Monthly Archives: July 2013

149 – Lake Twenty-Two

I am not sure why, but the hike to Lake Twenty-Two had been on my list for quite some time. Maybe because a number seems like an odd name for lake to me. Why name a lake a number? Where is Lake Twenty-One, Lake Seven, etc., who names these lakes anyway? It certainly is a beautiful lake though, and the hike there is absolutely outstanding. Now we have “been there, done that,” and loved it!

Lake Twenty-Two Trailhead

Lake Twenty-Two Trailhead

The beauty of the lake seems to be the big draw, but don’t forget to take note of the impressive forest most of the hike climbs through. There are more than many respectfully large trees to appreciate of along the trail.

Through a forest of BIG trees . . .

Through a forest of BIG trees . . .

And the views from the trail, equally impressive!

View from the trail . . .

View from the trail . . .

With boardwalk and trail running around the lake, we could easily explore the entire area. Snow still lingered at the far end, but not so deep that we could not find the trail again.

Lake Twenty-Two . . .

Lake Twenty-Two . . .

Packing in fishing gear, Kent tried his luck.

Fishing at Lake Twenty Two

Fishing at Lake Twenty Two

On the hike out, we had a good reminder of the importance of always carrying the ten essentials when hiking. Having drained our hydration units during the hike up to the lake, we stopped at a stream to purify water for a refill. Kent climbed a few feet off the trail, slightly up the stream bank, and pulled the water purifier out of his pack. Still close enough to easily carry on a conversation as he filtered the water, he turned his head to look at me as he spoke, and tumbled bac -, heels over head. Landing head first on a rock in a pool of water along side the trail, no serious injury was sustained; but, good thing we carried a first aid kit in our packs!

The price of clean water . . . heels over head

The price of clean water . . . heels over head

There is easy access to the Lake Twenty-Two trailhead from the Mountain Loop Highway. For driving directions and more information on this hike, visit the Washington Trails Association website, here – WTA, Lake Twenty-Two.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Snohomish County | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

148 – Cutthroat Pass

This was one of those great hikes with exceptional views! Having backpacked into Cutthroat Lake to camp along Cutthroat Creek the evening before (go here – https://60before60.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/52-backpacking-cutthroat-lake/ – to read about that hike), stellar blue skies made the conditions absolutely perfect for a hike up to Cutthroat Pass.

The View Along the Trail to Cutthroat Pass

The View Along the Trail to Cutthroat Pass

The hike from where we camped to the pass was about five miles in length with an elevation gain of approximately 2,000′. There were lots of familiar peaks to view along the way and the trail was very well maintained.

Look at that View!

Look at that View!

Rock formations often lined the trail as we climbed in elevation.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the trail to Cutthroat Pass

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the trail to Cutthroat Pass

Here is a great view of Cutthroat Peak and Cutthroat Pass, our destination, (to the right of the peak) from the trail. Seeing the pass up ahead provided great motivation for us to keep on trekking!

Cutthroat Peak . . . from the trail

Cutthroat Peak . . . from the trail

There were snow fields at the pass, but they were easy to cross. This is where the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) joins the trail we had followed to reach Cutthroat Pass. Our trail ended there, and the Pacific Crest Trail continued on over the pass. Often when we are out hiking, we intersect with the PCT, and I can certainly see why some say that some of the most scenic sections of the PCT are said to be right here in Washington State. For more information on the PCT, go here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Crest_Trail. Wouldn’t the PCT be a marvelous through-hike to make some day?

Cutthroat Pass - Where Pacific Crest Trail joins

Cutthroat Pass – Where Pacific Crest Trail joins

Enjoying the spectacular 360 degree view, we explored all around the pass, then pulled out our picnic lunch in order to refuel before making the hike back down to our camp.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Relaxing . . . on Cutthroat Pass

(pic by Kent Doughty) Relaxing . . . on Cutthroat Pass

For information about hiking to Cutthroat Pass, visit the Washington Trails Association website, here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/cutthroat-pass-1.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Okanogan County, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

147 – Backpacking – Cutthroat Lake

On our way back from an afternoon business meeting in Twisp, we came prepared to backpack in to Cutthroat Lake for the night rather than make the long drive all the way back to Bellingham. Here we are at the trailhead ready to begin the hike.

Cutthroat Lake Trailhead

Cutthroat Lake Trailhead

This was an easy trail with very little elevation gain. At less than two miles from the trailhead to the lake, this made the perfect hike for us since we had not even reached the trailhead until around 5:00 p.m.

Through the Forest

Through the Forest

There always seems to be a stream crossing (or two!) along our wilderness hikes, and this trip was no exception. Here I am, ready to cross a log bridge over Cutthroat Creek.

