Well, it’s been an eventful weekend. The photos you’ll be enjoying were taken during our hike to Lake Annette, but the story is going to start before that.
First, the husband and I discussed the possibility of moving out of the US this weekend. We are the land of the free and the home of the overly politically correct. I, for the most part, keep my views to myself. Mostly because I don’t like conflict. But when TV Land cancelled the Dukes of Hazzard because of the confederate flag on the General Lee I about lost it. The husband pointed out that he’s the one that watches Bo and Luke, not me. But, still. We as a country seem to, more and more often, be crossing the line into the land of utter ridiculousness. I’m usually pretty patriotic and supportive of our country, but found myself struggling a bit this 4th of July.
I don’t know that I feel better, but let’s move on. On the morning of the 3rd a girlfriend and I did a local 5k. It was painful. I envy those who love to run, but I am not one of those people. I always feel happiest when the run is over. However, there was a highlight to this race (besides supporting a very good cause): I won a drawing for a $60 gift certificate to a local waterfront restaurant. I was and remain very excited. I told the husband I’d take him on a hot date.
Late Friday afternoon the husband and I headed to Seattle for an 8 pm Sounders game. We landed back at Shawn O’Donnell’s, which I discussed in a previous post. The cider was cold, the Reuben still amazing. We got to the stadium a little after 7 and it was 85 degrees. Holy crap has it been hot here in Western Washington! And, yet, I remain pasty white. It is what it is.
After a bit of a struggle the Sounders triumphed over DC United. We got back to our car around 10:30 and headed to the Bellevue area to spend the night. Usually we attend a party on the 4th, but this year we decided to combine the game with an overnighter and a hike followed by a quiet BBQ at home. Just us. It was nice. Really nice.
Since we were literally planning on being in the hotel room for no more than 8 hours we made reservations at a Days Inn. Meh. Not great, not awful, but the price was right. I will note that the pillows were like rocks. Like Fred Flintstone pillows.
We awoke early, got dressed and considered breakfast. The hotel offered a modest continental breakfast, but there was also a McDonald’s next door. I still can’t believe it, but I asked the husband if he wanted to go there. He eagerly accepted. I don’t have anything against McDonald’s. It’s just that if I’m going to consume that many calories for a burger and fries I’m going to go someplace local that can really do a burger and fries, know what I mean? That being said, I like their egg McMuffin and hashbrown combo, though I can’t remember when I last had one. Oh, wait, I had one the morning of the 4th.
We hit the trailhead about 8 am. There were probably ten or so cars already in the lot, but you can camp at Lake Annette so we suspected some of them were overnighters. According to the WTA website, the hike has a 1400 foot gain over 3 3/4 miles. It was a steady climb that got the blood pumping, but was not terribly difficult. There were a lot of roots/rocks on the trail, so we had to be watchful to make sure we didn’t trip and fall down and roll around, but, again, not difficult. Particularly not when compared with Mt. Ellinor last weekend.
The trail starts in forest and stays in forest the whole way up, which was nice as it was already 70 degrees at 8 am. It was beautiful. For the first mile or so we had the constant hum of I-90 in the background. After leaving that behind we enjoyed the sound of the forest. Lots of happy birds, a few streams here and there. Not a lot of foot traffic going up. We were passed by a few overnighters coming down, but we were hopeful that we would enjoy some privacy at the lake since we got a decently early start.
Not a lot of flowers in the forest. A few here and there in areas that opened to the sunlight, but nothing significant. Those same openings provided some picturesque views of the hills around us. Oh, and I should note that all photos were taken with the little point-n-shoot. I didn’t want the big camera to sit in the car in the heat while we were at the Sounders game, so I left it home. I missed it, though it is really nice to be able to stick a camera in my pocket and go.
We arrived at the lake a little after 10. It’s a beauty. Clear water surrounded by hills. We wandered the shore a bit, though it’s not possible to circle the entire thing. There were some people there, but we were able to find our own log, kick off shoes and enjoy an early lunch in the sunshine. The bugs definitely increased once we reached the shore, including some nasty little biting flies. However, there were also a lot of colorful butterflies. I love butterflies. They’re just so…happy.
We sat on our log and watched with envy as two hikers some distance from us pulled out cheap air mattresses, blew them up and proceeded to float around the lake. Note to selves: next time we hike to a lake toss in flip flops and cheap air mattresses. Sigh. Lesson learned.
We headed back down around 11:30. I had read on the WTA website that hikes in the Snoqualmie area tend to be very crowded due to the area’s proximity to Seattle. So, we decided to count how many people going up we passed as we made our way down. 152. You heard me. In the 3 3/4 miles back to the car we passed 152 people. We didn’t include babies (4) or dogs (numerous) in that count. Crazy.
We got back to the car around 1:30, which was perfect. An hour and a half drive home followed by a shower and a nap and I was ready for the rest of the 4th. Which I will tell you about in a later post. 🙂