Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Silver Star Revisited

Last weekend we headed out to take on another one of the hikes on our summer "to-do list." Christina and I last hiked Silver Star back in 2009 with some friends (pictures of that hike here). Mom had not been since a very cloudy, wet hike we took in 2005. Dad had not been at all. So it was high time we went as a family! 

In my opinion Silver Star has two main attractions. One is the views--you can see four or five mountains from the top and the views along the way to the top are pretty stunning, too. The second attraction is the wildflowers and the meadows are chock full of them during July! Overall, it's an amazing place, the sort where I feel like I've left a little piece of my heart.

Alright, ready for pictures? When we started off, it was really cloudy. That actually makes the best weather for flower photography, so I was okay with it, hoping it would burn off by the time we reached the top. 

Tiger Lilies
(I'm going to try to identify some of the flowers as I go, since we have a really great NW plant book.)

Wild Carrot (or Queen Anne's Lace), I think

Yes, my family was actually there! (I know sometimes in these blog posts you wouldn't know that anyone was with me, since I'm not normally very good at including people pictures.)

Subalpine spirea (I love how fuzzy it looks!)


The red flowers are Indian Paintbrush. Aren't they lovely?

Looking down into the mist. 

I'm not totally sure what this flower is, but I loved how delicate it was.

Subalpine daisy 

After taking in the beautiful fields of wildflowers, we climbed to the summit. Sadly, the clouds had not burned off as I hoped they would. This is what the summit looked like. 

The view. 

While we had been protected from the wind on the rest of the hike, the wind was fairly strong and cold on the summit. It was interesting to watch the clouds blowing by. Every now and then we'd see the sun shine faintly through the clouds, just to disappear again. It was disappointing not to see the gorgeous view, but there was still something neat about being up at the summit. You could feel that you were really high, even when there wasn't anything to see.

After hanging out at the summit for a while, we headed back down. The clouds were actually starting to lift some by that point, so we had a better view coming back.

Looking down the trail at Pyramid Rock. 

Visibility had definitely improved, but you can see the cloud ceiling there in the back, so I think the summit was probably still covered in clouds.

The view to the west.