Peggy and I were the first people to drive to the Indian Ridge (5,405 feet) trailhead this year, as evidenced by the rocks we had to move and the limbs we had to saw to clear the road. Some snow remained, and mosquitoes flew about drunkenly in the chill air.
The four-hour hike over steep, uneven ground was not the best exercise for a man with a bad knee. For much of the distance, clumps of bear grass threatened to snag our feet, and mountain beaver holes to swallow our ankles. We camped at the trailhead with five prominent Cascade peaks in view. It being too cold to enjoy a fire, we went to bed early and read—Peggy, Murder on the Orient Express, and me a botanical field guide.