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Hiking, Running, Top Trips

Running into summer

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first of all, I have no idea why my RSS thing keeps pulling up really old (like ’07 old) posts – sorry if you’re seeing outdated posts in your feed reader!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.

Running is fun when it's fun

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.

Sunshine getting our hopes up

Elliot Creek

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.

Running through the alder grove Goat Lake

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.

Goat Lake

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.

Goat Lake | 10 miles | 1400 feet gain –

Big Four picnic area

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.

We always stop here after hiking on the Mountain Loop

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.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Brianna June 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I wish I had closer access to this area but I am all the way down in Portland! Beautiful hike!

  • Reply Michelle June 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Agh, love your hikes and pictures, I am still living vicariously through you bt hopefully Summer will change that! Someone nominated me for a blog award – and now I nominate you…! http://cherelli.blogspot.ca/2013/06/tag-liebster-blog-award.html

  • Reply jill i June 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I love getting hike suggestions from you blog and your great photos. I did so many hikes back before blogs and digital cameras in the late 1980s and 90s that I don’t remember where all I went or their names. Some of your posts have jogged my memory. Thanks!

  • Reply Adina | Gluten Free Travelette June 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

    What a beautiful hike and your dogs are so adorable! We’ve lived in WA for just over 3 years now and are finally starting to make the time to hike around here. I love hikes that end at lakes – so we’ll have to give this one a go. Glad you found my blog, so I could find yours!

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