Friday, February 7, 2014

The Trek Up Mount Constitution

  While on Orcas island a couple of weeks ago, my friends and I went on an almost-nine-mile hike up a mountain and then back down. The mountain we hiked up is called 'Mount Constitution' which I think is a great name for a mountain. Any sort of difficult trek up something should be referred to as 'something-a-rather Constitution'. Next time I have to walk up a large flight of stairs, I will say 'That was quite the trek up Stairs Constitution.' While on the mountain hike, I felt like I was in various fictional story settings, depending on which part of the changing forest scenery we were in. Thorough over grown fern and moss covered grounds I was suddenly in 'The Hobbit!' Past an eerie frozen lake surrounded by mist and drooping trees, I was now in a ghost story! Through trees that seemed to be glowing under the influence of sunshine mingling with fog, and voila, I was in a fairy tale! A walk past a dark cave, and I am in an adventure story about hidden treasure, or a mystery about a cave full of skeletons. At the very top of the mountain was a stone tower and then I felt like I was in a medieval themed fantasy novel like 'Game of Thrones.'... or maybe a more cheerful fantasy story with (spoiler alert!) less severed heads. But where are the dragons? Whenever I go on long hikes, it makes me realize how much I love being in the forest, and how beautiful the Pacific Northwest is!

This one looks like the head of a great green, antlered creature. 

  On the walk down the mountain, I heard a strange noise coming from a tree. It was a barking squirrel with a nut in it's mouth. It made quite the racket on it's tree branch perch. We saw several squirrels though out our hike. They were smaller and had darker fur then the city squirrels we are all so use to. Here are some interesting facts about squirrels:

  • Squirrels can run up to twenty miles per hour! Imagine, zooming along on your bike and seeing a running squirrel pass you by! (Live Science)
  • Squirrels can fall up to 100 feet without getting hurt. They use their handy, fluffy tail to help navigate them to the safety of the ground because it some how works as a parachute. Imagine how things would be different if humans had fluffy tails. Probably there would be many extreme sports where people jumped off things and used their parachute tail. (SquirrelNet)
  • The smallest squirrel is the African pygmy squirrel which is only five inches long (awww... adorable!) and the largest squirrel is the Indian giant squirrel which is three feet long (I can't be sure if a three foot squirrel would be awesome or a bit creepy or both. I'd have to see one in person to know for sure. Although I like the idea of having a pet three-foot squirrel that I could take on walks like a dog.) (National Geographic)
  • Squirrels have their own unique communication system, just like when you were little and made up a secret language with your best friend. They use vocalization, scent and tail twitching to communicate with their squirrel companions. A twitching tail means: Danger! (One Kind)


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Amber this looks like it was an epic hike. I wanna hike there someday!!

Autumn Elixe said...

what a beautiful forest!

Erik Bartlam said...

That is gorgeous...the greens are fantastic.

I live half a continent away but there's one thing both places must share and that's wet air. All that moss and gooey stuff growing out of trees...fungus and mushrooms. We're just a little bit lower to the ground round here.

I'd love to see that part of the North West.

Laurie said...

So beautiful! I want to live there! :)

Amber said...

Thanks for the comments! It really was a wonderful hike! I definitely recommend it!