PNW

Solo Hike to Lake 22

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I’m going to start off my attempt at getting back into blogging with a (mild) adventure.

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I’ve been wanting to hike to Lake 22 here for a while, but it just wasn’t happening. So I decided to make it my fourth solo hike!

It was a winter hike (and the WTA website warns of avalanche danger) so I packed a lot of extra safety gear. Including food and water, my pack was about about 20% of my bodyweight. But hey, that’s all training weight, right? (For real though, I need to figure out how to get my packweight down. I’m petite though which doesn’t help.)

I told my mom what time to expect to hear back from me, but I did my math wrong which meant that I had a very frustrating hike I didn’t know I’d be able to finish for the first hour or so. I was so annoyed at myself and at the lack of cell-phone signal to tell her that I wanted/needed more time. I did the math though and figured out that my turn around time had to be 12:15 p.m. Wherever I was at that point, I needed to head back.

I booked it up that mountain-I passed so many people! Somehow (I ate a snack while I walked) I made it to the top with time to spare! There was snow at the top so I pulled out my poles but didn’t need my micro-spikes.

I checked the time, it was about noon. I wanted to loop the lake, but again wasn’t sure I had time. I decided to try it though and see how far around the lake I was in 10 minutes. Sure enough, I was halfway around it in time so I was able to loop it.

It would have been kinda nice (but kinda cold) to stay at the top, relax, have lunch, but I didn’t have time for that. I headed straight back down and again passed lots of people going down.

I made it to the car with a few minutes to spare but was still 30 minutes from cell-service. Worst case scenario I figured I’d stop and ask to use a phone at a local business but I made it!

I’ve never wished for a 1-2 way satellite messaging device more than I did on that hike. I carry a personal locator beacon, but it would have been nice to have some way to tell my mom “Hey, I’m fine, don’t call the rescue team. I’m just taking longer.”

Looking back, I think in the future I’ll be more careful about my math and give myself some extra time to hang out and relax. I’m so glad I was able to finish the hike though, and I did it in record time!

6.6 miles with 1,400 ft of elevation gain and a pack that weighed 20% of my body weight in 2 hours and 40 minutes! It was a record for me and I’m proud of it.

What’s one of your prouder hikes?

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Birthday Hike to Twin Falls

I've been lucky enough to be able to hike on my last two birthdays; I'm hoping to make it a tradition! This year I met with one of my best friends to hike.

We met at Twin Falls in Washington state. (I finally got a photo of my newish car on a hike!)

It was one of those days this summer where it was about 95 degrees Fahrenheit all day but had cooled down to about 89 by the time the hike started. The hike was great, not too difficult, and we finished just after sunset. I'm thinking I need to make a bigger habit out of hiking after work from here on out; it's just too much fun!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Hike to Little Mashel Falls

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On the last day of 2017, and apparently the last day of hunting season, we went hiking to Little Mashel Falls in Pack Forest near Eatonville, WA. Most of the hike is done on a dirt and gravel logging road, so it's not very scenic, but the waterfall at the end was beautiful!

The sunlight coming through the mist created magic. It wasn't too crowded at the falls, we had a few minutes to ourselves before the next group of hikers came in, and it was definitely a hike worth doing and a good last hike of 2017.

I haven't been able to hike as much in 2018 as I would have liked, but hopefully that will change soon! What's a hike you've enjoyed this year?

Tolmie State Park

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I haven't had a chance to get out hiking much this year, but I was able to end last year, and start this one, with two hikes! When my best friend was in town we drove down to Olympia to hike Tolmie State Park. Besides the fact that it was really muddy, it was a very simple walk through the woods, but beautiful nonetheless. Another local hike/walk I've been meaning to do is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It's been a while since I've been out and I can't wait to get out again!

What's been your favorite hike so far this year?

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Angel Falls

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Recently a friend and I hiked to Angel Falls. We started really late, and from a different trailhead than the main one, so we only made it to Angel Falls and missed Curtain Falls. The bridges had been taken out for the season, and the trail was washed out at one point, but with agility, trekking poles, and waterproof boots, we made it!

Angel Falls was pretty, and it all made for a good workout, but it was a bummer to not make it to Curtain Falls as well. I'm planning on going back at some point to see them both.

Do you have any waterfalls you like to hike to?

Solo Hike to Rattlesnake Ridge

A few years ago, my friends and I hiked up to Rattlesnake Ridge and then continued on to Rattlesnake Mountain. I've been wanting to hike more lately but my friends aren't around to hike as often as I would like. So I decided to go for a solo hike.

I picked Rattlesnake Ridge because it's short, moderate, close to home, and incredibly crowded. A good hike for my first time solo. I was still nervous though.

There were a few other women hikers on their own. That trail is so popular that I've heard that tour buses drop off tourists.

And here's a picture of the beautiful leaves for good measure.

 
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It was nice to be out by myself and I'm glad I finally did!

Where have you hiked by yourself to?

Glass Beach

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My mom read about a beach with lots of sea glass, the catch is that you have to hike three to four miles each way to reach it. 

It's accessible through two access points/trailheads in Port Townsend, Washington. We parked at North Beach on Kuhn St. and walked west along the beach to find the seaglass. The other option (according to Pacific NW Beachcombing) is to park at the Marina Drive parking lot at Cape George and walk east along the beach.

If you're coming from the east, two old car axles about 3 miles in mark where you can start to find sea glass. You need to make sure you time it for low tide and that you don't get stuck out there at high tide.

On our hike/walk, some of the people who we passed going back to their cars said it wasn't a very good day for sea glass, so that was disappointing, but we managed to find a bit anyways. 

White glass was pretty common, with brown, green, and blue, and even pieces of porcelain. My favorite piece I found was one piece of pink sea glass.

 
 

Finally, one more cool thing I found along the beach, was a possible fern fossil.

 
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Hiking on the beach isn't really my idea of fun. I find it more exhausting than going uphill. So while this isn't a hike I'll do again anytime soon, it was fun to go out and get the glass. 

Do you know of any good places to find sea glass?

Snowgrass Flats

A few weeks ago we drove down to hike to Snowgrass Flats. An entire hour of that drive was spent on the same 16 mile dirt road, so bring a high clearance vehicle if you can. We were the only day hikers out that day, minus two separate men on horseback. Everyone else was backpacking in and going further than we were.

It was a nice hike but we hit a lot of snow and it was difficult to go uphill in it. We made it, but trekking poles or microspikes would have made it a lot easier. It was the first real snow I'd seen this year though and it was fun to play around in. There's been a couple of other hikes I've looked at recently, but they've gotten more snow than I'd like to hike in. Any suggestions for winter hikes to do in the PNW?