Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

First Hike of the Year!

IMG_1859This Monday morning the stairs are not my friend. J and I took Cobalt out for his first hike on Saturday, our first hike of the year! I was so excited to get back on the trails and see how our little guy would fare. My corner of Washington has been so bereft of snow thus far that we decided the trails ought to be clear enough to explore, even up in the Chuckanut Mountains.

IMG_1861So we packed up my Jeep, loaded up wee Cobalt (who’s not so wee anymore and is weighing in at 45 lbs now), and headed out to the mountains. We arrived at the trailhead and the puppy was raring to go. He strained against his leash and harness, promptly forgetting all the leash training of the past few months, and dragged J the whole way. I followed behind, WAY behind with the Camelback and some snacks tucked away, huffing and puffing up the mountain.

IMG_1863

The weatherman got it all wrong and this day that was predicted to be rainy rebelled in full force. Sunshine streamed through the trees and dotted our trail as we went ever higher up the mountainside. Soon we were shedding our outer layers of clothing and reveling in warmth, and in mid-February at that! We shared our trail with horseback riders and mountain bikers and evidence of their presence could be seen in the form of tread tracks, hoofprints, and a decided lack of pooper scoopers. Dodging horse turds, roots, and rocks certainly made the hike more interesting!

IMG_1867Our goal was to reach Lily Lake. I had been there years before but J wanted to see it and had heard that it was a good place for fly fishing. As we gained elevation, parts of the trail were covered with branches, the aftermath of logging, and we had to navigate over a few fallen trees. Four miles in we started to see signs of snow along the trail, and the temperature cooled considerably. We rounded a few turns and snow-covered Lily Lake greeted us, bathed in sunlight.

Lily Lake

Lily Lake

IMG_1870This mountaintop lake is the home of several beaver families and we saw their handiwork along the way. But despite the signs of life all around the lake was still and quiet. We went out to sit beside it and have a snack, enjoying our hard-won view. Cobalt, in his foolish puppy courage rushed out on the ice covered lake to play in his first snow of the season. I couldn’t be more grateful for J’s quick reflexes, pulling Cobalt up by his harness just as the thin ice started to crack. We would have journeyed back with a very soggy and miserable puppy. As it was, fast-moving clouds rolled in and we started to shiver. Time to head out.IMG_1864

IMG_1873We had a few hours of daylight left, but not wanting to chance hiking in diminishing light through the thick forest, we opted to take the scenic route back instead of going on to explore Lost Lake and Lizard Lake. As the days lengthen, we will be heading back out to see those spots. Our scenic trail took us down a series of steep switchbacks, and back into the relative warmth of lower elevation. We made great time and were pleased to discover that we had logged nine miles of trail in just three hours! And that, my wonderful readers, is why stairs are not my friend today.

IMG_1875We loaded up in the Jeep again but this time took the road out to Samish Lookout, a spot that we had hoped to hike to if time had allowed. At the end of the road there was a clearing designed for hang gliders to launch from. Some gliders soared overhead and others were slowly making their way south to the Skagit Valley below where they landed in a verdant grassy field. The San Juan Islands enmeshed in Puget Sound waters dominated the view to the west. Wind whipped and tugged at our clothes from up there and chilled to the bone but it couldn’t keep us from enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Clouds had rolled in once again and this time rain was soon to follow so we took some parting glances at the surrounding vista and made our way homeward bound.IMG_1878

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day to go for a hike. I’d almost forgotten how much I missed being out in beautiful nature with nothing but the sounds of my hiking companions and the wild things. J and I are already planning more hiking trips for the coming weekends and camping trips as spring and summer approach. In the meantime, I’m working on reconciling myself with the stairs at work…IMG_1881

What wild adventures were you guys up to this weekend?

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11 comments on “First Hike of the Year!

  1. ethelthedean
    February 18, 2013

    I actually have goosebumps reading this! Ahhhh, such beauty! I love it. I am jealous of your hiking adventure, but excited for soon to-be hiking adventures!

    Poor cobalt! The little scamp didn’t know what was coming for him. 🙂

    Meep. You two are just the bee’s knees! ❤

    • Audrey
      February 22, 2013

      Do you and M have any hiking trips coming up? It was so good to get out on the trails again and just soak in the wonderful outdoors.

      Little scamp, nothing! 😉 He was bouncing off of the walls in typical form the next day. A long bike ride might be in his future this afternoon/evening.

      Thank you, thank you Dearest! You always do make me smile. Wishing you a very happy and lovely weekend!!

  2. Worrywart
    February 18, 2013

    Clouds – skydive canceled due to weather. 😦

    • Audrey
      February 22, 2013

      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry! Is there any chance they will reschedule you guys for sometime soon? Such a bummer. Keep me posted on things!

  3. The Byronic Man
    February 18, 2013

    Our adventures were cut short my my wife’s dad coming to town unannounced and the baby getting a cold. Oh, life..

    • Audrey
      February 22, 2013

      Bummer! Hopefully having dad-in-law around was a good time. But a sick baby is always a sad day! This weekend is rapidly approaching though so I hope you guys are able to get out and do something fun. 🙂

  4. Denise Hisey
    February 18, 2013

    Your photos look very similar to the last hike of the year we took in 2012 on a tiny portion of the PCT near Snoqualmie Pass.
    Your ‘baby’ looks like he’s having a blast!

    • Audrey
      February 22, 2013

      Ooooh! How was that hike? I’d love to get out there and hit the trails. Such a gorgeous area, heck this whole state seems to have something to offer for natural beauty.
      The little guy had a great time! Hoping to get him out hiking again this weekend too.

  5. storiesbywilliams
    February 20, 2013

    Quite the views you go in your backyard there huh?

    • Audrey
      February 22, 2013

      Oh yes, this area takes my breath away everytime. You’ve got much of the same in your corner of the world, don’t you?

      • storiesbywilliams
        February 22, 2013

        Pretty much, yeah. The Pacific Northwest is replete with such vistas.

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