Where We Hiked: Dec 26 - Jan 1
A summary of Trip Reports posted the last week of 2011 and New Year's Day, including visits from rare wildlife.
WTA's trip reporters ended 2011 and welcomed 2012 by taking to the trail, posting 30 trip reports for December 31 and New Years Day. Many hikers opted for bare trails or those easily traveled with boots or spikes, while others strapped on snowshoes. All reporters shared one sentiment: it felt good to be outside hiking.
Although we haven't had a lot of snow accumulation, there are places to enjoy a snowshoe. "MaidenhairFern" reported lots of snow on the Huckleberry Snowshoe route on the North Cascades Highway and in the South Cascades Bullion Basin provided reporter "ryott" with a great day on the trail.
Great Egret - twelve o'clock! This past Friday, trip reporter Chris photographed this rare, all white heron-like bird at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. We birders really appreciate the photo! If you see an unusual bird, make sure to take its photograph and please include it in your trip report.
Another bird making an unlikely appearance in our state is the Arctic snowy owl. These white owls are nearly two feet tall and have generated a lot of press and excitement this year due to an unusual migration south of the Arctic. The Seattle Times wrote an article about the owls and mentioned Damon Point State Park near Ocean Shores as a location where, if you're lucky, you might witness this northern visitor. They may stay here until March.
And we would be remiss if we did not mention a special milestone by Trip Reporter Mike. Last year he set a goal of 50 hikes at age 50, and he completed his quest at Hurricane Hill in Olympic National Park. Way to go Mike! What did Mike learn on all those hikes? He offered a bit of advice in his trip report finale, "As always enjoy your hiking and get out and see this great state during all seasons. You won't be disappointed."