The sun came out! School is out! Classes are over for the quarter! Did I mention the sun came out? Spring has been hanging on with both hands out here, but the gray skies finally cleared for a few days this weekend, so Tom, B, E and Little Baby S ventured out for the first backpack of the season. We headed up to Eightmile Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness near the “Bavarian Village” of Leavenworth. We wanted an “easy” trail to start with , because I, unlike Tom, have not been doing so much hiking recently. I’ve mostly been eating, drinking, stressing out and not sleeping. This does not equal optimal hiking shape. I’m working on remedying this situation.
We started a little late because Tom and I had gone out to see The Paperboys at the Tractor the night before, and decided to sleep in. We hit the trail in the early afternoon, and man was it WARM! Almost HOT even! What a change! My weak Seattle blood had a hard time with this, and I was quickly chugging water. The trail is in great shape, and climbs steeply at first, but levels off after about a mile when you enter the wilderness boundary. Unfortunately, we saw several people blatantly disregarding the “no dogs” signs, which was disappointing.
After a little more climbing, and even more sweating and water chugging on my part, we took a break at Little Eightmile Lake. Little Baby S was totally fascinated by the moss on the tree and wanted to touch and eat it all. The trail winds through boulder choked fields, and cool forests where the scent of sun-baked pine surrounded us.
We made the final push up to Eightmile Lake, and found an amazing campsite right near the lake. It had a sloping section of rock that lead out from the shaded campsite and we whiled away the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging in the lingering sun by the lake. Across the lake from us was Eightmile Peak, (really original names going on here), which is still snow-covered. Tom and B took a quick dip in the bracingly cold lake, while E and I decided we’d be content to simply rinse off. There was a minute when E needed to do something quickly and handed Little S to Tom. They had some bonding time, and Little S quickly discovered that pulling on Tom’s beard made a fabulous toy to pull on. (This is for you, Mom)
After a yummy dinner, (freeze dried food never tasted so good), we set up camp, read a bit and headed to bed. Luckily it wasn’t too cold, and we all slept well, even Little S! The next morning, we enjoyed a tasty breakfast of not-too-stale lemon and cherry cake-bread. NOM. On our way out, we were able to get some nice views of Mount Stuart and some beautiful wildflowers that I’d not really appreciated on the way up, due to all the huffing, puffing and water chugging.
It was a beautiful hike and it was wonderful to be there with friends. I feel like summer is finally coming, with lots of new adventures to enjoy!