Now that can rightly be called an epic hike. We set off in the cold fog and cloud, parked our cars at Morrell Nature Sanctuary and hiked all the way around the ridges to the start of the old trail up Mount Benson from Westwood Lake. Because of the clearcutting, I haven’t been up this trail in probably a dozen years. But today was the day. And I’m so glad we did it. Right at the top, you can see Abby in her best , “What’s taking you so long?” pose.
As it turned out, the trail was much better than I had expected and we even had to go up and over Cougar Bluff and, yes, the fixed rope is still there. Getting the dogs up (and later down) was a tiny bit tricky – they needed some encouragement and a push or two – but we did it.
There was a bit of a slog up a logging road for about 30 minutes, but other than that it was great. And getting above the clouds was amazing. And, of course, some fabulous shots as we were coming up to the sun through the fog.
And then of course, the top: glorious today! We sat down at about 1 p.m. for lunch – so about four hours to the top and just 30 minutes less coming back down. We were delayed by Cougar Bluff because one of our party had a hard time – but she made it! And we were so proud of her! But I’ll have to tell you, sitting on top of Mount Benson in warmth and sunshine today – well, as the commercial says, it was priceless.