(pic by Kent Doughty) My turn to cross the stream

(pic by Kent Doughty) My turn to cross the stream

Camping is not allowed along the shore of the lake, so we found this wonderful campsite right above Cutthroat Creek. The roar of the creek below was music to my ears as I drifted off to sleep that night. The bugs were bad, but we came prepared with our bug nets, and were extra carefull not to allow any of those big black biting critters into our tent. I highly recommend bug nets!

Finding the Perfect Campsite

Finding the Perfect Campsite

After setting up camp, we followed the trail to Cutthroat Lake. So beautiful!

Reflections in Cutthroat Lake

Reflections in Cutthroat Lake

Here’s a great shot of Kent, the camp cook, in action. He’s preparing a high-protein, quick-cooking pasta with carrots and broccoli (that we dehydrated ourselves) and tuna. We recently took a backcountry cooking class at our local REI (see: REI – Bellingham – Events) and, while none of the recipes they shared or any of the pre-packaged, dehydrated foods they used as samples in the class sounded remotely like anything that we would want to eat, we were greatly inspired to branch out more and become more creative with our backpacking meals. We now dehydrate our own coleslaw and mix it with rehydrated lentils and/or beans to roll in a high-protein tortilla for lunch, we add packets of cream cheese to our pasta dishes, and we dehydrate lots more vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) to mix in with pasta or potato dishes. We even make a extremely delicious and hearty vegetable soup for dinner. We are eating very well out on the trail now while still managing to keep the weight of the food in our packs down to a minimum.

Camp cook . . . Kent Doughty

Camp cook . . . Kent Doughty

The next day we had a marvelous time hiking to Cutthroat Pass (more on that hike here – https://60before60.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/53-cutthroat-pass/), then upon our return to camp, we packed up and hiked back to the trailhead and headed back home.

Backpacking out . . . back to the trailhead

Backpacking out . . . back to the trailhead

For more information on the hike to Cutthroat Lake, go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/cutthroat-lake.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Okanogan County, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

146 – Waterfront Renaissance Walk & Esther Short Park

Mixing more business with pleasure, this time we spent an afternoon and evening along Vancouver, WA’s Waterfront Renaissance Walk and exploring the Esther Short Park. The walk follows the shore of the Columbia River on the Washington side with great views of Portland, Oregon on the other. That’s the bridge over the Columbia River as our backdrop.

102 Waterfront Park River Walk (2)

It’s a beautiful walk!

Waterfront Renaissance Walk, Vancouver, WA

Waterfront Renaissance Walk, Vancouver, WA

I have an appreciation of the mid-century style as is quite obvious if you saw my living room. Here’s a sneak peak for those of you that haven’t stopped by our condo.

Living Room - Mid-Century Accents

Living Room – Mid-Century Accents

So it’s probably no surprise that I would also admire this mid-century gem, the Smith Tower Apartments, in the skyline while exploring downtown Vancouver. Wouldn’t our decor fit absolutely splendidly in such a building?

Smith Tower Apartments, Vancouver, WA's mid-century gem

Smith Tower Apartments, Vancouver, WA’s mid-century gem

Next we explored the Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. It being high summer, their rose garden was absolutely stunning.

Rose Garden at the Esther Short Park

Rose Garden at the Esther Short Park

Here’s the somewhat famous Clock Tower that stands in the park, with the Smith Tower Apartments in view a few blocks behind.

Clock Tower in Esther Short Park, Vancouver, WA

Clock Tower in Esther Short Park, Vancouver, WA

Meanwhile, we really were in Vancouver on business, so even though we managed to fit in several miles of trails exploring a few of the local parks, Kent had places to go and people to see.

Kent Doughty . . . Places to Go, People to See

Kent Doughty . . . Places to Go, People to See

Go here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver,_Washington – for information about the town of Vancouver, WA; here – http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/waterfront-renaissance-trail-5-miles – for information about the Waterfront Renaissance Walk, and here – http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/esther-short-park-0 – for information about the Esther Short Park.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

145 – Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Why not combine business with pleasure? On our way to Vancouver, WA for a meeting, the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge made a great stop midway along our drive.

At the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

At the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Several miles of trails run through the grounds, an observation deck and lots of information is provided about the wildlife and inhabitants there.

Bird watching . . .

Bird watching . . .

The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge has easy on and off access from both north and south bound Interstate 5 and is a great place to stretch your legs if you happen to be driving from one end of the State of Washington to the other. For more information, visit their website, here – http://www.fws.gov/refuge/nisqually/.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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