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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1716 | TRs
Location: Welcome Pass
Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver
PostSun Jun 15, 2008 11:29 am 
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( doh.gif this report was supposed to be posted last night - but "someone" closed the wrong window when she was ready to post and, well,  rant.gif ) So, the boys (Jim K, Gary and Middle E/Barry) were planning a male bonding experience  rolleyes.gif when Gusto asked if he could be included (he gender-qualifies).  The driver was planning to go on the Lake Ann overnighter with Opus and TP, but didn't get her stuff together on Thursday, so she whined and begged to tag along  waah.gif  The driver did this hike with Joanna (and two of the Bad Dogs) a year ago last week.  There was a lot less snow then and a lot more flowers.  But, our merry band started from the 65th Park and Pool at about 6:40 a.m. and stopped at the Eastgate P&R to grab Gary and off we went.  Traffic was light.  Our starting point would be Iron Creek, about 2.3 miles beyond Mineral Springs on Blewett (Hwy 97).  We reached the trailhead about 8:40 and were on our way around 8:50 a.m.  We were the first car in the parking area - but soon, two other cars appeared - that's the last we would see them all day.
Brisk beginning
Brisk beginning
Trailhead from Iron Creek
Trailhead from Iron Creek

We were thrilled knowing that this is what we would see most of the day . . .
OMG - is that dirt????
OMG - is that dirt????

There isn't much water on this hike - in fact, we had four creek crossings before Iron Bear Pass (approximately 2 miles) and that would be it (except for the snow that Gus found).  So, take water for the pooch.
Gusto in one of the few creek crossings
Gusto in one of the few creek crossings

We reached the pass and the junction of Iron Creek and Teanaway Ridge trails in about 40 minutes - we were cruising.
Intersection at Iron Bear Pass
Intersection at Iron Bear Pass
At Iron Bear Pass
At Iron Bear Pass

Here is where we turned onto the Teanaway Ridge trail (a hard right turn) and meandered another mile or so to Iron Bear "peak." 
Barry "summiting" Iron Bear Peak
Barry "summiting" Iron Bear Peak

Now, the driver is an XX type, so she doesn't fully appreciate (understand) the XY "mentality" - but it's documented here. 
What are these guys looking at?
What are these guys looking at?
More pointing and looking by explorers on Iron Bear Peak
More pointing and looking by explorers on Iron Bear Peak

We did score some lovely views. 
Stuart and friends in the distance
Stuart and friends in the distance

As we wandered off of Iron Bear and down the north/backside into the trees, we ran into a little bit of snow. 
Some snow still on the trail on back side of Iron Bear
Some snow still on the trail on back side of Iron Bear

That would be about it for the day, although someone has a nose for snow and can find it when necessary!  agree.gif
Snow break
Snow break

In about a mile, there's another junction with the County Line trail - not much used, but supposedly you can go from Blewett to Navajo and beyond.
Intersection with County Line trail just after Iron Bear Peak
Intersection with County Line trail just after Iron Bear Peak

There's another little bump along the trail that would give us another 200' of gain for the day that we decided to save for our way back.  As we skirted around it, there's a point with a great view of our destination 
Gusto with Miller behind (ridge we will run on the way down to the right)
Gusto with Miller behind (ridge we will run on the way down to the right)

This photo even shows the ridge that we would take on the way back.  But, just beyond this point, there is a very steep downhill - Jim's knee would feel this one - with that infamous loose gravel-type rock that's about like trying to walk on marbles!  eek.gif At the bottom, there's a juncture with one of the many roads that traverse the hills around here - logging and mining were the genesis of many of these roads.  We continued on north as we regained the elevation we lost  hmmm.gif Miller was getting closer and closer.  There was some snow on the flanks, but not much.  However, the snow field that was a bit of a challenge for Joanna and me last year, was even more looming for us.  One thing that we did notice, although there were lots of flowers, it wasn't nearly the "show" that we had last year.  Here's what we saw last year Miller Peak 2007 and here are some of our "finds" this year. 
Miller Peak_2008 039
Miller Peak_2008 039
Miller Peak_2008 037
Miller Peak_2008 037
Miller Peak_2008 069
Miller Peak_2008 069
Hillside flowers
Hillside flowers
Blueflowers
Blueflowers
Bitterroot
Bitterroot
Miller Peak_2008 070
Miller Peak_2008 070
Penstemmon
Penstemmon
purple flower
purple flower
spring_beautish
spring_beautish

Nothing particularly spectacular, but we did find one oddity of nature - Jim K was stunned.
Two lily stem . . . .
Two lily stem . . . .

