Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why jelly beans are necesary for hiking...

Noble Nob
Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
(The trail we take is apparently "the back way" but I've never seen the "front way." So who knows.)
7 miles RT

I should have titled this We Found Snow, but I couldn't resist talking about jelly beans again. You all should realize by now there will be no fickle support of Power Bars or Gatorade or fancy trail mixes here. Nope. Just tap water and jelly beans, and maybe an occasional can of Pringles.

Noble Nob is one of our absolute favorite hikes. Hands down. The drive up is spectacular with amazing views to the north. When the sky is clear, the view of Mt. Stewart and the Enchantments is indescribable. On an extra clear day (and only Washingtonians can grasp this phenomena) a lucky hiker can even catch a glimpse of Mt. Baker. 

We did!

But believe it or not the views just get better.

The first mile or so is brutal. I will just tell you now: neither that more than steady climb nor those nasty switch backs are my friend. But the silence of the forest is refreshing and just knowing what lies ahead makes it all worth it (jelly beans included). After that first mile the trail finally breaks free of the thick trees and we catch that first glimpse of the rolling Cascade Range to the Northeast.

We have hiked this trail many times. We have seen snow on this trail before, but the first sighting of the white stuff never gets old for any of us; big or little, four legged or not.
On the northeast side of those hills the sun does not shine so much, and those fun little patches just kept growing. Between the glare, the missteps and the detours to "locate the trail" again, we slowed down quite a bit.

Time for some jelly beans and time to take in the views. 


Special note: at this prime picture taking spot beware not to squat for too long on the rocky ledge...the ants swarm.

And ants swarming is only fun for a moment.

Honestly, that first view of the Enchantments, and this view of Mt. Rainier, is nothing to the views from the top of Noble Nob. But that will be for another post. 

We did not make it this time.

We got a little further and found this. Once the snow seeps through those hiking boots it is time to consider turning back. 

Four kids, one dog and four feet of snow make for the best of hikes. But eight pairs of wet feet, one set of wet paws, and two bags of empty jelly beans will change things. About two-thirds into the hike the trail climbs steeply up to a rocky ledge that leads to Noble Nob. That particular hill which is beautiful covered in mountain flowers in early summer is treacherous covered in feet of snow.

BUT...the munchkins did great. No complaining even and that is what it's all about, right? Laughing, exploring, being together outside away from all things plugged in and...snacks.

Our memories of this hike will be: the dog seeming to fly across the snow at a run, taking a step and sinking up to the thigh, the ants and the snacks of course. 

4 stars from everyone.


And May says hi. She doesn't care about snow. Or steep trails. Or jelly beans for that matter. 

She just loves to be with her family.

And she loves cheese.

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