Little Si…Great family hike

I can’t think of a better way to spend my time while the movers pack up my TVs (I will blog about this soon) than by catching up on my blog.

If you keep up with my blog, I am sure you have noticed this summer was incredible and filled with lots of outdoor adventures – this post is no different. My friend Lex and I went on a little hike last summer and kept saying we should do another…so we did! His oldest son wanted to go on a hike that weekend so we decided on an easy, kid-friendly hike: Little Si. I have wanted to do this hike for a while so I was super pumped when we picked this one (good idea Joel).

Thankfully, Joel didn’t make us get up too early (like usual) but we still hit the road by about 8am. We sipped our coffee along the drive to the starting point of the hike and were ready to go when we got there. The weather that morning was perfect – well, I could have gone for a little more sun – but the temperature was perfect!

We began our stroll and right away I was in love with the hike. You walk into a deep green oasis – trees and greenery surround you and noises of birds and animals ring in your ears.

wp_20160710_11_53_32_pro

The beginning of the trail…simply amazing!

wp_20160710_12_15_38_pro

Little peaks of sunshine and rocks on the side of the mountain

The trail continues with a few little areas of slight incline, none of which made my whine (miracle, I know!), and in some areas you can see people rock climbing. You couldn’t hear anything but voices of families talking, rock climbers talking to each other, and animals communicating in their native language – animal. Apparently, a family saw a little bear along their hike – let’s just say, I was all eyes and ears as we walked and thankful we never encountered the bear! We made it to the top and even though there were clouds – the view was amazing!

wp_20160710_12_55_51_pro

My favorite part of every hike – the view!

In typical Julie and Joel hiking fashion – we brought snacks to enjoy at the top while we admired the view Mother Nature blessed us with at the top of the hike.

wp_20160710_12_56_57_pro

The guys enjoying snacks and the view

wp_20160710_13_25_54_pro

Love this picture. Just a dad and his son…

In typical Julie fashion (no matter where I am), I took the opportunity to capture beautiful (ha!) memories before we began to head back down.

wp_20160710_13_28_53_pro

Group picture…Probably the only one where everyone was smiling AND looking at the camera.

wp_20160710_13_27_31_pro

Typical us!

wp_20160710_13_25_03_pro

Julie: Let’s take a picture Joel: NO Julie: Yes Joel: Look over there This was our “best” pictures 🙂

We walked back through the green oasis and stopped along the way to watch the rock climbers (a definite bonus to the hike). When we made it to the end, I was truly sad the hike was over and wanted to do it again – until Lex mentioned lunch! This hike was easy with a little, steady incline but nothing too hard. We passed a few families along the way – some had some young kids so I definitely think this is a very family-friendly hike. If you are looking for an easy hike on the weekend, I would highly recommend this. You can go quickly and be done a couple of hours or you can take your time and watch the rock-climbers and enjoy a snack at the top. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this hike!

wp_20160710_14_30_49_pro

Lex and his kiddo with the sign – you have to take one with the sign!

wp_20160710_14_31_08_pro

Me and Joel with the sign…it’s our thing and usually the only picture he smiles for 🙂

Until next time…xoxo…Julie

Advertisements

Celebrating Independence Day with a hike – Snow Lake

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the 4th of July (well really the 2nd) this year than enjoying Mother Nature with a hike. We decided to hike Snow Lake with our friends, Nels and Sonya that morning because, according to my old man friend, it was an easy and short hike. I looked up the hike (like always) and somewhere I found information saying it was approximately a 3.5 miles hike so I figured it would be perfect since this was Sonya’s first hike this season and we didn’t want anything too hard.

The weather that morning was questionable but we ventured out anyway. The temperature was perfect – not too hot with a little bit of cool, crisp air when we got to the lake. You start the hike up some steps made from logs and rocks. You continue to climb up and around the mountain on rocky terrain which is why I was so glad I wore my hiking boots for extra ankle support and had my hiking sticks for stability. If you have those items and are hiking Snow Lake, I highly recommend bringing them with you! We get to the top and I was little disappointed – there was no lake (although there was snow along the hike) and not a great view (thanks fog) but then – the surprise came. You hike DOWN the backside of the mountain to get to the lake. This was not mentioned in the website I had found when researching the hike (don’t worry, I gave you a good informative link above) so I was little confused but thankful the old man knew what to do or we would have missed what the hike was really about.

