Granite Creek Explorations ~ Winter of 09/10


Contents:
December 9, 2009 - Wednesday
December 13, 2009 - Sunday
December 19, 2009 - Saturday
December 27, 2009 - Sunday
Janurary 2, 2010 - Saturday

First Visit - December 9, 2009


Snow in the mountains!


I have many pics from this spot. Each trip creates a different look. Nice.


Mailbox Mountain to the left, Mt Washington on the right. I-90 goes through the valley between them.


The peak above the semi trailer (behind the tree tops) is Mailbox Mtn. I-90 takes a hard right and passes in front of it. The hill behind and to the left of Mailbox (the one with the logging roads zig zagging across it) is an unnamed ridge. The craggy rocky peaks further to the left is Russian Butte.


A great picture of Mt Teneriffe. You can see a white vertical stripe directly below the peak and above the evergreen trees. That is ice buildup from Kamikazi Falls (another great place to hike).


Mailbox Mtn directly ahead. Logging roads clearly visible on the ridge behind and to the left. The Granite Creek road goes up the valley between those two hills. In fact, from inside that valley you can hike those logging roads you see and stand on the top of that ridge. There is also another branch of the road that will take you close to the summit of Mailbox Mtn too. There are lakes tucked in back there as well.


Mt Teneriffe from the truck stop exit. Falls left of center.


Close up of Kamikazi Falls.


Russian Butte


The trailhead.


Frost on the trail.


A sunny spot.


For almost a hundred feet there were icicles on the hillside along the side of the road.



Many stream crossings. All were decorated with ice.


A bend in the road.


Ice crystals all over. I picked up a leaf to picture them better.


Mt Teneriffe on the left, Green Mtn to the right.


Not snow! A weeks worth of frost, the crystals just keep growing!


The breeze blowing down this canyon is the freshest I've sniffed in ages.


A stand of alder trees.


Mountains framed in trees.

Second Visit - December 13, 2009


That little hump rising through the fog is Cedar Butte. Somebody had a sense of humor calling that hill a butte!


The trailhead is the road off to the right.


Light snow.



Lotsa leaves in this section.


The snow is coming down a little heavier.


It's beginning to look like Christmas!


Ah, walking through the forest on a quiet snowy day.


Good views from here last trip.


Granite Creek with ice-pod looking things.


Looking upstream. Walked a little past here then turned around.

Third Visit - December 19, 2009


Eastbound I-90 Issaquah area. A wet afternoon.


The SE Middle Fork Road.


A glimpse of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.


Almost there!


I like how this picture turned out. But...


These colors look more realistic.


The maple leaf section. Not quite as fluffy as before.


Mossy maple trees.


Zoomed in on a branch (you can see where on the above pic). Looks like something from a science channel! (Neurons maybe?)


You can hear a stream gurgling here. It's the kind of place where I wonder what kind of critters wander through.


In the summer this will be a cool shady hike.


A little more light + better composition = best picture of this place so far!


Here is the first big clearing on the trail. See how the maple leaves mark the edge of the forest? I like the Christmas tree and the mist blowing through the trees on the hillside.


This is the first steep part. The good news: it's not as steep as it looks.


The second steep part. The good news: it levels out right after this section.


Lots of variety on this route. Nice.


Almost out of one spooky section.


And into another! (What knocked down those trees anyway?)


Granite Creek. About 3 miles in. Walked almost another mile past here.


Looking downstream. No ice this time.


Almost dark. Walked out with my trusty headlamp - following a cone of light bouncing downhill through a dark forest.



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