I went hiking at Mission Ridge, which is near Wenatchee (one of the larger cities in Central Washington). In the winter, Mission Ridge is a ski/snow resort, but the rest of the year it is accessible for hiking and awesome views. George and I drove up the steep road toward the lodge. On the way we saw some good views over our shoulders back toward Wenatchee Valley, and also drove by large groups of people on skateboards and box cars doing down the mountain very quickly which looked both fun and terrifying.
At the top, we parked at the lodge parking lot and headed toward the trailhead. On the mountains there were a surprising number of evergreen trees that were turning yellow. It made for a beautiful landscape, but it was also confusing, as the name “evergreen” implied that there was something wrong.
The trail itself was toward Clara Lake, and had a total of 1000 feet elevation gain. Most of that was at the beginning, and we were thrown off by that and also how much colder it was up in the mountain than it had been on the drive in. It was the first time that I started to feel the tug of winter. Speaking as someone who grew up in California, I’m fairly apprehensive about the upcoming seasonal shift.
The trail was beautiful, and had a wonderful assortment of moss and fungi to investigate. We saw ice forming on some of the puddles, so I’m surprised to see the nature still apparently growing strong.
Overall it was a beautiful hike. We didn’t get to finish the trail because it turns out the sun sets super early now with daylight savings time, and we hadn’t accounted for that. Silly Californians for thinking it’d be reasonable to be outside until 4pm.
I won’t complain about the sunset over the Columbia River though! I feel really spoiled by it, and it seems like the colder it gets, the more beautiful the sunsets are. But that could be my brain compensating for the general cold and lack of sunlight.
I am fairly confident that this was the last hurrah of fall. I have really enjoyed having an actual fall with leaves changing color and crisp air, and as much as I complain about it, I actually am kind of excited for winter. Here’s to living in a place with seasons! I might have to invest in an actual jacket…