Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elephant Peak hike, MT …to the pass

Howdee all,

Yesterday I hiked with Sicksta Charlene, and brother in law,Tom and three of their friends. Jeff opted to play golf with the Livingston Senior League.

We had a rather late start..I think it must have been around 11 by the time we got to the trailhead.

It was a mostly up hike to the top.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_035

Not up to the sky..but it felt like that on my knees. I was rather slow…thinking or maybe just excusing that i was the altitude.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_023

  It was a warm, sunny day, mid eighties.

Sweat weather.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_037

It was nice to take a few breaks, although short, on the way up.

Gabriela in pink, Tom on top of the rock by the creek, with Sicksta below.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_040

         We hiked thru a large burn area, and then onto some beautiful meadows.

This photo below is looking back from where we came.

White Cow parsnip.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_050

  We hiked thru areas of large boulders.

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   Another shot looking back toward where we came from.

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  More meadows and wildflowers…it kept getting better.

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  Onward and upward thru..fields and fields of wildflowers.

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At this point I took every opportunity to stop and catch my breath.

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  More up…slow going, but beautiful.

Charlene and Toms friends left us after lunch in one of the meadows ..we continued up to the pass.

Elephant mountain hike_20090825_139

You can click on the photo album below to see some of the wild flowers.

Just some of the flowers seen were….

Yellow Columbine,Bluebells,Asters,Elephant head,Monument plant, Larkspur,Lupine,Fireweed,Yarrow,Cow Parsnip, Indian Paintbrush.

Below ..we hit another level and more fields of wildflowers, more alpine and not as tall.Elephant mountain hike_20090825_153At the pass…

This was far enough..we needed to get back before dark.

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Views from the passElephant mountain hike_20090825_173A Valley below the passElephant mountain hike_20090825_165Standing on top of the pass.. Elephant mountain hike_20090825_190Sicksta, On top of the world.  Doesn't she look like Moses?

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Sicksta and me on top of the worldElephant mountain hike_20090825_193 The view going back down..Yikes..we have to go all the way back down there?

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As we descended we were able to enjoy the wildflowers one more timeElephant mountain hike_20090825_202Indian Paintbrush and Aster Elephant mountain hike_20090825_206On the way down, Sicksta picked huckleberries,whortleberries, raspberries and thimbleberries.  I ate a few…yummy 

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After passing thru the open meadows we hiked thru some dark forest.

Tom found a few Boletus Edulus(porcini mushroom) I found a few hedgehog mushrooms and purple fairy club and a non-edible Amanita.

I did see four different types of birds.

Three of which i was able to ID Golden crowned kinglets, Mountain Chickadees, and Oregon Juncos. I had distant views of a sparrow looking bird, maybe Pine siskins.

Mountain chickadee

Elephant mountain hike_20090825_005   We made it out around 8pm…Dark, we were exhausted.

It was a great hike, very taxing on my knees going down, although they feel fine now.

I woke up last night with Muscle cramps in my calves.

Today I am just chillin, resting up for a Saturday hike.

Going to that beautiful farmers market this afternoon.

See ya!

22 comments:

Tina said...

Oh my gosh,,,I'm tired just following along on your blogger pics and commentary...that was quite a hike but my...how beautiful, Dawn!!
You captured some really nice vistas and those wild flowers were so very nice..and so many...
Glad you made it down in one piece..good to chill a day after that climb!!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it! Your views were spectacular and that Mountain Chickadee is adorable!!

Alan said...

Breathtaking photos Dawn!!

Adele said...

Loved the wildflowers. You just can plan a garden like that.

Connie Kogler said...

Looks breathtaking in more ways than one! Stunning.

forestal said...

wonderful views and wildflowers

dan

Gaelyn said...

What an amazing hike. I think you must be training for the canyon. The flowers are breathtaking. And please do remember there's less oxygen at high elevation. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I always hike slowly and stop to take lots of pics. Nice job. Great post and captures.

Gaelyn said...

PS Take calcium or quinine for the leg cramps, or before hiking to help.

Chicky said...

