JEFF IS HERE! yay!!!!!


yay for hiking! This weekend was unique. We went 18 miles, compared to the 17 of the first weekend at Mt. Rainier and the 13 of last weekend at Mt. St. Helens. The views were not as breathtaking as the five-mountain view on top of Goat Mountain at Helens, nor were there as many varied landscapes like those at Rainier. But we did have a spectacular campsite on Lake Boulder, where you woke up and exited the tent to find yourself at the edge of a beautiful lake surrounded by tree-covered hills. The weather was clear the entire time, but not too hot, so the 10 miles on the first day went pretty fast. And the second day was a heavily-wooded 3.5 miles until we hit the hot springs, which were amazing.

Of course, I absolutely love hiking. It's great because you don't remember the bad moments, when you look back at it. You don't remember your aching knees as you decend into the river valley, or the bug bites, or the wet sleeping bag, or your blisters. You remember hiking through snow and quaint alpine meadows. You remember the hilarious story about a research group in China asking their native group leader for kerosene to make fire, and getting a Soviet WWII era flame thrower instead. You remember sitting in the flashlight-lit tent, teaching cribbage to the only group member who doesn't know how to play, and having to mentally track your score. You remember seeing the deer, elk, hummingbirds, rabbits, and grouse. You remember making a delicious curry sauce to go with your rice for dinner. You remember the newts sunning in the shallow end of Deadmen's Lake. You remember the mystic beauty of Ipsut Pass in the fog. You remember the laughs, the songs, and the mishaps.

You remember the good times.