After my oohing and ahhhing about how great the Sauk Mountain hike was, Michelle put it on her short list. She decided to do it a couple weeks after we went with Guyan’s friend Sully and family. Her neighbor and frequent hiking buddy, Kerry, was also going, but Michelle needed company for the kids (kids hiking with friends are so much more enjoyable than those hiking with only siblings). She asked if she might be able to borrow my kids for the hike.
And that’s when I jumped in and invited our whole dang family.
Sauk Mountain is not exactly the right hike for people with vertigo. Heck, the drive to the trailhead is not for people with vertigo. When we arrived at the trailhead, Kerry was feeling dizzy and not too well. She tried to join us on the hike, but after about 100 yards, and a look at the mountain and switchbacks, she decided she would read in the car while the rest of us made the hike. See? It’s a good thing I invited us all along.
So the last time we took this hike, we knew it had a LOT of switchbacks—over thirty, according to an elderly gentleman on the trail. I brought along my trusty knitting row counter (a little clicker thing) so that Alice could keep track for us. She has it in her hand here—she’s on the job).
This picture of Alice and Michelle is a little bright, and it’s hard to see off in the distance, but you could see Mount Rainier on this day—that’s a long ways away! About 4 hours by car, down south of Seattle and east of Tacoma. We could also see the San Juan Islands, Mt. Baker, The Sisters, and Mount Pilchuck. ‘Cause Mount Pilchuk is very important (inside joke, sorry readers…).
When we got near the top, the boys were, oh, a little grumpy. They found the shade of these trees overlooking Sauk Lake and parked it for a while. Nature called, they had a snack, and everything was good. I need to remember…keep them fed, encourage answering the call of nature, and hiking with them will be so much more enjoyable.
Just right of Sauk Lake, there were several tents of backpackers…might be a good site for hiking in and camping next year or so.
My happy hiker.
On our way for the final ascent.
And once we got there after that last 1/8 of a mile or so? What did the boys do? Found shade and ate again. Typical boys, I guess.
The rest of us got to the highest point we could stomach and enjoyed the views.
This guy, out on the rock over there, the little blip to the right, he really should wear brighter clothing. If he were to fall off the mountain, no one would ever find his camouflaged body. Or, worse yet, hunters might mistake him for a bear (it happened to a lady a couple years ago on this trail, very sad). That’s why I make my children wear bright colors and encourage them to talk about video games and make noise for hours on end. Even the stupidest hunter knows that bears don’t discuss Wizard 101 for hours on end.
Sean was with us on this hike too—he took all our pictures, which explains why I am in some, and he is in none. This is a picture that Michelle took. …or maybe that wasn’t Sean and I was just swept off my feet by a mountain man. Handsome guy, I tell ya.
We started back down the trail. Alice counted 36 switchbacks. Not all are visible in this picture, but quite a few are.
The wildflowers were still going strong—Indian Paintbrush here.
Sauk Mountain with Mt. Baker in the background.
Off in the background there, I *think* that’s The Sisters, but I could be wrong. Who’s going to correct me if I’m wrong, anyway?