Archive for the ‘I90’ Category

Mirror Lake Mimosas

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Since the blood that runs through my veins is 100% viking and is enrobed in a very efficient thermal layer of blubber, it should come as no surprise that heat is not my friend, even at the best of times. During pregnancy, in a house without air-conditioning? Graaaaahk.

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho

In order to beat the heat during our recent heatwave, we decided to get up early and hike the shortest trail possible to a swimmable lake. We even have friends who are dumb enough to accept my ridiculously early departure time!

Cottonwood Lake

Mirror Lake is definitely going on my repeat list – two easy miles round-trip to a beautiful, wilderness-class lake, with a bonus (albeit mosquito-ridden) lake on the way. Awesome. Next time, we will not be driving the last half mile to the trailhead though – our Forester handled it just fine, but we would have been screwed if we met another car along that stretch of “road”. Luckily, everyone else was smarter than us and parked before the rough section.

Moar bear

I had thought that I would feel like I was missing out on hiking this summer, but I’m just so over the moon about finally being pregnant that I can enjoy other people’s photos and trip reports without a the slightest bit of envy…except when it came to this year’s insane bear grass bloom. I have never seen anything like it! Hiking up Bandera or Granite to see it would be too much elevation gain given my pelvic issues (not to mention way too hot), so I was happy to get in on a small piece of the action on this hike instead.

Three Summers? Three stalks of bear grass??

Soon enough, we made it to the aptly named Mirror Lake and found the perfect spot to soak and cool off. It was perfect. One of the best ideas I have ever had.

Mirror Lake

Valiant Wellie braved the water to “rescue” me as always…

Another failed rescue

…and we set up a pool bar of sorts, complete with mimosas (on the rock!). Hours later, we moseyed on home to watch the World Cup bronze final and attempt to not melt in the suburban heat. I need a lake like this next to my house.

Mirror Lake pool bar

Mirror Lake | 2 miles | 800 feet elevation gain –

So much bear grass!

Lodge Lake

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Picking hikes from the Best Hikes With Kids book is working out marvelously so far! I had heard of Lodge Lake before, but it always seemed like too short of a hike for us to drive all the way to Snoqualmie Pass.

30 weeks

Wrong! It really is the perfect trail for anyone who is with child, is a child, is feeling gimpy or creaky-kneed, or is just short on time like we were that day, wanting to get back to town in time for the 4th of July festivities.

First lake swim of 2014

Hiking up the ski hill on the Pacific Crest Trail gave us excellent wilderness-type views for next to no effort, and soon enough we found ourselves at a quaint little mountain lake. The shoreline access is a bit limited, but we made ourselves comfortable on the logs that were floating in the water…and then some of us decided that floating in the water was a desirable activity for humans, too.

I'll save yu papaaaa!

We brought our lifeguard, Wellie, with us in order to stay safe. He never fails to “rescue” us when we’re in need.

Wellie has rescuer's remorse

Short and sweet, it was the perfect hike to go on when I needed my pelvis and generally very pregnant body to function normally the rest of the day. Bonus: we’ve found yet another trail where we can drag this future child of ours along.

Lodge Lake | 3 miles | 500 feet elevation gain –

Alpine views for cheap

TNAB, sort of.

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Every year when spring hits, my hiking mojo comes back in full force after a winter of hibernation, and I start getting all manic and excited about summer hiking trips.

This year I’m not actually going to plan any trips since I have no idea of what I’ll be able to (or want to) do, but I’ll gladly take advantage of the energy and excitement and hike as much as possible while I still can.

On the Ledge

Enter TNAB. Sort of. I’ve never been able to keep up with those loons and their afterburners, so I obviously won’t be able to now, but it’s such a good incentive to get out on trail on a regular Thursday night…especially when the weather is sort of soggy and the couch sings its siren song.

(Oh, and a benefit to hiking on a soggy day? My first salamander sighting in Washington! So cute, little Newt Scamander.)

Newton Artemis Fido "Newt" Scamander

The solution? Modified TNAB! Last week, the main group hiked/ran/flew up to Rattlesnake East Peak while a group of us folks who either couldn’t or didn’t want to do the full hike moseyed up to Rattlesnake Ledge at a very pregnant-friendly pace. AND I got to eat fries and a beet salad at North Bend Bar & Grill afterwards. That makes up for the lack of post-TNAB beer.

