We had been planning our first ever hike in camping trip for months. We acquired gear in fits and starts (Yaaayyyy REI garage sale!) and we acquired knowledge at about the same pace via books, blogs, websites and the like. Finally, the time arrived. A quick check of the weather forecast dampened our spirits a bit. The remarkably dry and sunny weather was about to come to a close. We had initially planned a one night outing, just for practice. Then, a friend announced she could come and we pushed it out to two nights and she would be there the second night. Then, she could make it the first night and we all decided to stay two nights. It would be us and Ruthie and her kids. Couldn't be more awesome...right? Well, the forecast called for a cool down and rain on our first night and then even colder with snow on our second night.
So we worked on getting a few last minute cold weather things. We weren't really planning on camping the snow yet. That seemed a little more advanced a challenge than us rank beginners should undertake. Not to be dissuaded though, we took off. Sarah and the boys and I would arrive first and find a campsite. Ruthie, driving from much further away, would find us.
And we were off.
|All our gear. Much heavier packs for everyone this time.|
|Snow?!? Even Satchel thinks they're crazy.|
|Loaded for bear and ready to go.|
|Pack only the essential gear|
|It's going to be a long, hot, and dusty hike.|
|Sweet baby overshadowing Mt. Baker|
|Mt. Shuksan looks cool. The lowest glacier is right by Lake Anne|
|Over the ridge, we descend into the valley.|
|Finding new views of Mt. Baker and the glacial melt.|
|Going down. That is the first of the chain lakes.|
I was too busy figuring everything out to take many pictures of the set up. Before long, Ruthie and Co. arrived and all was furious activity to get everything together before dark. We got it though. Then it was time to cook. Sarah had pre made tons of food for the trip. All we had to do was collect and boil the water. We even had a little surprise. It was Ruthie's birthday!
|Some mountain goats decided to pay us a visit|
|Not too close of a visit though.|
|Sun going down, moon coming up.|
|Sarah and the alpenglow|
We cooked and ate and got ready for bed. While we were eating, a headlamp walked into our campsite and asked if we knew of any other campsites in the area. We told it we didn't, but they were welcome to come into our area, there was room. It seemed suspicious of our dogs (Satchel was with us as well as Ruthie's puppy Sweet Pea) and our two woman one man living arrangement. It eventually left and camped right down by the water. Not very leave no trace, but I understand.
So we ate Ruthie's rehydrated cheesecake mush and sang happy birthday!
|Gtting dark, and spooooky.|
|Time for bed.|
I'm not gonna lie to you. It was a rough night. Several things conspired to keep us from getting any sleep. Max's sugar level kept dropping due to the activity level of the day and we kept having to wake up and check it and then feed him something. We forgot to close the vents and had a nice, constant cold breeze through the tent. It did indeed start to rain, heavily at times. And so on and so on. Sarah and I had terrible headaches and were not well rested when we woke up. Ruthie didn't fare much better.
We woke to a different world.
|You can see the headlamp's campsite.|
|Those are our tents way up there in back.|
|The trail winds on|
|Hayes Lake, I believe.|
|There were little ones...|
|And big ones. Too wormy to eat though.|
|There were colorful ones and little brown ones.|
|These guys were everywhere.|
|Ruthie with her version of Monster. And the indomitable Sweet Pea.|
|Maybe we shouldn't stay another night.|
All in all, I call it a success. We went, we stayed and we exercised good judgement in not staying the extra night. The updated forecast called for 9-13 inches of snow driven in by 30-50 mph winds. With me sick on top of it, could have been ugly. With the weather turning early this year, it might be the last chance for an overnight trip this year. We learned a lot and will be ready for next season.