends and I hired a fitness coach to design a core strength workout routine that we can do at home. I get plenty of cardio in, but I need to do more strength training. So far it is going well but my quads sure did hurt!
And big news! I planned a little trip coming up. The seats are coming back out of the car and the bed is going back in! It has been since early March that I have traveled, with the exception of one two-night camping trip in the next county down, and do I ever need it! I’m going to do some days of high desert and then hit the coast for some camping at the beach. Variety! I haven’t traveled alone in almost two years, except for one work conference, so I’ll have to get back into my solo groove.
I hope you are all having a good Labor Day Weekend, so far!
In July, I had an opportunity to do a hike up Sauk Mountain in Skagit County. It is a popular hike, with gorgeous views of the Sauk and Skagit River Valleys.
We got on the road a little later than I had hoped, because Cora had escaped the house a couple days before and she had only come back that morning at about 4:30 am. Bad kitty… So I caught a couple hours of sleep, then woke up at 7 and decided to go for it, despite my semi-exhausted state…
The Sauk Mountain hike starts out with a little incline through wildflowers and small shrubs, and then begins a series of switchbacks up the side of the mountain. Don’t get too close to the edge of the trail, as the switchbacks do have a lot of loose dirt, and it would be easy to lose your footing. Be sure to take time to stop and check out the views! If you are like me, you will have to, because you will need a chance to catch your breath.
The view up Sauk Mountain with the sun
A view of the valley below
A view of the switchbacks with Mt. Baker in the distance (behind the fluffy cloud)
Flowers on the trail
Flowers with a filter!
At the top of the switchbacks you head around to the other side of Sauk Mountain, with more stunning views of the Cascade mountains in the distance. You reach a spur trail that goes off to Sauk Lake – we didn’t do it because it was still snowed in, plus we would have had to hike down to the lake and then back up!
Me on the ridge with the Cascades in the background
Sauk Lake with snow
Another view of Sauk Lake
The last bit to the top of Sauk Mountain was covered in snow – step carefully because it gets slippery! The snow stays late in the season up here on this north facing slope. After you are through the snow patch, you pick your way through the jagged rocks to the top. Of course, I got distracted by the wildlife, and forgot to take a photo of the top, although this gives you an idea…
The jagged ridge near where the trail ends
We saw marmots! And pika! Both were not super-cooperative in my attempts to photograph them… The views were amazing – everywhere you turn you see a different mountain.
The back of the marmot
A Pika worshipping the sun!
I loved this hike! It is 4.2 miles round trip, with a 1,200 foot elevation gain, and an elevation at the top of 5,500 feet. I would certainly do it again!