Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fulfilling the Law


From the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's gospel comes this passage that, I believe, is often misunderstood and applied.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:17-20 NIV

This passage begins with Jesus refuting what was apparently a misconception that either was in existence, or that he expected to develop.  And that was that he was advocating a new religion that abandoned the foundations of the Law and the Prophets, our Old Testament.  And that is a misconception that would be easy to arrive at when, in the chapters to come, one listens to Jesus repeated say "You have heard that it was said ... But I tell you ...".

But Jesus affirms that he has not come to abolish the Old Testament teachings, but rather to fulfill them.  The Old Testament is not obsolete.  But what does he mean by it being fulfilled?  What role does the Old Testament play today in the life of a follower of Jesus?

The word fulfilled is not one I use regularly, but it does have a couple of meanings to me.  The first carries the idea of completeness; my wife fulfills me, or makes me more complete than I would be without her.  The second way I use the word carries the idea of a promise, or obligation, carried out, or fulfilled.  When I buy something on-line, which happens more and more all the time, I expect that within a few days my purchase will show up in the mail.  There is an explicit promise made to me that my purchase will show up in 2,3,5 or 10 days, depending on how much I am willing to pay for postage.  The seller fulfills their obligation by shipping my purchase to me within the specified time frame.  And many companies even have what they call a fulfillment department, where the purchased items are packaged and shipped to the buyer.

I think both of these meanings have application in what Jesus is saying here.  We often say that the Old Testament looks forward to Jesus, or it points to him.  Like I am incomplete without my wife, so the Old Testament is incomplete without Jesus.  He fulfills the Old Testament and helps us to understand it more completely than we could without him.  Jesus is also the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, as Matthew in particular frequently points out.

But I believe the most applicable fulfillment Jesus makes to the Old Testament has to do with the sin offering found in Leviticus chapters 4 & 5.  This offering, or sacrifice, is made in response to sin and was used to make atonement for the party who had sinned against God in some fashion.  In this offering, an animal takes the place of the offending party, and gives up its life, its blood being shed in place of the sinner, and making God favorably inclined toward the offending party.

The author of Hebrews, in chapter 10, explicitly makes the connection between Jesus sacrifice on the cross and the Old Testament sin offering.  Jesus actually does what the sin offerings only illustrated.  While the sin offerings could never actually deal with our sin, Jesus offering of himself did.  Jesus was that perfect lamb specified in Leviticus that was able to bring about atonement on our behalf.  Jesus fulfilled in his death, the requirements of the Law.

In Paul's letter to the Galatians, he spends quite a bit of effort discussing the Law and its purpose.  In chapter 3 he expresses that the Law does not replace the covenant established with Abraham (v.17), it was added because of sin until Christ came (v.19), the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ (v.24), now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law (v.25).  So how does this relate to Christ fulfilling the Law?  If the purpose of the Law was simply to lead us to Christ, then when we have come to him, it has accomplished its purpose, it has been fulfilled.

So now, as a believer, I am no longer under the authority of the Law.  Does that mean I can do what I want?  Not really.  It means that my righteousness is not a matter of adherence to a moral code, which is what the Law is, but rather is based on what Christ has done.  I still need to live a life of love toward God, and towards those around me, which is the heart of the Old Testament Law.  But those should be done because of my relationship with God, not in order to obtain, or secure, it.

Jesus issues a warning against setting aside even a single command of the Law and commends those who practice them all; as well as warning and commending those who teach others to set aside or practice the Law.  I struggle with this passage because:
  • I do not offer any of the specified sacrifices or celebrate any of the festival days.
  • I eat a lot of unclean foods.
  • I wear garments of mixed materials
  • As tempting as it sometimes is, I do not advocate killing a child who strikes or curses their parent
  • I do not believe a rape victim should have to marry their rapist
  • I don't do a very good job of resting on the Sabbath, a violation of which is punishable by death
  • I do not advocate putting adulterers, or others who have sexual activity outside of a husband/wife relationship, to death.
  • I have never called a priest to my home to check out mold growing on the walls.
Nor am I aware of anyone, including those who claim the Old Testament Law should be practiced by believers, who are themselves willing to follow all of these commands.  So what do I do with Jesus direction here.  Am I destined to be least in the kingdom?

