Saturday, October 09, 2010

Hiking to Melakwa Lake

This weekend, I had a backpacking trip planned, but it was canceled as it was going to be rainy on Saturday and Sunday.  Friday, however, was still to be a pleasant day, and since I already had the day off, I decided to go hiking.

I headed to Snoqualmie Pass and to the Denny Creek trail head and to Melakwa Lake. I feel comfortable solo hiking there as I'm familiar with the terrain.  I think, though I've not confirmed it, that AT&T has some coverage at least a few miles into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area.

I was ready for a two night backpacking trip, so I just had to downsize my gear for a day hike.  I have the tendency to to pack heavy and even getting rid of a bunch of gear, I still packed heavy.  I did however bring my water filter in lieu of a 3rd liter of water - I would be able to refill at the lake when I stopped for lunch.
It is the season of mushrooms here in the Pacific Northwest.  I saw all kinds of cool looking ones and it felt like I took more pictures of mushrooms than scenery this trip.  At the start of the trail, there was a couple just picking mushrooms and throwing them into a Target bag.  They asked me what I knew about mushrooms because, "one of their co-workers picked a bunch of mushrooms and sold them for $100."  I know enough about mushrooms to know that I'm no expert and wouldn't be picking them without someone who really knows local mushrooms.  I hope that they find an expert rather than a mark.

I only saw three other groups while I was out - the solitude was quite nice on the trail.  I was passed by one lady on the switchbacks to Hemlock Pass, both of us headed to Melakwa Lake.  When I go there, I saw her on one side of the lake and then went the short distance to Upper Melakwa Lake.  She could have her lake all to herself, and I had mine.
Upper Melakwa Lake
As soon as I sat down on one of the large boulders to cook and eat my lunch, a light rain started.  For some reason, this typically happens to me. I'll stop walking and then the weather starts.  I moved to the side of a large boulder to have a little shelter and boiled some water for my lunch and hot cocoa.

I refilled one quart of water with my water filter, treated it and packed up to head out.  My water filter is so cool.  Its smaller and lighter than a quart of water and living in Western Washington, there are always plenty of water sources.  I can safely get away with carrying less water (recall that I like to pack heavy) than I would normally carry.  Had I not brought the filter, I would have carried 4 quarts of water (I know, probably overdoing it)!

I finished my lunch and surprisingly the sun came out.  I was expecting the rain to continue for the rest of the afternoon, but I was glad to not hike in the rain.  In fact, I debated a few times actually putting on my sunglasses!

All in all, it was a nice hike.  Looking out the window as I type this, its raining, which would have made for a less pleasant backpack.  I'm glad I was able to still get outside!



Amelia said...

Great photos!

Beau said...

Amelia - thanks!