Saturday, March 4 – Monday, March 6, 2023
My sister and I spent two nights at the lookout on Fivemile Butte. (See my reports from 2015, 2017, and 2019. I also visited in 2022 with Greg.) It was 30 degrees when we parked at Billy Bob Sno-Park at 12:30. We put on our packs and snowshoes and headed out. It took us an hour and 40 minutes to snowshoe the 2.6 miles to the lookout:
A bit of residual warmth was left from the previous renters (who had arrived at the parking lot just as we were heading out):
When Greg and I were up here in January 2022 the dust pan was warped and unusable. It was later replaced with this dust pan, which appears to have been left too close to the stove. Whoever melted this dust pan and turned it into a piece of trash decided to leave it behind for someone else to deal with:
The ash bin hadn’t been emptied in awhile either:
The supply of wood in the woodshed was getting very low. Forecasters are calling for a cold wet spring and this isn’t enough to last:
Someone had left a snow shovel, which proved helpful:
We gathered snow in my collapsible lightweight Sea to Summit bucket and melted it in a pot on the stove:
We were pretty socked-in all afternoon:
But the clouds cleared out after sunset and we could see some stars. Not a lot, though, as the moon was nearly full and BRIGHT:
That night at 9pm while we were laying in bed reading two snowmobiles roared up. The men went into the woodshed, chopped some wood, and made a campfire about 20 feet from the base of the stairs. When Deb was out on the deck they told her they did this frequently. In the logbook other renters mention this as well. I have since heard that the Forest Service put a lock (only renters get the combo) on the woodshed to prevent this from happening, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the lock gets busted.
The clouds were gathering again by Sunday morning, but we were treated to a lovely sunrise:
We could see Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams to the north:
Then we were socked-in again:
After relaxing in the cabin in the morning we went for an early afternoon walk:
No one had been on the Eightmile Loop Trail recently but we set out on it, breaking trail as we went:
Breaking trail was tiring and when we reached a huge fallen tree we made that our turnaround point and headed back:
The afternoon was cloudy:
Then it turned quite snowy, as you can see from the accumulation on the railing:
We played Five Crowns and Deb totally beat me both nights!
It was too cloudy for a nice sunrise the next morning. We did spot some critter tracks in the snow. Mouse, maybe?
A bit of a break in the clouds:
We swept and cleaned and restocked the firewood before heading out mid-morning. Our tracks from yesterday’s outing were totally covered by new snow. But after the snowfall a coyote or fox or something had followed the road for awhile and we followed their tracks as we descended, which was fun:
Deb inspecting the tracks:
This was a fun weekend! It was great to have some sister time and some nature time.