I am not Jewish, nor am I under the authority of the Law.  I believe it is sufficient for me as a believer to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength and all my mind.  And to love my neighbor as myself.  If I will do those two things, and teach others to do the same, I will have met God's expectation.  I don't need a list of rules, whether they be the Old Testament Law, the morals of 17th century Puritans, or 21st century fundamentalists.  All those can do is show me my inability to live a holy life in my own strength.  Christ has set me free from the tyranny of the law, and by an act of grace, declared me to be righteous.  He has set me free from the law of sin and death, and made me free to love. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon - 2013

Back in early April my cardiologist gave me the OK to start running again, so long as I took his little magic pills to keep my heart rate down.  So I laced the running shoes back on and hit the road.  A month later I signed up for the Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon and began preparing for it in earnest.  The goal, when I signed up was to complete it in 2 hours and 15 minutes, which seemed like a bit of a stretch, but doable.

Training went well and the times for the longer runs started to get back close to what they had been; especially once I learned to take the magic pill after the run rather than before.  Running when my heart rate seldom climbed above 120 was pretty hard.  So the new goal for today dropped by 10 minutes.

A week or two before the race I got an email from Rock & Roll.  Seems like I am an old timer for the event now.  This would be my fifth running in Seattle, which was all of them.  So I, along with the 650 or so other masochists who had been there every time, would receive a different race bib (it ended up being green rather than blue or yellow like everyone else) and an extra tee shirt.  Plus we would be able to start in any corral we wanted to.  Of course we always could anyway, and many people do.  But I am rule oriented enough that I have to start in my assigned corral; so it was kind of strange having to pick out my own this time around (I picked corral 10 out of at least 48).

I opted to spend the previous night at home and take the 4:50 AM ferry to Seattle in the morning.  That got me to the start line about an hour early; time to mill around, stretch some and get ready for the run.  The day was clear and fairly warm for the time of year, with no wind.  So the warm clothes stayed home and the sun glasses came out to play.

Corral 10 started about 18 minutes after the rabbits left at the head of the pack.  I started just behind Elvis and in the midst of a few tutu's and other colorful running outfits.  As always, the first mile was slow until we got strung out enough to be able to run at our own pace.  And after that I was able to settle into a comfortable rhythm, listening to the bands (mostly just noise to my old ears), watching the cheer squads do their thing, and experience running down a road where the cars speeding by are replaced by several lanes of runners doing their best imitation of a cattle drive.  I love being able to run through red lights with impunity, have people handing out water every mile or two, and the crowds encouraging me along the way; quite different than my normal training runs along Waaga Way.

The course starts near the Space Needle, runs down 5th Avenue past I90 and on south another couple of miles before crossing over to Lake Washington and heading back north.  We ran through the tunnel on I90 and then stayed on the freeway back into downtown and up onto the viaduct.  Finally we made our way through the Battery Street tunnel and wound back around to the Seattle Center for the finish.  A finish that was mostly uphill for the last quarter mile, which was pretty painful by that time.

This may well have been my favorite of the Rock and Roll runs in Seattle, although I am not sure why.  Part of it is the course, which changed last year to a loop instead of starting in Issaquah and ending at Qwest Field.  I ended up walking after the first 3 minutes last year because of a calf problem, so this was really my first run on this course.  But mostly I think I was just more into the moment this year and the miles just flew by.  Even when I was exhausted at the end, the miles seemed to click by much faster than normal.  And by the end I was pretty beat; nothing left for a closing sprint, more like a fight to keep forward momentum going until I crossed the line.  One of the volunteers actually asked if I was OK shortly after I had finished.

The finish line area was great.  I got my medal, a bottle of water, 3 bottles of chocolate milk, a banana, a fruit smoothie, and several bags of popped corn.  Also available were bagels (I couldn't imagine trying to eat a dry bagel after a long hot run), and sports drinks.  I loaded up and headed out to the car and the long ride back around the Sound to home (just missed the ferry).

And my official time was 2:02:25; not my best, but much better than expected.  That put me 23rd out of 118 in my new age group of 60-64 year old men. I don't know how I placed overall, but I suspect it was in the top third; and I am quite content with that.  All around a very good day!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Up the Elwha to Hayden Pass

While the weather looked like it might be a bit iffy, the calendar ahead looked cluttered, so this seemed like the best chance for a while to get out and do a prep hike for the PCT next month.  I chose to go up the Elwha because 1) I hadn't been up it in a few years, & 2) it was cleared of down trees up to Hayes River.  After the trek up the Skokomish and down the Duckabush a couple of weeks ago I was ready to hike with a minimum of fallen trees.  So the plan was to hike up to Hayes River, or as far as I could get, run up to Hayden Pass the second day and then back to Hayes River, and then head out on day three.

