Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bushwhack to Emmons Glacier in Mt. Rainier National Park

Unnamed Lake, Goat Island Mountain, and Emmons Glacier. I took this photo the previous day, from First Burroughs.

In the foreground is the unnamed lake south of Emmons Glacier. Emmons Glacier is below Little Tahoma (the rocky mountain) and a portion of Emmons Glacier is to the right. 

While visiting my twin brother at Mt Rainier National Park this past September, we bushwhacked to Emmons Glacier. This was after spending a night in the Fremont Lookout, and going up First and Second Burroughs, as well as bushwhacking partially up Goat Island Mountain. This meant we had the opportunity to view Emmons Glacier from unique perches high-up on both sides of the valley. This made the bushwhack to Emmons Glacier that much more interesting. 

The side of the glacial moraine in the valley where Emmons Glacier is

Jonathan during the bushwhack to Emmons Glacier
Initially we planned to go from the unnamed lake to the headwaters of the White River, then take the stream up the glacier. However, this route quickly became very dense and impassable. We ended up backtracking and eventually found a makeshift rock-cairn route along glacial boulders, which poked up above much of the conifers in the area, making the hike a bit easier.

I took this photo the previous day, from First Burroughs. The route we took during the bushwhack is approximately sketched in read. 

A spectacular view en route to Emmons Glacier

In front of Emmons Glacier

Jonathan looking  upon Emmons Glacier towards the end of the bushwhack

First and Second Burroughs and the Sunrise Rim trail ridge area, the edge of the glacial moraine to the left. The headwaters of the White River flowing from Emmons Glacier can be seen in the bottom right corner.
This hike afforded us spectacular views of the Burroughs Mountains, Mt. Rainier, Little Tahoma, Goat Island Mountain, and the surrounding landscape. Every step was breathtaking. We were fortunate to have a day of amazing weather, with no clouds in the sky. In fact, it was almost too sunny. Emmons Glacier itself was stunning. Standing at the base of the glacier, which was covered in rock and sediment, it gave off a feeling of immense power. I remember feeling a bit awe-struck, in a nervous way. Large ice chunks could be seen and heard breaking off in the center, crashing into the ground and forming the headwaters. We scrapped off a bit of sediment and touched the glacier ice, it was exciting!

Emmons Glacier, Little Tahoma above it and part of Mt. Rainier to the right. 

Me, Emmons Glacier, Little Tahoma above it and part of Mt. Rainier to the right. 

Me and Jonathan well in front of Emmons Glacier. The perspective of this photo makes the glacier appear small, but it is quite large.

An unnamed stream flowing into the valley
This hike was a fitting end to a fun week, which let us explore in-detail a large corner of Mt. Rainier National Park.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Guana River State Park

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) understory

My twin brother and I visited St. Augustine Florida over New Years to see a good friend from the northeast. While there, we took some time to explore a nature preserve, Guana River State Park. Sections of it are salt marsh, pine savannah and live oak forests. 

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides)

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) understory 

Jonathan examining "pressure releases"  (jk)

we had fun making fake bear tracks then waiting and hoping that people would notice them. 

Tolomato River

A well from an old settlement