Let’s start with a bit of blog maintenance: first of all, I have no idea why my RSS thing keeps pulling up really old (like ’07 old) posts – sorry if you’re seeing outdated posts in your feed reader! Also, I miss posting more regularly…so I’m going to try to do that. Oh, and I’m a member spotlight over on tmber.com, a very cool Pacific Northwest hiking site, so if you wandered over here from there, welcome, and if you haven’t heard of TMBER before, go check it out.
After spending Saturday running errands and working in the garden, JK and I drove up the Mountain Loop Highway on Sunday to run (what I could of) the Elliot Creek Trail to Goat Lake.
The lower trail is beautiful, and, from what I gather, less crowded than the upper trail. We ran alongside the creek through a lush forest, admiring the greeness of it all. We hardly met anyone on the hike in, so Wellie and Basil got to run off leash, usually staying ahead with JK, the honorary greyhound.
Eventually we hooked up with the upper trail, an old logging road turned alder allée, before entering the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness and finally gaining some real elevation up to the lake. I wasn’t able to run those switchbacks, so I had lots of time to gawk at the huge cedars that lined the trail. The last time we hiked this trail, I felt just about ready to defect and leave Washington for good, but now I am massively in love with this state and our life here. I guess that’s what happens when you try to blame your depression on your location, foolishly thinking you would magically be happier somewhere, anywhere, else.
While the clouds have thankfully cleared in my head, they had yet to lift over Goat Lake, hiding the mountaintops and nixing the idea of swimming. We didn’t care; we were so high on endorphins that any view would do.
We split a sandwich and ran back down the trail, this time dodging big groups of hikers. This is a very popular hike, so come early. Luckily the two trails help disperse the masses, and once we hit the lower trail, we were pretty much alone again – not that anything could have ruined my runner’s high anyway.
We had packed a cooler full of watermelon to enjoy back at the car, but since the sun never really came out to dehydrate us, we drove over to the Big Four picnic area to eat it there instead – with a side of excellent views.
To round out a perfect Mountain Loop day, we stopped at our favorite farm stand outside of Granite Falls to pick up produce to barbecue in the afternoon. I think summer has arrived and I know I love it.