Starrigavan Ridge Loop

[originally written in a paper journal, subsequently published on my older site. Current (2014) commentary in [italics] ]

I set out from the end of the road at Starrigavan a little bit after 8am with the intention of hiking to the top of the ridge, having a look at Baby Bear Lake, and then following the ridge along to the East and then South towards the Sisters. It was not a bad hike from the road to the ridge top. About where I came into the true alpine, I found the lake. It is a nice little lake, hopefully some of the pictures I took of it will turn out.
On the way up in the woods, I noticed some flowers on stalks (there didn’t seem to be any leaves) which looked kind of like orchids to my untrained eye. If the picture is decent, I should be able to find someone who can tell me what it is. [These were Coralroot Orchids (Corallorhiza mertensiana), I think this was the first time I had noticed this relatively common species]

I just finished lunch on peak 2875, it is near 1 pm and I hope to be back at Starrigavan for a picnic at 5:30 pm, so I am not sure how much further I will go. I walked around Baby Bear Lake barefoot and found it to be a pleasant experience, though it might have been less so if I had not been careful not to step on any of the numerous bumblebees making their rounds to all the flowers that covered the ground.

When I was nearing the top of 2875 there was a strange noise like a whipping flag. I also saw some chunks of dirt being tossed up. I think it must have been a small dust devil (though I must admit, the thought of meeting a bear up there crossed my mind and made me a tad nervous for a moment).

I think the hummingbirds are attracted to my red vest. They keep buzzing up close to me, sometimes startling me and then flying away when I moved.

I did make it to lake 1390, though my route was less than ideal. I think that I probably went too far back along the ridge. There were probably less steep places to go down. The nice thing about going down steep slopes is that it does not take many steps to get down a long way. The bad thing is that it might only take one.

There were clouds hanging over the peaks most of the day, but by the time I made it down they had all cleared off. I was able to see Fairweather in the North. There is some mean looking stuff Northeast of the Sisters.

Running shoes seemed to work alright again. I had no blisters, anyway.

[Several pictures are linked from the original posting on my older site]

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