Saturday, August 10, 2013

On to Washington:
                We made bus tracks quickly through much of Washington in order to spend a few days exploring Olympic National Park and its temperate rain forests before flying to New Hampshire.  We camped at the edge of Lake Quinnalt and took a few day hikes to explore the temperate rain forest.  We can never resist a dip in a river or lake when the chance presents itself, which has been often on this trip, and we took a few very pleasant swims in the lake after our day hikes.  From Olympic we headed to Seattle and our flights back to New Hampshire for a brief mid-summer visit. 

A Brief Intermission from the Bus Trip:
                A brief visit to NH let Jori attend his cousin’s wedding and me be around to help host the annual Cottage Extravaganza.  We swam and ate and swam and ate and sat around the campfire to the sounds of some great guitar, bass, and voices.  We fit in a few games of badminton, which has become quite the summer tradition, had a great meal with the Leland side of the family, and managed to get all of our parents together for a dinner out.  Not bad for a week visit! 

Seattle and The Cascades:
                Back in Seattle, we visited a couple of long-time friends of Jori’s family.  Denny and Mike took us to some great local restaurants, always greeting the staff by name and guiding us to the best items on the menu.  We did the typical tourist things in Seattle like wandering around downtown, taking a ferry ride on Puget Sound to see a nearby island, and gawking at the Space Needle and the giant ferris wheel. 

We wandered through the famous Pike’s Place Market and the fish flying through the air from the hands of one staff to the next on its journey to the waiting customer who almost always becomes part of the show.  
                After our stay in Seattle we visited with David and Diane, who have known the Edes family long enough to be considered family, on Camino Island.  They have us thinking (again) about designing and building a house after showing us around their amazing homemade home. 
After visiting with David and Diane we headed for the Cascade Mountains, where we had a 5 day loop hike planned.  We stopped at a small burger joint just off Camano Island to fill our tank up with veggie oil before heading into the woods. While we were filling up, we called the local ranger station to check in about our planned hike.  It was a good think we did.  The knowledgeable ranger informed us that there was no way we would find our way around our intended route as the trail had been completely covered by landslide a few years back.  Words like “epic” were used to describe navigating the slide.  The ranger helped us construct a new route that would take us up along some of the same ridge lines.  
Panorama view (one of many) from the PCT
Glacier Peak
 The hike started along the Sauk River, from which we ascended 4000+ feet to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  We walked over Red Pass and several patches of snow below Glacier Peak before making camp beneath the 10,000+ foot summit.  After traversing the snow stretches, we spent several days walking through alpine meadows. 
Whitechuck Glacier viewed from Red Pass
 Our eyes were drawn from the blue sky and snow capped peaks to the green carpet bursting with bright blushes of pink heather, patches of purple lupine, and yellow and orange lilies bowing below fluffy white clouds.  At night we sat around the warmth of campfires not far from the trickling streams and rivers whose waters we used for cooking drinking. We hiked a total of 34 miles over 5 days with a total elevation gain of 12,680 feet.  Subsequently, we took a much needed break and spent a couple of mellow nights at a beautiful campground next to a creek, surrounded by moss covered hemlocks and green ferns.

Blue Lake, after a steep and treacherous climb along a cliff.

Track Our Journey

Track Our Journey
The journey continues. . . 5 years later