Bellingham literally is the cloudiest and most humid city in the entire country. So we're getting the most we possibly can out of the last days of sun.
We went up for the weekend with Aunt Chisnap to hang out and explore around Hart's pass in the northern Cascades. The 12 miles of single-track dirt road up to the pass brought back old memories about 4-wheeling with the Civic. Ah, the good ol' days.
We camped for the night in the circus tent. It started to rain, so Daddy put the tarp over the tent to prevent a flooding like we had at Yosemite last year. Then a gust of wind came and lifted the tarp up, which pulled all of the support poles apart. So the tent collapsed on us. We decided to unceremoniously retire the circus tent when we got home... much tears and hope on the part of everybody involved. 11 years of solid use, camping in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia. A fine career for an honorary member of the family.
We stopped by the County Line Ponds along route 20 on the way to do some birding. We had great views of three American dippers. Mighty wonderful birds, like unto:
We explored around the Meadows campground and up to the Pacific Crest Trail. We saw a merlin [awesome] and a northern goshawk [superawesome] and
We just explored around for a while. It was awesome.
In the morning we hiked toward Tatie Peak. The trail is great since it starts at almost 7,000' in a sub-alpine forest and we had a sharp-shinned hawk at the trailhead to greet us.
This little hobbit just occasionally started climbing big mountains. She would leave the trail without warning and just go up and up and up. She's been doing this since she was two, it's almost like she can't help but climb.
We ended up seeing two pine grosbeaks on the trail, firsts for us. There were loads of yellow-rumped warblers, white-crowned sparrows and black-capped and mountain chickadees, a beautiful close-by view of a red-breasted nuthatch and more. We saw two red crossbills in Mazama on the way back. And to top it off we got to watch from close range as a gorgeous red-breasted sapsucker drilled his lines into a tree at Washington pass. So--great wilderness, great family, great birds, a great time.
Life is wonderful.