Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
Sometimes hikes just aren’t that great. These are usually the ones JK picked.
Back in August, Dani and I were somehow suckered into accompanying JK on what he assured us was one of his favorite hikes from last year, a partly off-trail loop connecting some lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The talus field up to Island Lake doesn’t look that long, but it seemed to go on for miles and miles and miles and miles. The heat, the bugs, and the exhausting effort of raising and lowering my corpulent self up and over several million* boulders compounded to make an even grumpier Ingunn than usual.
I don’t mind bushwhacking or talus-hopping – to a certain degree, mind you – since it usually gets you to beautiful places that aren’t often visited. But this? This brought us to Island and Rainbow Lakes, two wooded bodies of water easily reached by the smooth, well-maintained trail we hiked on the way back. Who on earth wants to bushwhack through devil’s club and stumble over boulders for miles on end for no apparent reason? More importantly, who on earth is stupid enough to go along when their husband suggests doing just that??
Oh well, at least the swimming was good.
See that steep part on the map below Island Lake? That’s where we crawled straight up, using veggie belays (which we soon learned were not to be trusted) and digging our fingers into the loose dirt for traction, some of us (ok, just me) hyperventilating with sheer panic, only to reach an unspectacular lake inhabited by several relaxed hikers who had moseyed in on the actual trail.
JK doesn’t get to pick hikes anymore.
Wellie seems like a perfectly normal dog*…until you see him swim. Watch his heroic efforts to rescue me from the menacing waters of Sheep Lake in this Oscar shoo-in from Tofupup Productions:
*or at least a perfectly normal rat.
Karen posted a trip report from our California vacation and included this magnificent work of art – a reality show from her adventure with us stay-at-home Seattleites!
The full trip report on nwhikers.net is here (photos on page 1, 2 and 3 but there’s more to come – apparently we are very inefficient housewives, teehee).
I heard rumors (aka whining on facebook) of a massive snow dump in the Cascades while I was in Norway, so JK and I decided to cross-country ski up Amabilis Mountain on Sunday. Apparently we should have done more research, since there was barely any snow for the first 1.5 miles and the white stuff we encountered the rest of the way was hardly fit for skiing (although I could just be saying this to cover up my lack of skiing skills).
I was also totally unprepared for how deliciously warm it would be. It was amazing! I rolled my pants up (and cursed myself for wearing my black ninja clothes instead of a t-shirt) and went on to stockpile enough vitamin D to last me all week.
After optimistically putting our skis on and dejectedly having to take them off again about seven times due to the random whims of the pathetic snow cover, we got annoyed and decided to forge ahead, snow or no snow:
Once we hit continuous snow, the rest of the trip was a breeze. This little mountain has a lot of views for minimal effort. We soaked up some more sun at the top while eating cowboy cookies and taking in the scenery.
Skiing back down was like trying to push myself forward through some sort thick, gloopy paste, but (miraculously!) we made it back to the car without a single fall.
This was a great little cross-country ski tour even for a novice (I fear I am forever entrenched in this category); it’s a gentle uphill all the way, which fortunately also means it’s a gentle downhill on the way back. According to my GPS, our loop was 11 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain.
Park at the Cabin Creek Sno Park (you need a groomed trails pass in the winter when there is actually snow that can be groomed). North of the freeway, ski (in our case, walk) Forest Service Road 4826 until you get to the sign for Amabilis Mountain/FS 4822. After two miles or so, you get to a junction; both roads lead to the top.
As if the day wasn’t good enough already, we stopped and had phở on the way home. Aah, Washington, how I have missed you.