Forum Index > Trip Reports > Church Mountain - 6-10-06
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSun Jun 11, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Quick Summary:  Trail was very easy to follow and we encountered significant snow in the meadows.  With the foggy conditions and late hour, we turned around & headed to Jens for the Solstice Potluck.

Trail is located east of Glacier off the Mt. Baker Highway (Hwy 542).

The Crew:
PepperSteak'n'Ale (Driver & Trail Scout)
Quark (Photographer)
Sarah (Plant Identification)
Elvis (Listen & Learn)

The Story
We met @ Jens & left at just after 11:00am.
PS'n'A, Q & S had all been on the trail before - but always later in the year.
The road to the TH was in decent condition - although in one spot the creek is flowing over the road.  As PS'n'A enjoyed boating through the rapids we all felt like we might be in a new car commercial for 4x4's.

At the TH we were surprised to see other vehicles (may have been 5?).

After hiking for a short while we entered into the low-hanging clouds and remained within their midst for the majority of the adventure.  We were all praying that we would enter the meadows and have a heavenly view of distant peaks, leaving the layer of coulds below us like pillows.  Unfortunately, our psychic skills weren't too accurate.  Maybe it's because this was Church Mtn... but I don't think so.

With clouds hiding the opportunistic views, we were enabled to focus on the forest floor and its always amazing diversity and abundance of biological activity.  At a first glimpse its just a pile of brush, moss and twigs.  Upon closer examination we often found something interesting or new to reflect upon (and photograph of course).

We hiked up... had some lunch, hiked up further, took a break and then hiked back down.  We arrived back at the vehicle around 6:20pm and back to Jen's just in time to meet a lot of other NWHikers.

Here are a few of my pics - but I know Quark has some real beauties!!  Hopefully she'll share.
Cedar Fog - sepia
Cedar Fog - sepia
Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew
Leaf Silhouette
Leaf Silhouette
Pine cone on moss bed
Pine cone on moss bed
Fog Lifts to reveal bright greens
Fog Lifts to reveal bright greens

GPS note:  Here is a map of the trail.  The red line indicates where I think we turned around for the day.  The Blue lines represent data from my eTrex Legend from our "turnaround point" - but I don't believe it.  I think it is a mis-reading from the hard-to-find satellites.  Reality check to bring your map and compass.
eTrex Legend - not functional on Church Mtn Trail.  Only one reading available (blue).  I estimate we turned around in the Red area.
eTrex Legend - not functional on Church Mtn Trail.  Only one reading available (blue).  I estimate we turned around in the Red area.

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10979 | TRs
Location: Going to Tukwila
Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer
PostSun Jun 11, 2006 10:07 pm 
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Thanks for the TR...I'm also looking forward to more pics... (Q?)

Wow! That's quite a misreading. Were you out in the open at the top, i.e. shouldn't the Garmin have been able to triangulate that properly?  dizzy.gif

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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14138 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostSun Jun 11, 2006 10:19 pm 
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I think the GPS was stunned by the beauty of Sarah and me.  Either that, or my mass blocked the satellite signals.

Q will get pics tomorrow.  I'm a loser - I have an old Pentium II and my camera won't even talk to it, so I have to download my card onto a CD at the camera shop, then bring it home to do up my photos.  This is just one example of my loser-ness.

Every trail seems to have a theme;  this trail was loaded with spider webs!  There were the gossamer "Charlotte's Web" kinds of beauties, complete with sparkling dew drops on them, and some sort of very confused, dense webs, almost like cotton;  these were concentrated in tree trunks, and looked a lot like little spider condos.

This years theme for me in general is tree trunks.  For some reason, I'm noticing extraordinary patterns and colors on tree trunks this year.  I think I'm going to do a tree trunk calendar.  Now, now, don't everyone get too excited - let the wonder seep in slowly so that when December rolls around you'll be used to the idea.

On the trail register, we wrote that we were there to return the great Church Mtn Glacier that we stole back in 1999.

I'll be surprised if Elvis doesn't wish he had chosen another hike - peppersteak, Sarah and I were acting pretty goofy.

On the other hand, the comment on the trail register was Elvis' idea...

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Trevor
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Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 1564 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Trevor
Member
PostSun Jun 11, 2006 10:49 pm 
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Beautiful sepia image, Elvis. . . clown.gif

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Trevor Anderson Photography
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 9:55 am 
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DHM -

Re: GPS readings

I've learned that with my eTrex I can seldom locate satellites in the trees, so I kept the unit off for most of the trip.

When we reached our turnaround point, I turned the unit on for about 5 or 10 minutes while we took a rest.  During that time it did find enough satellites to report a position.  According to the screen, the accuracy should have been within 200 feet (usually it says accurate to within 20 feet or less when I have good satellite reception).

I also turned it on in the parking lot before we departed and the readings were dead-on with the map.

Of course, the way-off reading could have been influenced by metals underneath our feet or some other disturbance that would be more evident if the unit was able to see the satellites along the rest of the trail.

Supposing I was lost at that point in the trip, in that area, I would probably have headed in the totally wrong direction trying to find the trail again.   eek.gif

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14138 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 11:20 am 
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The beautiful sepia forest image is Elvis', not mine!

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 12:23 pm 
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Thanks for clarifying that, Q.

I thought the sepia tone looked nice... a nice change from the color picture that only had black and white.

Also, it was the only way I could hope to compete with your beauts.

I snapped off more than 100 pics that day (pre, during and post-hike) and few of them came out clear due to the slow shutter on my point-and-click in the dim light conditions.

We all learned that flash + fog doesn't yield intended photographic results.

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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peppersteak'n'ale
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Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Posts: 1973 | TRs

peppersteak'n'ale
Member
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Great pics Elvis - they came out way better than any I took, so I'm not going to bother posting any, unless anyone wants to see a pic of Quark from behind, bent over and taking pictures of lichen or walking along the trail with her mouth open  hihi.gif

According to the map and from what I can remember about the trail, I think we only made it to the 4900' level right at the beginning of the meadows. I'm pretty sure the red  no. 2 on Elvis' map would have put us to the other side of the lower meadows near a bunch of boulders.

Had a great time up there even though visibility wasn't all that great
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 3:56 pm 
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PS'n'A -

Was the creek we stomped through Deerhorn Creek?  I assumed it was and mapped the red line just a bit further than the creek crossing.

Not having been there before... I'll concur with 4,900 elevation.

hink.gif

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14138 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 7:40 pm 
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Here are my fave pics from our trip. I need a tripod.

snag
snag
old trunk
old trunk
backlit vine maple leaf
backlit vine maple leaf
Spider condos and red cedar root
Spider condos and red cedar root
Red trunk and distant green
Red trunk and distant green
Ginger
Ginger
Forest and leaning tree
Forest and leaning tree
Devils Club and members
Devils Club and members
Butter drop, rain, and spider web
Butter drop, rain, and spider web

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Rich Baldwin
Mister Eddie



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 1678 | TRs
Location: Martinique
Rich Baldwin
Mister Eddie
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 7:45 pm 
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Very nice.

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Was you ever bit by a dead bee?
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14138 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostMon Jun 12, 2006 8:04 pm 
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Thank'ee folks.

I was very excited about seeing all the wild ginger on the trail; I've only seen one other vine, at Deception Pass (Whidbey).  This vine was right by the trailhead; dozens of blossoms; and another vine a little farther in.

After seeing what you guys did on Heliotrope Sunday, I sorta feel for Elvis - he was hoping for clear weather and views.

We all enjoyed each others company immensely, which made the trip well worth it; despite the fog and lack of grand, far-off views.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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