Friday, August 26, 2011

Margaret Lake - Take Two

First trip to Margaret Lake Here
So we decided to try our luck at Margaret lake again with hope that most if not all of the snow would be melted. We got a nice typical mid afternoon heat of the day start to our hike. The trail was much easier to follow sans snow, and much greener too with the wildflowers finally starting to bloom.

Well that looks a little familiar

We were able to follow the trail and were pretty surprised by how far off trail we had previously been, and happily surprised when we entered into the wooded area. There were points that were semi hard to follow but someone had gone through and marked the trees with some duct tape that let us know we were still on track.

I started getting blisters on the back of my heels (stupid shoes - but I didn't know if we would encounter snow or not) so I took them off and hiked the wooded area bare. The ground was surprisingly cool and very refreshing to the mid-day heat. At some point I hit my arch on a rock (even after I couldn't see it) and got a small bruise but no big deal. We started encountering some snow so I put on my huaraches but as the snow started getting more dense so back on went the shoes. 

We made the switchback descent down to the lake and by the time we got close there was nothing but snow.

The lake was crystal clear but with no where to sit and eat our lunch because of the snow we headed back up the trail to a clearing where it split off into two separate trails (the second goes to Lake Lillian). When we got there we encountered two barefooters! We chatted momentarily and let them know there was a substantial amount of snow on the trail, sat and ate our lunch before heading back down the trail.

All in all, I don''t think we'll be doing this trail again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Twin Falls And Random Musings

Last Friday we took a short hike to Twin Falls. We have actually done this hike in the past, but it wasn't a very good experience for me and we didn't make it to the second fall. It was last year, I was still nursing the baby, hadn't eaten, was carrying him on my back and it was hot. Not a very good combination. This time around was much better. 

It's an easy hike with two waterfall views (hence the name). What we didn't know was that apparently the trail you follow continues going pretty much forever. Our friend was with us and was able to pull up our GPS coordinates on his smart phone which told us that we had left the park we had started in. 

Cell phones. They're such a fine line to balance. People are naked without them, can't go without checking them, must respond the moment someone beckons. A third of the time I forget to charge my phone, another third I don't know where it is and the final third it's likely sitting around my house somewhere. I occasionally talk to one of my best friends over in NY and on a rare occasion my sister will call me when driving home later in the evening because I'm the only person she knows that will still be up. Other than that I talk to and text my husband, and I also occasional text said best friend. All my other communicating is done online. 

Oh yea, and my phone is a go phone... yup. You read that right. The only thing my phone does is text and call. There is beauty in the simplicity.
Our Spot For Lunch

Anyway, once we realized we had gone too far (we were on a limited time schedule and our very smart friend had hurt his knee recently... more on that in a moment) we turned back and found a spot down by the river to enjoy some lunch (Rotini + Chicken + Kidney beans + Red Onion + Roasted Red Pepper Dressing + a little Salt and pepper) before heading back. 

Our Friends Knee.... 
Well.. lets see... he decided to go for a run. He was once a runner. Then he became a smoker. After about a year of being a smoker, he decided he wasn't a smoker anymore. He's now trying to become a runner again. Good for him! 

He decided to go for a quick 15 minute run between studying for his classes. He just moved to a new apt and was exploring the new area. He got lost... 

8 miles later he found his way home. (or so he says. .I bet it was more like 4 from the area he was describing) 

Needless to say......  The next day his knees hurt. A lot. Both of them. A few days later he sends a text asking if we're on to go hiking the next day. We say sure. He shows up with a knee brace on. *le sigh* He was hurting by the end of the hike but was still planning on doing some stair climbing later in the week... 

A reminder that doing too much too soon will come back to bite you every time. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just Some Random Days

I've been a slacking a bit on my posting. Lets see what have we been up to.

We went berry picking - our seasons are all out of whack because of the cold weather we've been experiences. We got our Raspberries from Biringer Farm -they just came into season about a week ago. We picked our Blueberries a few weeks ago at Bill Pace Fruit and Produce . We'll probably go back to the blueberry fields before the seasons over to stock up a bit, but we went a little overboard with the raspberries and ended up picking 12 lbs. Opps!

