|a detail of the shale formation on the bluff|
|dawn on Diamond Peak, our destination|
Another night was spent at one of the numerous mountain lakes in this area:
This is Mount Yoran, which is visible from Crying Lake. We plan to climb this one some day.
Now we were moving into the mountain zone and we started coming across one of the great benefits of a mountain trail---huckleberries and mountain blueberries!
Getting closer, we started enjoying some of the unique mountain scenery.
|a dry streambed---usually filled with snow runoff during the spring and early summer|
|massive boulders propped up on shale formations|
|a tree growing in a large lava boulder|
We suspect he was drinking from a spring that was fed by one of the snowfields.
Diamond Peak is a shield volcano that is somewhere around 100, 000 years old. It has collapsed in on itself and has much more erosion than some of the other mountains in the Cascades (Thielsen, Bailey, etc). The result is that it has some very interesting lava formations on the top. I don't know what they are specifically called---I call them "The Old Ones" because many of them look like figures, like guardians of the mountain:
While on Diamond Peak we could see the Three Sisters Mountains in the East. A huge plume of smoke was billowing up on the right side of the mountains:
This turned out to be the Pole Creek Fire, an enormous wildfire burning in the Sisters Wilderness.
We set up our sleeping bags and prepared for a night under the great wheel of the sky.
The sun began setting behind the mountain, and trails of what I called "mountain steam" began to flow over the mountain top:
Seeing the moon high in the sky, I knew that dawn wasn't far behind:
After that, my sweetie got up and started making coffee. I was never so happy to see my camp cup of instant coffee and my bowl of instant oatmeal!
Too tired to attempt to summit the mountain (plus it is exceedingly dangerous from this direction because of all of the loose rock) we decided it was time to get rolling, so we packed up and then proceeded to hike the 12 or so miles out. Mountain guardians, we will visit with you next time!
A wonderful trip, one of the best ever!
Until next time, Happy Trails!!