It has been so chilly and wet in the Seattle area that it’s hard to believe we’ve almost reached the summer solstice and are about to turn the corner to shortening days. I really miss the warm springtime and early summer of other places I’ve lived. The risk of course is that if you wait until it actually feels like summer to do summertime activities, most of the summer will have passed you by. So this weekend Amy and I decided we’d get out for a hike no matter the weather.
Neither of us had explored the wilderness around Mt St Helen’s so we decided to explore. We found a lakeside hike that circled Coldwater Lake, with offshoot trails that led to the top of nearby ridges where in better weather we’d have seen views of the old volcano. As it was, the clouds were low, with dense fog and misting rain that limited visibility. But even so the landscape was beautiful. The trail led us through lush deciduous forest carpeted with ferns and beds of native bleeding hearts, with the occasional open meadow scattered with purple penstemons and bright red Indian Paintbrush.
We didn’t make it all the way to the end of our trail. A stream crossing the trail was swollen with the recent rain and seemed more treacherous than we were willing to risk, so we turned back around and instead took one of the ridgeline trails to see the views. All in all, we probably still got close to the original estimated 8 miles for the hike.
The weather and distance from civilization meant we had the trail nearly to ourselves, with only a few other hikers. But we did manage to snag one long enough for a quick photo of us in the woods.