hiking · photos

Wandering Through Old Photos

Back in those long ago days when the world was ancient…er…I mean before the advent of digital cameras, taking photos on hiking trips was different. I can remember going on backpacking trips and taking less than 24 photos in a 3 day trip. Film wasn’t cheap nor was the processing. Nowadays I might shoot 200-300 photos for an overnighter and keep 25 of them but I have the nearly unlimited option of taking a photo to get what I want. Back then, well, you had maybe 1 or 2 takes to get it right. And often you didn’t. And why is it that even photos only 9 or 10 years old (I went digital at the end of 2002) look decades old? I look at the photos and it is like I am looking at a really different time. Still I love going through old hiking photos and seeing that period in our lives. I scanned these ones in today and have many more to do! (A goal of mine when I have time)

Early camps –

A friend from work and I went up to the Stevens Pass area near Hwy 2 in Washington and did an overnighter to Minotaur Lake. We saw almost no one, there was still icebergs in the lake. It was a great trip. I had bought a tiny solo tent, my lightest piece of gear. I was soooo proud of it 😉 It had a bright orange fly and a black mesh inner. Hot as an oven and no breath-ability, that tent was awesome. Hehheh!

Hvaing learned that black mesh=sweat fest in summer the next year I picked up a 2 man tent (Ford was coming along on many trips by that point). My tent was the middle one. That year Target was carrying tons of Eddie Bauer branded backpacking gear and I lived nowhere near an REI. I lived on a rock in the middle of the salt water so I took what I could get – within an hour drive.

We had gone on an all ladies trip in the Olympic Mountains – crazy good fun!

These photos were taken in the summer of 2002. Ford and I had hiked to Winchester Peak and the lookout tower. We parked at the end of the “maintained road” at Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead and walked the mine-to-market road that while technically drivable I didn’t have the guts to do it back then. The one sharp memory I have is being passed by a border patrol SUV who was giving the hikers on the road nasty looks and questioning them on why they were walking on a public road. At the time the trails in the area were being watched due to 9/11 (one connects right to the Canadian border only a few miles away). The road walk was actually quite pretty – if you ignored all the car parts littering the “road” left by people who shouldn’t have attempted it! When we reached the real trailhead and started the actual hike it just got better. The North Cascades are a lonely and beautiful place to see – what is a ‘busy’ day on the trail is sparse really.

As we climbed we could look back down at Twin Lakes, where the road ends at the trailhead, though as you can see the mine-to-market does continue on as do the trails (there is a camping are there as well):

Ford was excited beyond belief as we came up to the final section and he saw the lookout.

And yep, that be Canada behind us! 😉 The view of Baker though rules, which we were looking at in the photo.

In this shot Mt. Baker was behind us, next to the flag that flies proudly:

That summer we did so many trails it was incredible. Ford was 4 years old at the time.

That early fall we headed up the North Cascades and got in a couple late season hikes, right before the first snows would have come (they didn’t that year, we had a bad drought – and we ended up hiking even in December in sub-freezing temps but no snow). On one trip I took my Mom with us for the ride. She was on kidney dialysis and had been for a number of years (she went into renal failure in 1998). She had opted for the surgery so she could do her dialysis at home, rather than have to go in every couple days for long transfers at a clinic. Because of that she was able to go with us – she would sit in the warm Explorer, take a nap, do her transfer, read a book and enjoy the views. It meant a lot that she was able to come with us. We went and did Blue Lake, which sits below Early Winters Spires. It was sublime. I need to go back – it has been too long! Ford had just turned 5 then.

In the late summer of 2002 we took a trip to Park Butte at Mt. Baker in the North Cascades. I remember Ford was extra toasty but wow, was I under packed. Freezing indeed! Ford was all smiles on that trip.

On one trip in the drought winter of 2002/2003 we went to Baker Hot Springs – Kirk, Ford and I. It was a long drive so we checked it out after doing a hike along Baker River. The trip in was quick from the wide spots along the FS road.

One of the more aromatic (sulfur stink) hot springs I have visited it also had an “impressive” collection of empty booze bottles over the side. Sigh. Tons of candles, benches, etc. It is most definitely a clothing optional stink bomb full of weed smoking, drinking, hippy types. Dip at your own risk (no thanks)!

Ford and Kirk posing – being that it was broad daylight the Vitamin D deficient hippies were not up yet. Hehheh!

Kirk came across this photo recently of me that he took in December of 2002. It was a trip to the Olympic Coast, though time has blurred what beach we were on. It was one of the numbered ones in the National Park – a misty day out.

And in the fall of 1998 –

Ford’s first real hike:

We went out to the Hoh Rain Forest. It was a good typical fall day: misting but not dumping. Chilly but not freezing. Ford had just turned 1 and I had found an AWFUL Gerry backpack at the thrift store that threw my neck out for days after. On the other hand…if there was one pivotal moment in my life that said “Go Hike” that was that hike. I had backpacked, I had hiked before. But never had I felt the draw that I did when I saw the trees out there. I can lay the blame on my Mom – she wanted to see the “temperate rain forests” so I drove her there. Little did I know I’d get more out of it than she did…..it took me 6 years to get back to backpack it, but I did and when I did, I took Ford with me once again 🙂 Just thankfully not in a Gerry pack!

~Sarah

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