We start hiking down the backside of the mountain and the views are much better – at least when the fog would clear for a few minutes – and there is much more snow on that side. Yeah, I might have had a few moments of panic thinking I would slip, fall, and get hurt but I survived.

dsc_0044

Just strolling along..

When it leveled out, there was a sign for toilets and we (well, the ladies) thought would make a pit stop. Needless to say, the toilet was just a spot where no one could see you going in the woods.

dsc_0047

Bathroom anyone?

When we got to the lake we took a little break to enjoy a snack and the scenery. This is definitely a hike worth packing a small snack for since you really get two hikes in one (up, down, up, down) and the view is worth taking in for a while.

dsc_0055

Enjoying a snack and the scenery.

The scenery here was amazing and I can only imagine how much more incredible it would be on a day when the clouds/fog weren’t so thick and the sun was shining. It was still awesome that day and really fun watching the fog roll in and out – you could literally see it coming in towards you blocking any view then rolling out and exposing all of amazing features of Mother Nature.

dsc_0064

Clouds starting to roll in..

dsc_0068

Clouds rolling out…look at the beautiful view.

After our snack and energy boost, we started to make out climb back up the mountain just to go back down the other side. By the end of the hike my knees and back were starting to hurt but it was worth every bit of the pain to spend time outside in Mother Nature with friends. I always find such peace when I am hiking (even though I complain a little bit during the hike – or until I get a snack) so I could not think of a better way to kick-start the 4th of July weekend.

At the beginning of this post you saw me mention we wanted an easy hike right? Well, did you catch on when I said you hike up, then down, then back up, then back down…it was like a double hike! It was not 3.5 miles – it was a little over 7! It was not a dirt trail – it was rocky which adds took it from easy to moderate. I will admit, it was probably good I didn’t know this ahead of time or I might have wimped out before starting. This is definitely a hike I would recommend – especially on a sunny day.

dsc_0076

Me and my old man friend about to hike back up 🙂

Until next time…xoxo…Julie

 

Mount Rainier…simply amazing!

dsc_0945

This is the view from my car while eating our sandwiches after the hike

I haven’t been posting lately because I have been spending so much time with friends in the sunshine and doing school work in the other little bit of free time I have had. With that being said, the typical Seattle “doom and gloom” weather is rolling in (with big storms this weekend) so I won’t be doing much other than schoolwork so I figured I would get motivated to do some writing for school by writing about something that was absolutely amazing and breathtaking…my climb up/around part of Mount Rainier this summer.

June 4th: a perfect day to venture out to Mount Rainier – sun shining with a few clouds scattered in the gorgeous blue sky. The night before we packed out camelbaks, some bread and lunch meat to make sandwiches, some fruit, and chips for after the hike. Of course, we also packed our hiking shoes and poles (which I will touch on shortly). We had everything ready to leave first thing in the morning!

We woke up bright and early (well, it wasn’t really bright out since we got up before the sun was out) and hit the road. Before we even drove a mile, we stopped for coffee and Joel’s brownie (it’s his breakfast before every hike now). We drove and drove and drove for what felt like forever but I think it was only maybe 2 hours (cue “are we there yet?”) until we got there. I forget which gate we went in but we had about a 20 minute drive once we got in the park until we reached our destination (I think Paradise was where we started – that is really the name). I don’t know why they call it Paradise but it could definitely be because some of the magical sites you see along the way like these:

dsc_0809

This pops up out of nowhere along the winding road. **hits the brakes to get a picture**

dsc_0822

I wonder why they call this Reflection Lake 🙂

The parking lot was full so we made out own parking spot about half a mile down. From there, we began our trek. The hiking poles – you remember those? Well, someone (aka: Joel) told me that I wouldn’t them so I should just leave them in the car because he doesn’t want me to complain when I end up carrying them since “they won’t work in the snow.” Well, let me just tel you this – that was the LAST time I listened to him about my hiking poles! I believe the first 15 20 minutes I complained whined (yep, that’s me) about not having them because I would take one step in the snow and slide back 2 steps. Once I realized whining wasn’t going to help me and that Joel would just continue walking and leave me that I might as well save my breath and get to stepping!

