Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lost Lake, unplanned adventure

What a glorious day. I got in my car with no plan. I was pondering where to go. I was looking for something fairly simple but not too easy. I wanted to immerse myself in the woods. I wanted to be away from people; on Labor Day! I thought of Franklin Falls but it would be crowded and was too easy. I thought of going to the Snoqualmie Middle Fork area but by the time I made my choice my car, headed east on I-90, had passed the exit. So I thought I would try Annette Lake. I did mention it was Labor Day and gorgeous out? When I pulled into parking lot it was full, so I pulled out without stopping. I kept going east past Snoqualmie pass. I realized I had to make a choice soon and I was being a bit foolish. My gas tank was nearing empty.

I took the exit to Stampede pass. I hadn't planned on a long outing. I didn't have supplies or enough gas in my tank. I didn't dare go across the pass. But there was a sign "4 miles Lost Lake". Aha, I had a plan. I love driving on mountain roads. The gravel roads don't worry me. I passed the John Wayne Trail and I was tempted to stop. I've never been on that trail this far east, but now I had my destination set. I was going to Lost Lake. The road got rougher and I climbed above the Lake. I realized I had missed the 'parking lot' for the lake. My gas light had also come on. So I snapped a quick picture looking down on the lake and turned around to see if I could get my little car in and out of the 'parking lot'. No wonder I had missed it, it was a steep drop to a deeply rutted gravel area.

I did manage to get in the parking lot. When we got out I heard an elk! I was delighted. There was only 1 other car there and a couple was unloading a canoe. There were no real trails but after giving Coal a chance to cool off in the lake we began our journey. The lake level was quite low so we traveled along the steep, rocky bank. At first there was a trail of sorts to follow, but we left that behind. We also left people and roads behind and we had such amazing views. The lake was so still and clear. I kept hearing a Kingfisher. Looking across the lake I could see autumn color. It was just so beautiful and quiet.

The lichen is so beautiful if you really look

I love walking with my camera because it helps me to see things. Scrambling across the rocks was hard work but there was such distinct colors and patterns. The hillside was rich with moss and lichen. It's amazing to realize how many different species are living on one rock. I also noticed the distinct water level lines marking the drying of the lake. After scrambling for a ways (maybe 3/4 of a mile) it was time to just sit and enjoy the beauty. I sat and listened to the quiet. Coal got all excited and acted like a pup again because a chipmunk was playing hide and go seek with him from under a fallen log. The game was fun for Coal, since there was no chance of catching the chipmunk. I finally saw the kingfisher I'd been hearing. It flew below us, making me realize how high on he bank I was. I saw fish jump. I watched one large fish come to the surface and feed. You could see the lips above the surface, opening and closing, no different than any goldfish.

I need to find out the name of this peak

We headed back and realized just how much work climbing over the rocks was. We were hot and hungry by the time we reached my car. Coal and I shared the small amount of trailmix I had stashed in my car. I discovered I couldn't get my car to start because the rocky road had bounced one of the connectors to my car loose. I thought I had it tightened back on but after our first bump it came off. You can't even put on hazard lights when that happens! I really needed a pair of pliers, but I finally got it secure. Still, it was a fantastic outing and after getting some fuel (for me and the car) at Snoqualmie Pass, I turned off I-90 and headed down the Denny Creek road so I was out of the heavy Labor Day traffic. I was very tired, but couldn't resist a quick trip to Franklin Falls. It was ridiculously crowded and I didn't stay long but I am delighted I went. I have never seen a rainbow there before.


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