Hiking, Me

Goat Lake (and a wee rant)

I’ve always maintained that the sunny days in Washington more than make up for the long days of drizzle, but this year has been rough. Really rough. I’ve tried to stay positive and run outside for a dose of vitamin D every time the sun deigns to reveal itself, but months and months and months and months of cold, wet, shitty weather have finally worn me down.

For someone who struggles with depression and whose only* source of sustained joy is to be active in the outdoors, this has been a miserable year. Last week it seemed like summer (make that “spring”) had finally arrived, so when the freezing wetness returned (and is forecast to hang around until the end of July), I just broke down and haven’t moved from the couch in almost two days. My blind love affair with the Evergreen State is officially over.

Unfortunately, my attempts at convincing JK that we need to move to California have been fruitless. He loves his job. That’s not something you can let go of in the current economic climate, so I guess we’ll be staying here in the Pacific Northwest climate.

Keepin' kool Elliot Creek Trail We don't wanna leave

Adding insult to injury, the chilly weather has put our snow melt at least a month behind schedule. Sick of postholing, soggy shoes and rotten snow bridges, last weekend (before the sun defected) I was desperate for a trail, any trail, that was snow-free. JK and I decided on Goat Lake, a typical early season (as in May, not July) hike.

Be careful or your hands will freeze like that

I had really low expectations of this hike, so I was surprised to find a beautiful river trail ending at a big, green, inviting alpine lake. I couldn’t resist the clear water and jumped in for a swim, followed by JK and Wellie.

Aah, we were so naïve, thinking our alpine swimming meant that summer had arrived. Wellie even ate watermelon to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

Summery snack

Hopefully the sun will come back, more lakes will melt, and this won’t be the only summery trip report I write this year. In the meantime I’ll try to roll off the couch and motivate myself to make the best of what I’ve got. The honeymoon period may be over, but apparently Washington and I are in it for the long term.

Goat Lake | 10 miles | 1400 feet elevation gain –

Goat Lake

*ok, so JK counts too, but he doesn’t get to be on the list since he’s standing in the way of my relocation plans.

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  • Reply Courtney July 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I can totally understand where you are coming from. We are down in Corvallis, just south of Portland and it’s COLD!!

  • Reply Lisa July 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I hear ya! This year has been BRUTAL. I went to Tucson in March and basked in the sunshine for a week. It helped me with the usual NW winter depression. But man, it’s mid-July! Where is the sunshine??

    That hike looks amazing.

  • Reply Christina July 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I hear ya! It’s been a cold, rainy summer here in Southeast Alaska. It seems like we get the backlash of weather that you get there in Washington, but even more rain here! We get 14 FEET of precip where we live per year! I don’t mind the rain, but when you don’t see the sun for like a week and a half, it’s a big bummer!! I’m hoping for more sunshine your way!

  • Reply Jo July 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

    You are preaching to the choir with this one, my Costco sized Vitamin D bottle isn’t even making a dent in my cold, wet July blues!

  • Reply Jody July 17, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been any better in California!

  • Reply Libby July 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Ingunn,

    Sorry to hear your suffering again. After being in Alaska for 2 weeks and little sunshine I can appreciate a little more what you experience. I came home to Winter that is warmer (and sunnier) than the Alaskan summer. So hard that JK loves his work so much. At what point does health become more important? Hoping the Sun comes out and you can stock up before the season changes again.

  • Reply Solgunn July 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Skjønner deg så godt! Vi er i litt samme situasjon med helsa, alenetid, regnvær osv. ;) Jeg er hjemme om dagen Ingunn som deg, bare å ta kontakt om du vil skravle litt om ditt og datt. :)

  • Reply Laura @ First Class Great Outdoors July 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I can relate to battling with depression, as it’s something I deal with, too. I was so glad when our brutal winter finally came to an end. I’m glad you were able to find some sun and some happiness in the outdoors with your family. Here’s hoping the weather pulls out of its funk soon :)

  • Reply k July 29, 2011 at 7:45 am

    My friend just went to Goat Lake too (maybe even the same weekend – only a few sunny ones to choose from) and she said it was fabulous. They took a nice little swim as well. This weekend (today too – damn work) is shaping up to be a nice one. I hope you can enjoy it and get your vitamin d fix!

    PS – I am sorry about the recent tragedy in Olso. I just wish all this senseless hatred would stop.

  • Reply iris July 31, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Oh man, this is such a bummer. At least these photos bring a little bit of hope? And there’s always next year. It really can’t last this long two years in a row?

  • Reply Yelen August 21, 2011 at 1:05 am



  • Reply Joanne September 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I started hiking this summer for my health and I dreaded it. But after the first hike, I fell in love. We’ve done only a few because of time constraints but my friends and I always look forward for the next free weekend. When I found your blog I was so excited. everything about this blog is beautiful. We did Goat Lake and Shishi beach because of this blog. When i build up some endurance, we will attempt your harder hikes. i lovelovelove this blog.

    I put a few hike pictures

  • Reply 4APK.RU March 29, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Went up the Upper Elliot found it easy and not much to see but a few little waterfalls and many different trees. The lake was nice and mostly frozen over. Mud and water in areas of the trail.

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