Many firsts taking on Bandera Mountain

I got up early this morning and headed out to my first hike ever along the north ridge of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Bandera Mountain (5150 ft up) was beckoning, and I choose it to cut my teeth in this area. Outstanding hike (pics here, and turns out it was my first time...

  • seeing Seattle from the Cascade Mountains

  • seeing Mount Adams from the Cascades

  • seeing a black bear while hiking

Sadly, it was definitely not the first time I've forgotten my NW Forest Pass, my insect repellent (boy did I pay for that today), or my hiking poles.

Spotting the black bear was cool. I was on a boulder scramble near the summit, happened to be looking toward the east into a meadow (if you call a huge patch of grass and rocks that's on a 45 degree slope a meadow), and just happened to catch it. It was about 250 feet away, and it held still while I snapped a picture. After that it took off into the woods away from me. Way cool.

Met a very nice couple from Maple Valley there, and they took a picture of me at the summit.

Nice beaver!

The bear. You can get higher res pics here

Not sure why, I just think that it being ok to have a campfire at 3995 feet but not 4005 feet is funny.

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