There before us, on the same stem, a Glacier Lily and an Avalanche Lily!  Amazing!  lol.gif I have witnesses.  We continued on, nearing the intersection of the ridge that would run all the way to Miller Peak and the regular, County Line trail.   
Miller Peak ahead
Miller Peak ahead

Barry opted to take the ridge, the rest of us continued on until just before the large snowfield covering the trail, we opted to head straight up (almost due north) where we would intersect the ridge.  Barry was about 5 minutes ahead of us.
Barry heading up to Miller summit
Barry heading up to Miller summit
Gary on way up to summit
Gary on way up to summit
Gus coming off summit
Gus coming off summit

Once on top, it was absolutely lovely!  Very clear skies - a few small clouds here and there - and the temperature was perfect, probably low 60s.   
Clear view west/northwest to Navajo, Little Navajo (center) - Earl to left - Fortune and Ingalls in between
Clear view west/northwest to Navajo, Little Navajo (center) - Earl to left - Fortune and Ingalls in between

We lounged around on top for quite some time, having lunch, soaking up the sun and just plain relaxing!   
Theboys and Rainier from summit of Miller
Theboys and Rainier from summit of Miller
Gus and Driver on summit of Miller with Adams and Rainier behind 06-14-08
Gus and Driver on summit of Miller with Adams and Rainier behind 06-14-08

Well, some of us were relaxing . . . Barry and Jim were discussing the location of Iron Mountain, maps flapping in the breeze - it seems to have moved  embarassedlaugh.gif  Finally, it was time to head back.  We all agreed to run the ridge - definitely a good choice and a nice change from taking the regular route.     
Silver trees just off of the summit
Silver trees just off of the summit
Jim and Gary coming down off of the summit
Jim and Gary coming down off of the summit

We got into one sticky part, where there are a bunch of rocks - we decided to go over them, but you can just as easily go down and around them. 
Gary coming down rock scramble on ridge
Gary coming down rock scramble on ridge
Barry and Gusto heading down the ridge
Barry and Gusto heading down the ridge
Jim and Gary coming down the ridge
Jim and Gary coming down the ridge

Just before we reached the steep hill, we ran into the only person we saw on the trail all day.  It was a mountain biker - chasing the snow - he said.  He was headed to Miller Peak and seemed to be a frequent traveler on these trails.
Gary talking to the mountain biker - Miller in upper left background
Gary talking to the mountain biker - Miller in upper left background

We made the steep climb up the "hill of marbles" and up the backside of the little bump that we planned to conquer.  When we reached what we figured was the top we came upon two hikers who were enjoying what I'm sure they thought was absolute seclusion  eek.gif Oops!  Our apologies! We didn't hang out there too long.   
Jim and Gary on "bump"
Jim and Gary on "bump"

The rest of the trip back to the car was uneventful.  It had warmed up some - but not a lot - so it was quite pleasant going back.  Gus was glad to hit the creek again.  A great day out with the boys!   agree.gif  cool.gif
Stats:  13.3 miles, 3800' (approx.) of gain, 7 hours car-to-car - I think Gary said we were actually hiking a little more than 5, so it was a leisurely ramble.  Gary will probably add his GPS data.   up.gif

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Four-paw buddy lets me tag along!
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monte
Member
Member


Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 1 | TRs

monte
Member
PostSun Jun 15, 2008 6:23 pm 
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I'll say hi.  It was a great day to be on Miller!

Monte
(the mtb'r)
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TrailPair
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 1700 | TRs

TrailPair
Member
PostSun Jun 15, 2008 6:25 pm 
Miller time
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Ah yes, I do sort of remember what a dry trail looks like.  We didn't see any of that at Lake Ann.....but the scenery there was eye popping  eek.gif .  Opus will be posting later.

In the meantime I enjoyed your report on Miller.  I bet Gusto enjoyed the snow on the top. up.gif

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This thing called work is interfering with my play
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Middle E
no more moustache



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 432 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Middle E
no more moustache
PostSun Jun 15, 2008 8:02 pm 
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The Teanaway redeemed itself after a bit of a letdown last week, although it was easy to imagine how hot and dry it might be during the heat of mid-summer.  Mostly, we were pretty happy to be hiking on dirt!
Mt. Stuart from Iron Bear
Mt. Stuart from Iron Bear
Miller from Iron Bear - a ways to go yet
Miller from Iron Bear - a ways to go yet
Heading down from Iron Bear
Heading down from Iron Bear
Miller ahead
Miller ahead

The view from Miller (and likely any peak in the area) was rewarding and well worth the effort to reach it.
Navajo and Stuart from Miller
Navajo and Stuart from Miller
Gary and Gusto coming up to the summit
Gary and Gusto coming up to the summit
Gusto nearing the top, again.
Gusto nearing the top, again.
I'm hungrier than you are!
I'm hungrier than you are!

Jim and I debated the location of Iron Mountain.  His experience finally persuaded me that my compass was way off - it was trying to tell me that true N. was 30-40 degrees west of where it really was.  I wonder if that has something to do with all those peaks named Iron...???

The flowers were not quite what Jim and Suzanne were hoping for, but there was plenty to see.  Gary was carrying the recent insert from the WTA magazine, but we still puzzled over a few.  The bird life was also notable, but not so easily photographed - W. Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend's Solitaire, Townsend's Warbler, Hermit Thrush among others.
Suzanne on the ridge
Suzanne on the ridge

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pithy yet insightful signature
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JimK
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Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5382 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
Member
PostThu Jun 19, 2008 10:31 am 
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I have posted my report and photos on my site:  Miller Peak

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Hiking Northwest
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