Moonrise above Sunnyside chair
Paintbrush just opening
It is VERY green up there right now and the wildflowers are about ready to burst into color. Some have already started: bluebells, pink geraniums, a few paintbrush and lupin, gentians spiking up but not yet in bloom, several columbine here and there, and alpine buttercups rampant up high. That may sound like a lot but trust me, the wildflowers are only just getting started at this point.
We went up the meadow trail, stared dolefully at the replacing-Supreme-lift construction and then continued up towards Catherine's Pass. Although there were cars in the parking lots still, we only crossed paths with four people on our way up and one trail runner on our way back down - ideal crowds. The sun was getting low in the sky as we gained elevation. I could definitely feel it in my legs and my lungs that I haven't been doing much hiking; despite the struggle, it felt good to be out there.
I see a little silhouetto of a ... deer
After a brief stop at Catherine's Pass, we kept going up and across Catherine's Area towards the top of the [Supreme] lift. Although we didn't see any moose (which we had expected), we did see a whole bunch of individual mule deer, including one young male who, cautiously but curiously, followed us for a little ways, peeking at us through the trees.
Catherine's Area is high enough to still have some snow
The sun went down on our descent, first behind Superior and then behind the horizon. The nearly-full moon was out, however, and there was still light in the sky almost all the way down, through the campground (closed this summer due to the lift construction) and then again through the meadow.
H amongst the buttercups
We paused for a few minutes back at the truck, enjoying beers and the cool air, counting the stars as they popped into view and watching the headlights of an ATV trundling around in the trees below us. Then we headed back down to the heat of the city, marveling at the hundreds of glittering fireworks displays sprouting from the valley below.
There she goes
Hike stats: 6.99 miles, 2 hours 49 minutes (including stoppage time), 2.8 m.p.h moving average and 1.708' of climbinb