We climbed and climbed and climbed and came across this amazing little spot without snow that you could sit and overlook everything below and miles into the distance. We sat there for a bit to enjoy the quiet (not many people made it that far or to that side – not going to lie, I think I resisted a little because I was scared), the scenery, and watch some people training for the climb and overnight stay at the top.

dsc_0851

The view of the mountain from our little spot

After sitting there and enjoying a few snacks (those tend to make me happy so  stop whining and complaining – what can I say, I get hangry!) we continued our trek upward. The scenery was breathtaking and no words can really describe the experience.  We didn’t go all the way to the top but I can only imagine how life-changing that experience would be – if only I was 95% more in shape 🙂

dsc_0876

A different view from the hike (I am facing Rainier). Simply beautiful everywhere you look!

Who would have thought you actually be warm in capris and tank top while your feet and stepping on snow? Not me! Who would think to continue to apply sunscreen so you don’t get burned? Not us! We hiked for about 3 hours and would have loved to keep going but the sun was melting the now making it very hard to keep going (yep, my hip started to get tired which makes my knee hurt) so we enjoyed the view a little bit longer and took in every bit of the experience that we could.

dsc_0918

Pretty far up but still a long ways to go….I am going to miss this…

We decided to started heading back since it was getting colder, the snow was melting, and my hip (and knee) were killing me. I will admit, if I had brought a light jacket and my hiking poles, I would have pushed through the pain to keep going. We got back to the car and made sandwiches to eat with a snow-covered mountain view. It was an incredible experience and I would do it all over again…but with my hiking poles! If you ever get the chance to go to Mount Rainier – I would highly recommend it – even if you don’t hike, just driving through the National Park is incredible!

Until my next hike…xoxo…Julie

 

A little walk on the Bus Trail and around Tradition Lake

As you might have read in my last post, my old man friend and I wanted to start getting outdoors and hiking more this year…you know, get healthy and exercise, we hiked Rattlesnake Ledge on April 9th. Whenever we would drive down I-90 to go shopping at North Bend or go on a hike, we would see a lot of cars on the side of the road so on the way back from Rattlesnake Ledge, we pulled over to see what they were parked for. Well, we found about 4 different trailheads – that’s why they were parked there! We looked up some of them and decided we would try one the next Saturday, April 16th.

April 16th: I was sore from the previous hike and procedures so we decided to do the easier hike – some might even call it a nature walk 🙂 Old man friend had invited a guy and his family from work to join us on the walk…apparently, they had talked about getting into hiking and didn’t know where to go. We decided to meet early to avoid the heat (we had a hot Spring this year)  and beat the crowds. The weather was perfect that day – not too hot with a few clouds in the sky.

We started on the Bus Trail which gets its name from an old bus that runs along the side of the trail. I was really excited about this one because of what I read online. Apparently, there are still some old buses along the trail that you can wander through. Well, there was 1 bus that you wouldn’t know is a bus if you didn’t look it up beforehand. See what I mean below:

DSC_0759

Yep – that’s the “bus”

Although the bus might have been a little smaller than what I expected it was still neat to explore the trail and see the bus. The Bus Trail connects  to the Tradition Lake Loop which is another easy “hike”. It is a peaceful, flat,  2.9 miles round trip nature walk. As you walk along the trail, you are surrounded by big, beautiful, green trees. If you look to your right at about half a mile in to the trail, you see the first of two lakes.

DSC_0742

The first glimpse of the lake….

The water was still and the sounds of birds chirping surround you. It was so relaxing being out there.

DSC_0751

Another view of the lake with greenery…you can see one of our group members walked right down to the water…

We continued venturing on the trail and enjoying the scenery. I think connected to another trail because we came out in a very different area than where we started which was totally fine since we were at least in walking distance to the car 🙂 The views were amazing, meeting new people was awesome, and the weekend was started off just right!

DSC_0754

Another view of the lake….can you tell where the water starts and the reflection begins?

Do you have a place you like to go walk that is a secret until someone wonders why cars are around and ventures that way? I would love to hear about!

Until next time…xoxo…Julie