Talapus Lake, 09/24/2011

I remember:

  • parking on the side of the road
  • agreeable switchbacks
  • Adelaide sleeping in the backpack

I’ll defer to WTA for the details on this one. Cool?

Talapus Lake

Me and Addie

Duckabush River, 06/25/11

I spent the better part of a week in June all alone at home, with both Nicole and Adelaide back in Wisconsin, where they remained after the three of us flew out last-minute to visit my Grandpa in the hospital.  Evenings were quiet; I vacillated between missing my three-and-a-half-month-old daughter fiercely and reflecting on the time I spent with my Grandpa in my youth and as I grew up and moved away from home.

I did plan, though, on taking advantage of this time alone by doing something.  While a backpack sounded good in theory, I knew that I was out of shape, out of practice, and unprepared even as the weekend approached.  So I thought a day spent walking along a river would do well for me—I’d stroll along leisurely, set up my tripod liberally, and see how far I got up the Duckabush River before turning around and heading home.

A detail of the Duckabush River.

I like driving over to the Olympic Peninsula early in the morning: down through Olympia, up along the Hood Canal with the cruise control set just right until you begin passing through all the small towns with their pickup trucks driven out onto the saltwater flats the tide has revealed.

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Rattlesnake Ledge, 05/22/11

A couple of months ago, I got out on the trail for the first time this year–a friend is getting married and, though new to Seattle, he’s in to hiking; I and several other friends went out to nearby Rattlesnake Ledge while the ladies (and the baby) had brunch.

While I can’t recall too many details from the hike, I will say it felt good to get moving—even with the fast food sitting immobile in the pit of my stomach.  We set a healthy pace uphill (and it’s all uphill) until we poked out onto the first ledge among a dozen or two dozen other hikers.

Casey overlooks Rattlesnake Lake.

The views were great, and the ledge was frightening enough to stay back from.  After a brief rest, we continued on up the trail, as we all wanted a bit more than the ~4 miles round-trip it would’ve been to the first ledge.  In just a few minutes, we found ourselves on another ledge, overlooking the first.  Here we were all alone, and so sat down and enjoyed the view for a bit longer before continuing.

Looking down on the first Ledge.

Details after this point have faded into: much more solitude, poor signage, rusty steel cable, trail becoming road, and a fair amount of snow that found its way into spherical projectile form.  At some point, sure we weren’t ever going to arrive anywhere else, we turned around and headed back down to the lake, where we skipped stones and/or soaked our feet before heading back to Seattle.

Actually, I enjoyed this hike more than I thought I would.  The company helped, but once past the first ledge, it was quite quiet.  I wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime.  Maybe with Adelaide.  Maybe soon.

Stats: ~7 miles round-trip, probably, ~1400′ of elevation gain/loss, probably.  Probably topped out around 2300′.