I admit that almost all of the trails we hike are a few feet wide, open (not overgrown with brush), are defined, and easy to follow. Aside from the fact that they are straight up the side of a mountain, they are pretty tame. I didn’t realize how tame actually until the other day.
Usually I suggest the hikes and hubby follows us wherever. The other day he came to me going on and on about this hike he discovered – Eagle Lake. It was clear he was excited. I jumped on the chance to go for a hike that HE picked.
It was a great hike. However, we took the “secret” back-door trail and it was different than we are used to hiking. It was narrower and overgrown with brush for the first quarter mile so we had to do a lot of pushing and ducking. The middle part of the trail was open and through the woods but it wasn’t well established in some spots. There was no danger of getting lost but we had to stop and scan the landscape to see where we were supposed to walk several times.
As we neared the lake, the trail crossed an open meadow. There trail started out established but turned into a maze of faint foot trails. There were some snow patches confusing the path too. We knew the main goal was to get to the other side of the meadow so we just picked our way through.
In a few places we had to cross a stream. I don’t mean a stream as in a shallow, narrow trickle of water either. In one spot, we had to jump a 3 foot gap between rocks. If we had missed and fallen in, the water would have been 3 or 4 feet deep. Chester and Gretel hopped, plowed through or picked their way across the rocks for most stream crossings but we had to carry them across this big one. I didn’t get any pictures of it. I think I was too nervous at first and too relieved after I made it to the other side 🙂
Right before the lake the trail got kind of lost. There were places we could walk but they weren’t established trails and we had to push our way through brush again. In some places where it was particularly unclear, some nice person had tied flagging to the trees (this is a pretty common practice in the Northwest).
The lake was beautiful and we stopped to have lunch before heading back down.
This hiking experience was different than we were used to. It certainly felt more adventurous and kind of made me feel like a sissy for sticking to the popular, established trails. They seem almost like cheating now.
The hike was a good reminder to get away from our regular routine and seek out some more remote places to hike. I am doing a good job of seeking out new urban adventures in our City but should remember that there are thousands of trails in our mountains we haven’t explored. My dedication to hiking someplace new most of the time is renewed.
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