Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ice Lake is Enough

I heard a commotion at the Ice Lake junction. Suddenly Ruby burst into view, running for her life. Behind her was an angry deer. A dog chased by a deer! It was an unusual start to a perfect weekend.

My friend T and I hiked up to Ice Lake to spend the night. Unfortunately, this lake has been discovered. More and more people are making the trek up there, some just for the day. Nobody used to do 16 mile day hikes in these mountains, at least it was rare, but it is becoming more common. And the trail runners! Now don't get me wrong, I love a trail run as much as the next person, but who let the news out about this super rocky, steep trail? What I don't like about the trail runners are the ones who aren't local, who think that you should step aside for them just because they are running. Generally I try to do this even if I am  hiking uphill, but the grumpiness that ensues when the trail is narrow and the person has to walk a few steps! Please, people. The trail belongs to everyone.

These are only minor annoyances which quickly faded away as we arrived at the lake.  A strange fog lay over the mountains as we looked for a snow-free place to set up camp.


A friendly group of guys stood around one campsite (and were still standing around it in the same spots hours later). A hammock hanger occupied one piece of territory and a couple other groups filtered in. Despite that we were able to find our own choice piece of real estate.


The dogs didn't really mesh which left me thinking about hiking companions. I'm going through an adventure partner breakup right now, and it's for the best even if it's hard. You have to learn to let go when something isn't working. As far as the dogs, Ruby wanted to play and Molly didn't, and poor Ruby kept persisting, and getting rejected. Ruby finally reluctantly accepted that some dogs, like some people, just are looking for a different experience. I'm with you, Ruby: bring on the fun!


So it was nice to get out with a friend who doesn't ask for much but a beautiful lake and your stove to heat water with. We sat on a hillside watching the sun set. The night wasn't cold, everyone went to bed early, and I slept better than I have in a long time. So what if all hiking partnerships don't work out? There are others that do. The way to look at it is that sometimes, what you have is enough.
My all time favorite hiking companion!

11 comments:

  1. Nice pic of you and Ruby! Having just hiking a crowded Boundary Trail near Mt St Helens, I agree with the observation that more and more people are on trails where I used to find solitude. Although it's good to see more people being active, I too wish they knew more about trail etiquette.

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    1. I'm the first to admit I am super spoiled. I mean, I think yesterday I had encounters with seven groups? Maybe eight? but coming from the "old days" when it might have been 2 or 3, it's harder to accept that things are changing.

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  2. "Sometimes what you have is enough", absolutely. I am spoiled too - I hate the crowds and for me a crowd is pretty much seeing another person...
    Too many humans on the planet...

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    1. Here as you know they get funneled into just a few locations. Hurricane is a zoo because it's the only relatively flat hike. I can't even go there in summer anymore.

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  3. Love the photo of you and the all-time favorite hiking companion! Ice Lake is ice-free! I remember it was covered in early July seven years ago.

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  4. There's a poem called "Friends for a Reason, Friends for a Season." I think it also applies to hiking partners. Basically it says we cross paths with some people for a reason or a season while others are our forever friends. We need both. Letting go and trying out new partners is tough but opens doors. Of course dogs should be our role model. Unconditional fun and love.

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    1. Good point. I'm trying to collect those forever friends. So few of us at this age who still want to get out there. Here, anyway. In other places it's different

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  5. Maybe someday we'll be hiking partners! I think we would mesh well!

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  6. LOL! Trail runners are the damn worst for real!

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