(all pictures are low res, for high res click here)
For the first Washington hike this year , I decided on a short trip up to Lake 22. As you can see this area was set aside for research purposes in 1947, cool, eh? On the trip this week is my girlfriend Ellen and her friend Caiti. Luckily, the snow level was at 3,000 ft., so the majority of this trip would be without snow. Less gear needed! Speaking of gear, I just bought a new type of shell jacket that I was itchin' to try out. It is a soft shell that is made out of Schoeller fabric -- woo hoo, this jacket worked awesomely in the rain -- so I ended up buying pants and gloves to match.
Ok, enough with the gear geek stuff - the weather took its tool on this part of the cascades, as was evident by this view of a boulder taking out a foot bridge. When I was hiking along this trail it felt like I was walking back in time, as the old growth trees were still standing. The old growth put me in an Ansel Adams mood, and the pictures reflected that. Moving upward, we came to a clearing followed by a series of moss covered trees and rocks, mixed amongst fallen leaves. As we neared the lake, we followed the creek thru some snow until we finally reached our destination. As you can see, this lake is very similar to Heather Lake, and in fact it is only a mile or so away from it. We sat down, grabbed some lunch and headed back down the mountain in a fairly strong rainfall.
All in all, this was a fun first hike of the year. I'd recommend it to anyone.