August 24th is a big day here. For reasons that perplex, both of our respective ex-spouses share this birthday. So 8/24 is "happy ex-spouse birthday day" ... and our cat Fergus and poodle Charley were born on 8/24. I realized that I had zero work scheduled for Sunday or Monday (or Tuesday for that matter ... three consecutive days off, oh!, the possibilities!).
I hopped on to the Washington Trail Finder and decided that Heather Lake met all our criteria: less than 2-hour drive, less than 5 miles, rated as kid friendly.
Perhaps the newly-legal marijuana factored into the "kid friendly" reviews ... but, man!, this was one tough hike.
The first 100 feet were great and easy and we're like, yah, we are Rainier hikers, we got this.
Then the remaining 1.95 miles was a series of gnarled tree roots, loose unstable boulders or water-slick granite. Like this little stretch.
James and I are both super proud of our little mountain goats. They did great despite the challenges and the second we got to the top and found the lake, oh!, what a view. Both girls scrambled up to the stop of a boulder to get a better view of the ice blue (and icy!) lake.
One teeny tiny meltdown over which was a 'nicer' boulder on which to dine ... and we settled on this spot. All I'm thinking here is "damn, one energy bar and bottle of water per person and one pound of trail mix ... I totally underpacked!"
And about ten minutes after this idyllic photo was taken, a thunderstorm blew in and it poured rain for at least 30 minutes ... and then hailed. We were oh-so happy to see our car and I was quick to point out how lucky our children were that I had packed dry clothes for them (but not the big people ... but the big people had heated seats for the way home). And a Family First: first drive through ... at a Starbucks. Hot cocoa for the two brave girls in the back, and yes!, of course we need whip cream on top.