Because of work commitments I got off to a late start and left the trailhead at 12:45, with thoughts of Hayes River pretty much non-existent, but the farther up I got the more promising that looked.  I stopped for a late lunch at Mary Falls Camp and then charged on up the trail and did manage to reach Hayes River by about 7:15 and had the place to myself.

At Mary Falls I had a young man come through who had left Hurricane Ridge that morning, dropping down to Whisky Bend and was planning on going over Hayden, Lost, Cameron and Grand Passes then up to Obstruction Point and back to his truck.  It appeared like he was planning on doing it in 2 days, which seemed pretty optimistic to me with all the snow in the high country.  He was planning on staying at Hayes River that night as well.  We talked a bit and then he charged off.  I passed him a couple of miles later pulled off to the side of the trail eating.  And then never saw him again, nor any evidence that he was in the snow around Hayden.  Hopefully he made it OK.

The first 17 miles of the Elwha are pretty mellow with only a small climb over a ridge just south of Lillian Camp.  The trail is well maintained and there is quite a variety of forest understory to see and enjoy.  The Elwha is far away for the first half of the trip, but there are plenty of other small rivers, streams, creeklets and seeps crossing the trail.  There is little in the way of mountain vistas along the trail, but it is really a pleasant journey and generally light and airy.

In contrast is the trail from Hayes River up to Hayden Pass.  This trail is 8.3 miles long with a 4000+ foot elevation gain.  Seldom is it steep, but it is pretty steady up.  And the fallen trees were back.  I hit about 35 trees from the start to the snow line at about 5300 foot.  Most of them were easy to just step over, but there were two fairly substantial windfalls bracketing a small camp a mile up the trail that took quite a bit of effort to get around.  Plus the trail was pretty heavily littered with fallen branches and I probably took an hour along the way throwing them off the trail.

Eventually the view opens up and becomes very nice, in spite of the intermittent cloud cover.  And even better were the flowers in the numerous small meadows along the way.  Lots of flowers, which made me happy.  Started into snow just past 5000 foot with fairly continuous snow about 5300.  I ploughed on through until I rounded a corner at about 5600 foot and could see the pass, but it was still a mile to a mile and a half away and across a long traverse.  Time was running out and I did not have my ice axe along so I decided it was time to turn around and work my way back on down the hill to camp.

The trip back down was nice, except for the two blowdowns.  I got back into camp in time to clean up and eat and then nestle into the hammock and watch the river flow by 20 feet away.  Very pleasant.  Very little in the way of fauna sightings apart from a millipede, a small frog, and a few small birds, plus lots of bear, cougar and marmot poop.  No sign of recent human activity either, which partially made up for the lack of actual bear sightings.

Saturday I was up early and heading back down river.  I had the place to myself until just before Lillian Camp when I ran into a couple, Blade Runner and Rummy Man I think, who were looking to replicate my trip.  Visited with them briefly and then continued along, encountering 29 more people, 2 horses and 1 deer. All in all a very good trip; about 48 miles in 3 days.  Ready for the PCT now.

This is a view from high up on the Hayden Pass trail looking west and south, nearly 180 degrees worth.

This is a sample of the trail along the lower Elwha, broad and well manicured, easy enough for the newest day hikers.

Up near Hayes River is an example of the trail going through sections with only moss  growing on the ground.  Not enough sun hits the trail for anything else to grow.

Numerous small streams cut across the trail on the way up to Hayden.  Some are easy to step across, and some spread out and become a bog.

This is an example of a bog that the trail is going through; if you look carefully you can pick out the trail going from bottom center to top center..  Pretty challenging to get through unmuddied, and not really worth the effort to stay dry.  You're gonna get wet, so why fight it.

Here the trail traverses across a small meadow with a nearby stream.  Stopped here for a late lunch on the way back down.  Just flopped in the middle of the trail and enjoyed the vista, the flowers and the stream.

Lots of small peaks across the way opened up along the trail.  Not too sure of my geography, but suspect  this is a part of the Baileys.

A view up canyon.

The low spot in the center is Hayden Pass.  This is the view from where I turned around.  The traverse does not look as long or steep as it did at decision time, but it was enough, along with the time, to turn me around.

