A dogwood tree in full bloom stands beside the snowmelt induced rushing waters of the Stehekin River
Our plan had been to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail, but the winter snows were still deep enough to cover all of the trails above 3500 feet. So, we came up with a backup plan. All of the locals in Stehekin indicated that there were still a lot of wildflowers on the Agnes Gorge Trail. So, we set our sights on hiking it.
There was a small problem with our plan, though. For whatever reason, the National Park Service bus that normally ran up and down the valley was not in operation for the three days of our visit. After riding bikes up to Rainbow Falls we realized that the valley would get steeper and steeper as we neared the head of the valley. The eleven miles up and back plus the miles in the gorge seemed too much for one day.
Fortunately, the young innkeepers at the Silver Bay Inn were extremely accommodating. They offered to drop us off and pick us back up a few hours later. Considering all that they had to do to keep the inn running, it was an extremely gracious offer. After viewing the elevation gain on the way up the valley, I’m really glad that we didn’t hike the eleven miles up!
As we were being dropped off we were given the directions to the trailhead. They seemed straightforward enough, so off we went. As it turned out, the directions were fine, but our attention to detail – or lack thereof – wound up costing us an extra two or three miles of hiking. Somehow, we managed to hike straight past the turnoff to the Agnes Gorge Trail. That was the bad news. The good news was that the road/trail went past some spectacular scenery. It was on this part of our hike that I took this image of the Stehekin River.
It was amazing to me that the dogwoods were still blooming. I’m from Atlanta and the dogwoods had bloomed in late March at home. Pamela and I took a trip to Vancouver in mid-April and the dogwoods were blooming there. Now, it was early June and I saw dogwoods blooming for a third time. I felt like I had experienced spring three different times in one year!
The snowmelt was pushing the Stehekin River into a raging torrent. The green of the lush plant life created a wonderful contrast to the frothing white rapids of the river. The rock in the foreground has some wonderful texture and yet another shade of green seen in the moss and algae embedded in the rough surface of the granite. All together, they capture the feel of the cool spring day we took for our hike.
I’ll describe the Agnes Gorge Trail in a future post. If you ever make it to Stehekin, you really should go up the valley and hike in this area. It is truly beautiful. Enjoy.