Saturday, August 29, 2009

American Lake Backpack

there are only so many hikes and backpacks you can do inside of the national parks with a dog. truly, most national parks have a "six feet from car rule" for dogs. that is, dogs are allowed anywhere a car is allowed with an additional six feet for a leash. being dog owners, we would like to continue to visit our beloved parks with townsend.

there are loop holes. you can have dogs on the pacific crest trail [pct]...which runs through mt rainier national park!
we set off from chinook pass on the pct to american lake. here townsend is bending the law.

along the hike out were millions of nature's candy! these blueberries were delicious!
it was great hiking, picking and eating!

brooke got tired of losing most of his harvest to townsend, so he made towno pick his own. we had little black bear cub-ish dog scouring the landscape for the treats!

this trail was very reminiscent of the smokey mountains.

getting a late start gets you into camp late. grandpa's words of wisdom!

it was a little eerie hiking into camp around night fall. a light fog covered the terrain.

good morning sunshine! our dog yawns more then anything we've ever seen.

we walked down to the lake to fix a nice warm breakfast of oatmeal and hot chocolate.

andrea sips hot cocoa, townsend takes a nap. hey wait, didn't you just wake up!?

taking in the stunning views!

townsend wanted a brisk little wade to wake up. he doesn't swim, unless he falls in, he just wades.

american lake.

mt tahoma from the east.

stopping on the way back for townsend to get a drink and wade. the entire hike was filled with these gorgeous alpine lakes.

this is what townsend did about every 100 feet on the hike back. he'd turn back as if to say, "guys, i'm real tired." and then he would lay down.

it was a long way up to the saddle, especially when you're stopping every fifty feet to pick a handful of blueberries!
hiking down from the saddle on the way out.

although townsend acted exhausted for the entire hike out, when we reached the end of the trail he did what any teenager would have done. he jumped up on top of the retaining wall, turned, and stuck out his tongue.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


this is my best friend Monkey.
Hi Monkey!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

my first triathlon

It's my goal that every year I try something new. So this year I took part in the Danskin Triathlon here in Seattle, at Genesee Park. I was one of 5300 women (wow, I know. let's just say there was a lot of estrogen present.)
This was kind of a big deal because...well...I'm terrified of drowning. So what better way to get over my fear than to sign up for a triathlon with 100+ other women around me kicking and scratching their way to the end? Brilliant, Andrea.

The line up of bikes.

Getting ready for my swim of 1/2 mile.

There were waves of 30-40 women every 3 minutes. This is my wave getting ready to dive into Lake Washington.

And the race begins!

Finishing up the swim. I'm out there...somewhere.
And no, I did not drown.

I met up with my friend, Jenn, at the end of the swim. Here we are dorking around during our transition to bikes.

Then I was off on my bike for 12 miles, across the I-90 bridge to Mercer Island and back.

The last leg was to run a 5K (3.1 miles) around to Seward Park and back to the finish line.

I finished in just under 2 hours. haha.

Jenn and I...our first tri! We had a blast and look forward to doing others together next year.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spray Park, and on....

What else better is there to do than go hiking on a beautiful summer day with the wildflowers in full bloom? We headed back to one of our favorite spots to camp for the weekend, Mowich Lake at 4900'.

We started with a day hike to Spray Park.

Just entering Spray Park at 5500'. Get out the bug spray. Lube up. Push on.

Taking a break on the path of wildflowers.

Indian Paintbrush. Always a beauty.

Some sort of delicate lilly.

Lupine. Fields and fields of beautiful lupine...

beneath a majestic mountain.

Mt. Rainier looks so close at 6500'! Tempted to run up to the top, but we'll wait. We'll see you next summer, friend, face to face.

Instead of heading up, we decided to push on and complete a 16.5 mile loop to bring us back to our campsite. This loop takes you toward Seattle Park, down to Carbon River, over to Ipsut Creek, then back over Ipsut Pass and to Mowich. Oh dear...what are we getting ourselves into?

When navigating through rocky territory, cairns (pictured above) are used to direct you back on trail, assuming you have strayed off admiring the mountain.

Getting ready to cross a snowfield. You might get an idea of the amazing views we had from the parks. We were looking at higher peaks all the way up in Canada.

This snowfield creates a beautiful pattern.
The difference between a glacier and a snowfield? Glaciers are always moving, where snowfields stay put. Interesting.

We stop at a creek to wash up and cool down.

Ever wonder what the beginning of a raging river looks like, before it has picked up speed, rocks, debris? Kinda like this. Peaceful. Quiet. Inviting.

Andrea thought it would be a good idea to add a gallon of water to her day pack for 'training.' It came in handy when we decided to push on past Spray Park!
Cataract Valley, 5200'

Part of the trail was to cross over this suspension bridge, built over the Carbon River at 3500'. was high. And bouncy. But fun!

We crossed back over the Carbon River again at 2500'. Note all the debris and devastation from year after year of massive floods going through. The most recent being Jan '09.

We measled our way back up to 5300' through the pass and back to camp. We cleaned up a bit in the lake and took a dive into our sleeping bags. Ahh...another peaceful night at Mowich Lake.