I like finding these little millipedes.  Don't see too many, but did find two this trip.

Also found a couple of survey marks above Elkhorn Camp.  The stamp on both said they were placed in 1929, although the second looked relatively new.

Remann's Cabin.  According to the sign on the front it was built in 1929 as a fishing lodge for some Tacoma area judge.

The photo doesn't do it justice.  A little creek braids down across a moss covered rock pile just above the trail.  I would love to be able to transport this to my garden at home.

There are a few places where the forest understory is a mass of Vanilla Leaf and other small plants.  

Should you be inclined to ford the Elwha and head up to Dodger Point, this is the place where you would do it.  The river is probably 50 feet across here and several feet deep.  Not too much appeal for me.

If you look carefully, the live tree in the back seems to be eating the dead tree in front.  It disappears into the interior of the still living tree.  Pretty strange looking.

White Trillium

Lavender Trillium

Splotchy Trillium

Purple Trillium

Lots of Pinesap popping up through the moss.

Peppermint Stick

Ground Dogwood

Bear Grass

Avalanche Lily

Shooting Stars

Glacier Lily

Pasqueflower

Starflowers all over the place

A rose thicket near Elkhorn

Chillin out after a late breakfast near the river on the way out.  Such a good trip.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On This Rock

In Matthew 16:15-18, Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is.  Peter responds with "You are the Christ, the Son of God."  To which Jesus responds that God has revealed this to him, and that upon that rock he would build his church.  Many believe this 'rock' that the church is built on was Peter, but most of the rest of us believe that the rock was the truth that God had revealed to Peter concerning Jesus identity: that the church is built on Jesus, the Son of God.

Who

But what is the church?  This word is used twice in the gospels, both times in Matthew, and frequently throughout the rest of the New Testament; but never with a description of what, or who, the church is, and what its purpose is.  The word generally translated as church is the Greek word ekklÄ“sia which more literally means "called out" or "called forth".  It was generally used in Greek to reference a civic assembly that was called together for a specific purpose, i.e Acts 19:39.

So you might think of the church as an assembly of those that God has called out of this world, an assembly that is under the authority of Jesus.  The church, contrary to some, is not a building, it is not an activity we engage in on Sunday morning, it is not a social gathering.  The church is people, people who have been called out of this world by God, and who have responded to that call.  Sometimes it refers to the called out believers in a specific location, and sometimes it refers to the called out believers across the world, but always it refers to called out believers.

Why

That is the 'who' of the church, which is part of the 'what' question.  But 'why' is also a very important part of 'what' the church is.  Why is it that we are called out of the world and into assembly together?  For too many people in the church, or hanging around the church, the answer is either a blank look, or something like "to worship God".  Now I find it hard to believe that God had no purpose in 'calling' us out.  Nor do I really believe he takes great delight in us assembling together on Sunday to sing a few songs and listen to a sermon; as inspiring as either might be.

While we may not always designate Jesus followers prior to Pentecost as the church, they were the ones he had called out from the rest of the world, and had been assembled with him for over 3 years.  And the last thing he does with them before his return to the Father is to commission them.  Matthew's version, in Matthew 28:18-20, or Luke's version in Acts 1:8, both tell the same story.  We are to go out into the world and tell people about God, bringing others into the assembly, making disciples of them.

I believe that commission contains our marching orders, to represent God to a world that is sorely in need of him.  And that is the picture we see painted in Acts, as the gospel is taken into wider and wider circles; into all the world.  Here the church is intentionally sharing the gospel where they are, and going to places the gospel hasn't yet reached.

Nowhere, apart maybe from the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 & 3 do we find a church that withdrew from the world to be a safe haven for beleaguered believers.  And yet too often that is what we have become today.  Too often we sit within the comfortable confines of our safe walls, singing nice songs, studying the Bible, and moaning about how the world around us is going to hell in a handbasket.  And the closest we come to taking the gospel to them is when someone wanders in off the street and sits through a sermon.  And we wonder why the church is not growing!

Body Life

Of course there is more to life in the body that proclaiming the gospel.  It is appropriate for us to worship our Lord; to grow and develop as disciples; to love each other in personal and practical ways.  Worship should be a natural expression of who we are.  One of my favorite parts of Revelation is the scene described in chapters 4 & 5.  Here we see the 4 living creatures praising God, followed by the 24 elders, bazillions of angels and every creature, including those on the earth.  Too often we follow the lead of a worship team on the stage at the front of the building we meet in on Sunday to set the tone of our worship.  Consider following the lead of the 4 living creatures instead, and be constantly in a state of worship around the throne.

