On a glorious summer day five Ramblers explored the lush ridge of the Porcupine Hills. Starting from Highway 22 exactly 24 km south of Chain Lakes, we entered a lush meadow of knee-high grass above the Adair Creek drainage, replete with giant Douglas fir trees that must be a thousand years old.
Lush meadows with knee deep grass along Adair Creek valley
Giant Douglas firs of the Porcupine Hills deserve protection!
The wood lilies were in their glory.
Wood lilies were in profusion
We missed the turn when we were supposed to veer left up the ridge, but by dead reckoning eventually reached the intended trail near the crest of the hills.
Reaching the crest of the Porcupine Hills
We then followed a fence line along the crest to the north, on reasonably good trails. We met one group of motorcyclists and soon after picked up snacks along the trail--a bag of potato chips and a granola bar! The views were jaw-dropping.
View from the crest across Black Mountain and Whaleback Ridge
Grassy slopes on the crest of the Porcupine Hills
Sandstone rock beauty on the Porcupine Hills crest
Hiking along the crest of the Porcupine Hills
Crow's Nest Mountain
View from Porcupine Hills north to Chain Lakes
We had lunch on rock benches under the overhanging sandstone outcropping on our last summit, in cool shade (22 degrees).
Teresa, Maria, Francisco, David on the summit
Carl, Teresa--lunch with a view on rock benches in the shade.
We were hearing the noise of logging all along the crest, then saw the vast tracts of forest which have already been clear cut on the eastern slopes. The western slopes are still pristine. It would be nice if the ancient Douglas firs could be protected. On the return we discovered the good trail we should have come up on. By the time we got back to the cars near 3 p.m., it was up to 27, still more moderate than the 31 in Calgary. Three of us had beers and burgers at the funky Twin Cities Hotel in Longview, complete with country musicians.
Participants: Francisco, Maria, David, Teresa and Carl, coordinator and scribe.