High cloud cover and a little drizzle met me at the Pacific Crest Trailhead south of Santiam Pass. Hiking south on this stretch of the PCT was a new adventure for me.
I was looking forward to a grand view of Mt. Washington at the 5 1/2 mile mark, and a great view it was. The western summit of the mountain dominated the horizon.
The next destination was exploring some large meadows and finding the Washington Ponds, only one of which had water in it. Elk tracks were everywhere, but the animals were successful in staying hidden from my camera’s telephoto lens.
On the pleasant return hike, I took a detour and ascended the steep climbers’ trail 1 1/2 miles. It was a tough challenge in places but reasonably well-marked for once. I turned around at an open alpine meadow having gained about one-third of the elevation needed to summit the peak.
A truly enjoyable day in the wilderness.