Rattlesnake Ledge | 4 miles | 1160 feet elevation gain –

TNAB Gimp Group

Last night, we met up with the TNAB group at the Little Si trailhead, but they sped up the Old Si trail while JK and I wandered on up to Little Si instead. Can we still call it a TNAB? Not really, so I think we’re going to name these after-work hikes Fun Evening Trips Up Summits (FETUS).

(Fun evening trips would be even more fun if certain dogs would refrain from rolling in piles of poop of unknown origin – canine? human?? – forcing us to retreat before the sunset to avoid getting it smeared all over us, too. I’m looking at you, Wellie.)

Little Si can be pretty!?

Little Si | 5 miles | 1200 feet elevation gain –

Golden hour

Yeah I shake my little tush on the Katwalk

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Ehrm, I seem to have stopped blogging. Let’s just pick up where we left off and pretend this hike didn’t take place two months ago.

To the PCT!

PCT!

Kendall Katwalk is one of the most popular hikes by Snoqualmie Pass, but, even though we’ve hiked here for six years now, this was our first visit. True to form, we left late, something that usually pays off in golden afternoon light and glorious sunsets. This time we missed the morning sun and had to make do with limited views and cold fog instead.

Misty Red Mountain

We’ve turned into wimpy fair-weather hikers (aided by two excellent Seattle summers in a row), so this weather was unusual for us…but it was honestly really nice to hike without feeling like I was drowning in my own sweat.

Wellie looks for pikas

If definitely felt like fall, and the critters were prepping for the long winter to come. The pikas were frantically collecting impressive mouthfuls of noms to keep them going until summer, while the marmots were plumping up nicely for their upcoming snooze.

Prepping for winter

Man, you guys are awesome

A freezing fog rolled in just as we reached the impressively engineered Katwalk, so we just had a quick snack before running most of the way back down to the car (luckily I had brought headphones so I could get Right Said Fred out of my head). I’ll have to come back on a purtier day.

The infinite abyss

The great thing about having hiked 20 miles the weekend before? It made these 12 miles feel like nothing. W00t!

Yeah I shake my little tush on the Kendall Katwalk

Kendall Katwalk | 12 miles | 2700 feet elevation gain –

Big thanks to my Hike-a-Thon sponsors, Jessie…

Thanks, Jessie!

…and Gabi!

Thanks, Gabi!

TNAB

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Oh, right, TNAB. I vowed to go to more of these Thursday evening hikes/sufferfests…then we went to one this winter, and promptly stopped. Why? Laziness, that’s why. Mostly, though, it’s because of the drive – rush hour traffic makes it difficult to be at the trailhead by 5:45.

Rampart Ridge? Worth fighting traffic.

Mordor?

To the family we met at the trailhead who warned us about the yellow jacket nest on trail, thank you so much! JK and Basil (who has the worst luck with bugs) still managed to get stung, as did some later arrivals, but Dani, Wellie and I managed to skulk into the woods and bypass the Nest of Evil. Luckily Basil seemed to be doing fine, but we gave him Benadryl just in case and kept a close eye on him the rest of the night.

If you’re hiking the Ramparts through “the backdoor” this fall, be careful, the nest is located right at the junction with Lake Laura, and the yellow jackets will repeatedly sting any man or beast who walks by. Last I heard, some thoughtful hikers had marked the area with flagging.

Stairway to heaven

Moving on, the meadowy bits below the summit were full of scampering marmots, but I didn’t get a single good shot of them. Clouds and forest fire haze foiled my photography plans and cast the mountains in gloomy light…

NABing and gabbing

…until sunset, when the sky ‘sploded in breathtaking pinks and purples. Whoa. When TNAB is good, it’s really good.

When TNAB is good...

There was the usual drinking and chatting, oohing and aahing, joking and reminiscing (even some snoozing, courtesy of Basil, who was still high on Benadryl), and JK and I realized that we had missed this more than we thought.

TNAB!

We vowed yet again to attend more TNABs…and then Mother Nature decided that she would serve up epic storms every Thursday from then on.

If we’re going to fight traffic, it’s going to be for something a bit more pleasant than “rain Armageddon“. So…maybe next week. Or next year?

Pink!

– Rampart Ridge | 4.5 miles | 2,200 feet gain –

Stahp!

Humongous thanks to my Hike-a-Thon sponsors, Kelsie…

Thanks, Kelsie!

…Lauren…

Thanks, Lauren!

…and Lyn! Y’all rock!

Thanks, Lyn!

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