This was the result of our berry picking adventure. He enjoyed himself.

This is what his hair always looks like.. it's uncontrollable.

We also went down to visit my in laws who live down by Portland and went to the county fair. Lots of cows, chickens, llamas and the like and a bunch of a cool old firetrucks.

I have a soft spot for llamas. They're so goofy.
 They also had a live pony merry-go-round. Surprisingly he liked it more than the fake kind. He's usually busy trying to grab back onto one of us as soon as it gets going.

We took a walk downtown. I'll have to write about Pike Place Market and how there's so much more to it than the fish throwing that everyone sees. Pike Place is huge and includes several levels and alleys.

Silver man repainting his glasses...

Almost forgot to add - I'm now up to running 2 miles at a go.. and the other day I ran a mile in the morning and another 2 in the evening. Baby steps, baby steps.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Olympic National Park - Hoh Rainforest: Five Mile Island, Spruce Nature Trail, Hall of Mosses, Second Beach, Cape Flattery, Ruby Beach and Hurricane Ridge

We wanted to take a trip over to the Olympic Peninsula, home of the Olympic National Park, as a weekend getaway. It's a few hours drive from Seattle, but in the 5 years I've lived here, I'd never been over there. It was also our first camping trip with a toddler.

We caught the early morning ferry (6:10am) Friday morning. I didn't sleep the night before because well... I'm a terrible sleeper. Instead I stayed up packing the car and making sure we had everything we would need. I ended up sleeping about two hours on the drive over and after that I was ready to go. I think we arrived around 9:30am - 10:00am. Picked out a camp site, set up our tent and set out on our hike for the day.

We had decided to do the 10 mile round trip Five Mile Island hike the first day. I really wish that we could have kept going. I'd love to do the whole 35 mile round trip Hoh River Trail someday, but it's not likely with a 2 year old.

The forest is lined with old growth trees, covered in moss. When the trail breaks back towards the river you get beautiful mountain views.

Once we finished up our hike we headed towards Forks (any Twilight fans?) to get some food to make for dinner. Forks has been taken over by Twilight. It makes me happy for them being able to cash in on the popularity, but worry for the town just the same as more than half the businesses we saw revolved around Twilight. I wonder what they will become when the popularity fades. We ate some dinner and turned in early (okay, we fell asleep putting the baby to bed. That's what not sleeping the night before, only sleeping two hours in the car and hiking over 10 miles will get you).

The next day our intentions were to make it to Second Beach and Cape Flattery, and also to do the short Spruce Nature Trail as well as the Hall Of Mosses located in the Hoh. The tide was coming in when we made it to Second Beach, so we didn't roam the coast too much. The tide can come up quickly on you and in some places faster than others so it's best to err on the side of caution. We kicked our shoes off and took a nice stroll on the ultra soft sand.

Next we made the drive up to Cape Flattery, and truth be told, I'm not entirely sure it was worth the time in the car. Cape Flattery is the northwestern most point in the continental United States. The sections of the drive that follow the coast you can spot Canada across the water. There were a few sea lions bopping in and out of the water as the waves crashed against the coast. On our way back to our campsite we happened upon a few elk lounging around near the side of the road.

The Spruce Nature Trail and the Hall Of Mosses are basically little hikes to allow anyone the experience of hiking through the rainforest without having to go far. They're both just short loops with very developed and maintained trails. Beautiful scenery none the less.

On Sunday morning we woke up to find two bucks snacking on the greens right behind our tent. The plan of the day was to make it out to Ruby Beach while the tide was still low to get a glimpse of some tide pools. It's pretty amazing how far out the water recedes with low tide and how quickly it begins to come back in.

Our last stop on the way home was Hurricane Ridge. The drive up the mountain was incredibly foggy and than amazingly you reached the top to find a crystal clear sky. Very neat experience, but scary going up and down a winding road on the edge of a mountain with so little visibility. There was still plenty of snow covering sections of the trails and several does just wandering around.    

To end our journey we caught the ferry back to Seattle. We rounded out the weekend with a nice 1.5 mile run and .5 mile walk. Phew, what a weekend!