Part of the Great Commission in Matthew is teaching the disciples to follow Jesus direction.  And the example of the earliest church is that they were devoted to the teaching of the Apostles.  The New Testament church was eager to learn all they could about God, the good news about Jesus, and about living as God's called out ones.  Following their example would help us to grow in our knowledge of God, both intellectually and relationally, as well as becoming more effective in sharing with an increasingly skeptical world.

The church is not just an assembly of believers while we hang around earth waiting for our promotion.  The church is also described as the bride of Christ and one of the most interesting parts of John's vision in Revelation is his description of the bride of Christ in chapters 21 & 22.  Here the bride is described as a pretty spectacular city; an eternal city.  The church will be around for eternity, not the SBC or the Roman Catholic, or Methodist, but the assembly of called out ones.  That may be why Jesus and his apostles were so insistent that we love each other and get along here.  A part of being the church, the body, the bride, is to lose ourselves and become one, like Christ and the Father are one; to love one another.

Thoughts


  • How does the church you are apart of compare to the church described in the book of Acts?
  • Is there a passion for taking the gospel to the lost around you?
  • When you come together to worship, do you have a sense of having entered into God's presence?
  • What can you do to improve the quality of life in the body?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Skokomish to Duckabush Via First Divide

The weekend forecast looked good finally.  Time to pack up and go play in the snow.  Plans were made to leave the truck at Staircase and start walking there.  My wife would pick me up 3 days later at the Duckabush trailhead and take me back to my truck.  By the time I got to Staircase on Friday morning, the forecast had deteriorated somewhat, but I decided to push on.  What's a little rain anyway.

When I left the trailhead at Staircase late morning Friday there was only one other car in the parking lot, a good sign for a solitary individual like me.  And wherever they had gone, it was not where I went.  I managed to not see any sign of people, other than boot prints in the mud, until camp on the second night.  There were quite a few people the last day, especially once I left the ONP, but the first couple of days were pretty isolated.

The trail is pretty gentle for the first 10 miles to 9 Stream, where I spent the first night.  From there it begins to climb pretty steadily, gaining about 2700 feet over the next 3.3 miles up to first divide and then losing most of that in the 2 mile descent to the Duckabush.  From that point the trail mostly follows the Duck until the trailhead about 17 miles later.  There are a few climbs along the way, notably up to Big Hump, but by and large it is an easy trail.

Or should I say it should be an easy trail.  In reality it was a nightmare.  I am by nature a counter, and I ended up counting all the trees across the trail.  I counted everything bigger than about 3-4 inches in diameter that required me to step or climb over, duck under or go around; and there was plenty of all three. The trail was cleared from Staircase to Spike Camp, but from there to 9 Stream there were 87 trees across the trail, including two whose root balls had taken out the trail.  There were another 17 trees between 9 Steam and continuous snow around 3500 feet, and 12 from the time the Duckabush side cleared at 3900 down to the Upper Duckabush camp.

From Upper Duckabush to 10 Mile Camp I counted 102 trees down, plus a massive blowdown that was so thick with branches I could not get a count.  By the time I got to 10 Mile I was pretty whopped from the snow and scrambling over miles of down trees and stopped for the night.  It got worst.  In the 4 miles, to the park boundary, there were 150 down trees.  368 down trees between Spike Camp and the park boundary on the Duck.   Only 1 tree for the next 6.7 miles, all the branches removed from the trail, good tread and few swampy spots.  Stepping across the park boundary into the Brothers Wilderness was like stepping into another world.  It makes it very clear how much the trail crews do to make life easier for the rest of us.  Two thumbs up for the WTA and other organizations for their terrific work on the trails.

First Divide was, obviously, still under quite a bit of snow.  I could not tell if anyone had been by that way recently, although the Staircase ranger seemed to think I was the first; hard as that is to believe.  There were footprints wandering around but I finally realized coming down into Home Sweet Home that at least many of them were elk.  Backcountry Navigator on my Droid Bionic made it possible to stay at least close to the trail on the way up.  Heading down I just followed the elk prints into the upper Home Sweet Home meadow and then the GPS to get down to clear trail.

