Cynthia and I took advantage of this last gasp of summer to get out into the mountains.
We climbed Sourdough Ridge, which is right above the North Cascades Institute (about 5000 feet above).

The trail guide says this hike is strenuous and grueling, but don't let it scare you off. It's only five miles, and the rewards are well worth the effort.

Click here for a map.

Be patient...

All photos link to larger versions

The summer is over and the winter swiftly approaching.
A pungent smell of decaying corn lillies was present in areas along the trail.
Mushrooms are everywhere!

Cynthia pauses on the trail to model
her new line of outdoor clothing.

October subalpine sunshine.

Down below, you can make out NCI, on Lake Diablo.
That's where Cynthia is living and studying.

The subalpine shows off the autumn colors.

These mountains are right across the Lake from NCI.
Colonial Peak on the left. Pyramid Peak on the right.

The first snows of winter have fallen on the top of the beautiful metamorphic rocks.

This is the fire lookout where the poet, Gary Snyder, spent his time writing and experiencing the mountain wilderness.

Both days of this little excursion were amazing.
The sun was out, the wind was calm, and the bugs were non-existant.
Being up in the North Cascades is an amazing experience that brings clarity and peace.