Monday, May 30, 2005

Where am I *now*??

Not in an airplane, that's where. Not within sight of an airplane. Not within earshot of an airplane. Not even thinking about airplanes. And loving it!

Dawn and I took a little camping trip over Memorial Day Weekend, making a loop through the Washington Cascades. On Saturday, I got crew scheduling to release me early (once again, Janine, you are a babe!), & we headed for Mount Ranier. The day was clear, providing us with some spectacular views of the mountain.

Unfortunately, all the campgrounds in the area were full, so we continued eastward towards Yakima. We ended up camping at a very beautiful, though primitive, spot alongside the American River.

Sunday, we broke camp early and drove east to Yakima, then north via I-82 & US-97 to Leavenworth, Washington's own "Bavarian Village." We were hoping to camp pretty far up Icicle Creek southwest of Leavenworth; given how busy town was, we weren't sure there would be any sites available. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to find that few of the masses bothered to actually take their Expeditions and Xterras off pavement to camp along the most beautiful stretch of Icicle Creek.

After setting up camp, we took a short (3.5 mi) hike on the Icicle Gorge Trail. It features some great views of the river and surrounding valley, as well as a closeup look at the changing ecosystems in the area.

Dawn and I arrived back at camp shortly before a thunderstorm moved in and soaked everything. After napping the storm away in the tent, we built a campfire & used it to cook one of the best meals I've had in a very long time: lemon-breaded salmon & seasoned red potatoes. We spent a few hours just gazing at the fire & the brilliant stars over hot chocolate before heading to bed.

This morning after breakfast, we took another short hike, this time on Icicle Creek Trail. This trail, used heavily by backcountry backpackers, goes deep into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We did a quick 3 mile roundtrip to French Creek and back.

Once we got back, Dawn and I relaxed by the river for a while before breaking camp & heading home.

Apparently we headed home at the same time as half the population of Seattle. I know...monday afternoon of memorial day weekend, didn't take a genius to figure that one out, eh? We found outselves in stop & go traffic on Hwy 2 from Steven's Pass until Monroe - about 60 miles.

Oh well. It was a great weekend. Since Dawn is a school teacher and will have the summer off, we hope to do a lot more camping the next few months. I love living in the Pacific Northwest.

Back to work tomorrow.


clint said...

AWESOME pics!! Thanks for sharing. Living in Dallas, we don't get to do much camping. Your pic reminded me of when we lived in upstate NY and went camping/hiking in the Adirondacks near lake placid.
I love the NW area and would love to get up there more, especially to do some backpacking and camping.
Thanks again for sharing those pics.

Stephanie said...

absolutely great pictures! Yes, Leavenworth is my most favorite of towns! I live in Couer d Alene, Idaho. Yes, I am hoping that I can sky dive this summer, out in the hayden Airport. oooohhh. Funnnnn. I like your blog. Thanks for helping me visualize the life I want to live! :)