The snow was mostly soft and I did a little postholing, but not bad so long as I steered clear of protruding branches or obvious soft spots.  I did wear microspikes through most of the snow and I am sure they helped a bit.  And the ice axe was very handy following the elk into Home Sweet Home, nearly straight down the slope.

The weather was decent, although not great.  I saw a few brief moments of sun, had half an hour of rain up in the snow on Saturday, and it was generally cool and damp.  The snow appears to be melting rapidly now and with sun and warm predicted, a lot more of it should be melted out soon.

Hit the treadhead Sunday just after noon, waited for a couple hours for my ride to Staircase and then home.  A trip full of memories.

One of my favorite bridges in the park is this one over Madeline Creek  on the Skokomish trail.  Just a big old log with one side flattened and a railing put up to help with balance.  The creek rushes past about 20 feet below.  Quite an exciting walk across if you have any fear of heights.

I saw elk every day out, for the first time ever.  Four different sightings of  small herds, from 4 to 10 cows.  This is the only one that posed for me long enough to get a picture.  Most of them disappeared pretty quickly.  Also saw a couple of deer and lots of bear poop.

Still quite a few Trillium, especially around 9 Stream.  Probably my favorite flower in the park.

There were also quite a few Fairy Slippers around the higher elevations.

The North Fork Skokomish running past my camp at 9 Stream, along with my own private beach access. 

Home away from home.  First time I have had my Cuben Fiber tarp from HammockGear deployed over my hammock in the wild.  A really nice, 5.2 ounce, tarp.

Mt Hopper from the Skokomish trail.

Lots of water features along the way.  This is a small stream that flows into the Skokomish up beyond 9 Stream.  Nameless on the map, but maybe 10 or 11 Stream :).

The hill behind the missing shelter at Home Sweet Home as seen from 1st Divide.

Looking back up to First Divide from the bottom of the descent in the Home Sweet Home meadow.  Quite  an interesting and slow descent in soft snow.

Looking across part of the Home Sweet Home meadow.

One of the countless streams that flows across the Duckabush trail.  In addition to fording the Duckabush itself at the Upper Duckabush Camp, I had to splash across 5 or 6 of these small streams.  Between the snow and all the fords, my feet stayed pretty wet the second day out.

The Duckabush flows across from right to left with Crazy Creek  crashing down from above.  I caught a glimpse of this through the trees and wandered over to get a picture.

Every once in awhile you see an inverted tree like the one  near the center of this picture.  The top  falls out of a tree and lands straight enough, and hard enough, to impale itself into the ground, upside down.  That would have been a bit spooky if you happened to be walking along when it happened in front of you.

A cluster of little mushrooms.  I have no idea what kind they are, but have always liked these little colonies of fungus.

Starflowers, and numerous other even smaller flowers were pretty abundant. 

A clump of Maidenhair fern, one of my favorite ferns.

Quite a bit of Bunchberry was blooming throughout the trip.

Another peak at a waterfall into the Duckabush seen through the trees from the trail.  Too tired and the undergrowth too tangled to try and get a closer picture.

This log has been here long enough that it has actually become the trail.  It perfectly overlays the trail for its entire length and you balance along the top as you head down the trail.

Quite a few Rhododendrons in bloom along the Duck. 

Don't know what this flower is, but I have always enjoyed it.  Can't find it in either of my books.

The Duckabush during one of it's milder moments.

You can see 5 trees across the trail here, with the 5th just barely visible beyond the double.  They were usually spread out a bit farther, but this was not real uncommon.  Each of these were high enough that I would swing one leg over and sit down to swing the other over.  Not to bad occasionally, but over and over and over again.

Jumbles like this required a detour.  I fought through a few of them early on, but finally gave up and looked for a way around these clumps of bushy trees.

One of the few snakes I have managed to see in the park.  This guy was sunning himself in one of those rare sunny moments.

A big cluster of Queen's Cup on the ascent up Big Hump.  Lot's of these around, but this was the nicest patch I saw.

Up near the top of Big Hump on the up stream side.  This is a left over from the 2011 fire.

A viewpoint from just below the top of Big Hump.  I remember my dad taking us up here when I was a kid.  It has a nice view of the lower valley, but the low clouds obscured the hill tops Sunday.

Looking back up at Big Hump's hump.

The lower Duckabush valley.

I passed a couple of places like this with a dripping waterfall over a rock face covered with moss, ferns and small flowers.  This one is midway down from Big Hump, heading downstream.