Well Dawn your pictures were breathtaking. I just cant imagine you all hiking up there. Everyone has to be in excellent condition! How wonderful.....

Denise said...

Amazing photos, stunning scenery. What an incredible hike that must have been. Thank you for sharing it. Makes me want to pack my bags for Montana.

Earl Cootie said...

Oh, I'm in love. We have to go here! (Or any of hundreds of other places we have to go. Aarrrgh! Why did I wait to middle-age to start exploring the land?)

Nice chickadee pic. So much better than the shots I was able to get last weekend.

Matt Sarver said...

Incredible wildflowers, Dawn! Thanks for sharing those pics.

diane-j-m said...

What a hike and how beautiful all thoe wildflowers. I would love to see those fields, but don't think I could do it. How long was the hike and what was the altitude?

Jayne said...

Dawn, those photos are breathtaking! Did you take them with your little Canon Powershot? My sissy is looking for a new small point and shoot and I was looking back over your posts about the camera options you've tried. Which do you recommend? She wants crispness/good zoom and macro capability for under $350 if possible. You can email me if you'd like at journeythroughgraceATgmailDOTcom

Thanks Dawn!

The Early Birder said...

What a way to spend the day. Great scenic photos Dawn.

Jack said...

What a amazing pictures..Really mind blowing..Hope all have enjoyed visiting your blog..including me..lol..

--
Jack
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Kerri said...

Oh my..that was quite a hike! The views are AWESOME! WOW!
You did good!!

Bird said...

Oh, wow wow WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL place, and the quality of the light is just gorgeous... but I BET it was a hot hike! I feel like I need to do a mountain hike like this, but my chance this summer is probably gone, so I'm glad you shared yours. Those wild flowers are like nothing I've ever seen, The asters and indian paint brushes are quite a colour combination!

Kim said...

OMG Dawn. Such gorgeous pictures. I wouldn't ever want to leave there!

dAwN said...

@Tina
It was a great hike..but my calves took a beating and they still are sore.

@Lynne at Hasty Brook
Isnt that a cool bird. i did some pishing and a whole bunch came down to say hello and they just hung out looking at us.

@Alan
Thanks Alan!

Adele
yes sicksta...i planted one on top of homey..tee hee..it slid right off with the rain.

Connie Kogler
yeah you hit the nail on the head..it was breathtaking..huff puff huff puff..

forestal
Thanks Dan..cant take a bad picture here!

Gaelyn
how did u know i was training for the grand canyon..yikes..my calves are still sore..
will have to try the quinine.
as far as high elevation..that is exactly why its so much harder for me..and lets share that story and stick to it..tee hee

@Chicky
Thanks muther..yes we are in such good shape..my calves are so sore...

@Denise
Pack your bags..catch the next train!

@Earl Cootie
Well i expect a blog post from you from here in the next two years! ya know its not so far from washington
.just a hop skip and jump...
and you did take a good mountain chickadee shot..i saw the pics and they were good!

Matt Sarver ,
Thanks..and thanks for stopping by!

@diane-j-m
The elevation and length i am not sure of because we didnt do the full hike but it seemed like we did a thousand miles and then we went straight up at least 500 of them..
but seriously maybe we did 7 miles..and 1000 feet or more elevation gain...not sure.

Jayne
I used my Panasonic Lumix Zs3 it is small and great for hiking. has a 12x optical zoom.
my other camera is large..but a bit smaller than a dslr and I use that for birding and short walks.
that is a Canon SX1 20x optical zoom.
so i guess it depends on the size.
but all photos while hiking u see are with the small camera.

The Early Birder
yes perfect way to spend a day..more of that to come..going to yellowstone and then tetons.

Jack
Thanks..glad u liked it..come back again!

Kerri
Thanks..i made it back in one piece..just some sore calves.

Kim
you would love it here Kim...there are some birds here for you...but you would miss that great birdie migration happening back east.
by the way I like your new profile pic...
see ya!

Penelope said...

The wildflowers took MY breath away! What an amazing sight.

Mary C said...

That sure is beautiful country, Dawn. Especially this time of year. It's great to see all those beautiful wildflowers. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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