return of the knee 10/6 – 10/8 2017

Return of the knee, my knee. Well…for the most part anyway. I missed out on all of summer hiking to the mountain tops that I love so much. It really bummed me out. Knee surgery seems to be a success and things are going the right direction now. My knee felt strong enough to do a mountain top hike before the snows would block out the peaks. I did a couple hikes the weekends before leading up to this trip, a 4 mile then a 5.2 mile hike. The knee felt pretty good. So yes, it was time to make a trip to the peaks!

I decided that my return to the mountain tops would be up at Sherman Pass in Washington. The goal, would be Sherman Peak. I thought about Snow Peak as well but that was out of reach on this trip. Next time!

I planned a little geocache event meet and greet up at the pass and to let people know we would be camping at the pass. That if anyone wanted and could join us, that would be awesome. Some friends indeed were able to join us. Some camped with us on Friday night in their cars. Another joined us on Saturday night with his trailer.

Our camp spot for the weekend. Sherman Peak in the background.

This was a great forest service camp spot.

Joanne cooking us up some food.

On Friday night we had a real nice time sitting around the campfire and talking with friends. The weather was chilly with a hint of winters coming on the breeze.  I love camping this time of year.

A nice warm campfire to sit around.

The next morning it would be the hike! The meet and greet would be from 8:30 am to 9:00 am with the hike to follow promptly afterwards. We got up and watched the sun rise on what would be a nice autumn day. We had breakfast to fuel up on for the days hike. Soon it was time to meet up at the pass, just a short walk from camp.  Sherman Pass is the highest yearly maintained pass in Washington State. It had snowed up there already this fall but it melted off…for now.

The suns on its way.

I love early morning time.

A look over to the north and to Columbia Mountain. That will be a hike for another time. It is on my list.

Sherman Pass and the Kettle Crest.

The pass elevation.

At the pass there are neat metal cutouts. Wolves.

Informational signs at the pass.

Lots of information. Click on the photo to enlarge.

It was time for our group to start the hike. There would be 5 of us and 1 dog to do the journey. In the end it would be 6.4 miles with around 1,500 feet in elevation gain. The last 4/10 of the mile to the top of Sherman Peak there is no trail, making the difficulty level a bit higher. There is a loop trail that goes all around Sherman Peak. We ended up doing the whole loop as well. What a fantastic hike filled with great views and memories.

Our hike group trying to see through the bright sun on our faces.

Views everywhere!

Making our way on the trail.

A tribute along the trail.

That is Sherman Peak, our climb would be on the other side.

Part of the trail goes through an old forest fire area.

Rest spot views, love it!

So many pretty things to see.

Making our way off trail to the top.

Views on our way up.

I just can not get enough of the mountains.

Friends making it up the mountain.

Made it!

Views from the top. Lots of rocks to hike over.

A look at Snow Peak to the south from the top of Sherman Peak.

Endless beauty.

Amazing.

I was a bit emotional inside making it to the top of the mountain. So great to know my knee can do it. It really meant a lot to have fellow friends join me in the hike. Joanne would have loved to join me but her foot was not up to it right now.

We made our way back down off trail tracing our steps back to where we left the trail. We then continued on to finish the loop hike. Eventually we made it back to camp to a warm fire and cold beer. Both welcome relief from a fabulous hike. A couple friends left after visiting while a couple others slept in the trailer.

Oh, yes…geocaches were left along our hike for others to go search out. I placed 2, one on top and another at a trail crossing. 2 others were placed by friends as well.

The next day we packed our things up and made our way back home. We stopped at a few places to find a geocache and read interpretive signs. We drove through a couple forest service campgrounds to check them out as well.

Lots of things to see on this short paved trail.

Lots of info.

A stop farther down the pass.

After finishing the pass drive we stopped in Kettle Falls to look for a geocache. An area I never knew was there. Yet another thumbs up for geocaching to show us things we did not know about.

Lots to learn about the area.

The falls at Meyers Falls. Not as much water this time of year.  Still pretty.

Looking below the falls.

Dam and falls information.

Neat little building.

Replica wheel.

After that stop we pointed the camper towards home. It was a very special trip for me. I missed the mountain tops and needed to get back there. It is most likely the last trip to the tops of the mountains for this season. Sherman Pass has snow now and the snows will not be melting away one of these snowfalls, not until mid summer that is. I at least have the satisfaction that my knee is back in shape. While it is not 100% yet, it is getting there.

 

return of the knee 10/6 – 10/8 2017

 

 

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