October 24, 2009.
8.8 mi | 2840′ ele. gain | 5 hr.
Took a solo hike today to the top of Salmon Butte. It was a lovely day for a walk. I hike alone out of necessity sometimes, but I really enjoy it. Hiking solo allows me to walk at my own pace, stop when I want, check out curiosities that catch my attention, take lots of pictures and get lost in my own head. This was one of those days.
Today I noticed some interesting ferns that I didn’t recognize. After doing some digging around in my books, I identified them as deer fern. The common sword fern was everywhere, as well as Oregon grape, trailing blackberry, rhododendron, the usual suspects. I also found some strange fungus that looked like coral.
I walked at a casual pace up to the top of Salmon Butte. I was surprised to run into Cloudy, one of my teammates from a 2007 Mt. Olympus climb. We chatted a bit and enjoyed the beautiful fall sunshine.
After soaking in my fair share of sun I reluctantly headed back down the way I came. Solo hiking is like medicine: it’s soothing and energizing, it awakens all of my senses and it helps me connect with something that’s bigger than me.
Mostly I was just glad to be out there. Reflecting on the things I’ve done so far, and dreaming of adventures to come…