June 29, 2006
That’s me dusting off my brain and reattaching the blogging node. Sorry to disappear on all my friends; the last couple of months I’ve been working about 70 hours a week with darn close to zero internet access and even less free time.
Fried? Why yes, thank you. Quite crispy, really.
But here I am, after all that, and while I can’t promise instant full-blogging resurrection, I think I will be making my presence known.
First things first, though. It’s summer! And at least in Washington (state, for all you east-coasters who can’t remember initials), that means absolutely gorgeous high 70’s and low 80’s, with no humidity, and smog-free views with absolute clarity from Mount Rainier to Mount Baker. That’s an easy 200 miles, and that’s just from my car as I drive across a floating bridge on a glacial lake in the middle of every industry known to man.
I love the northwest. (Gloating? Anyone? Bueller?)
Of course, it’s so fantastic, I want to be OUT IN IT!!! So two weekends ago, I made my first trip to the Cascades for an inaugural hike. You may recall my attempt to do this last year, in which I drove Ghost up into the mountains on an unmarked gravel road in an attempt to get away from the freeway, and ended up almost stranded on a one-lane ice patch. I made a 763-point turn, necessary because of the 75 foot dropoff to one side, and the sheer mountainside to the other, turned my two-wheel drive around, and swore to the mountain guardians I would never go on another unmarked road without a sure map and a four-wheel drive if they would just get my poor car off that mountain in one piece. Of course, it was also April, which is not the smartest time to try recreational hiking in the Cascades, unless you’re planning for snow, which I was not.
This time I researched my options.
Franklin Falls. The route up gives you a chance to marvel at some younger hemlock and cedar, and if you’re lucky, a few douglas firs left over from the old growth forests in this area. The trail is easy, and since I’m not TF6S, and therefore cannot leap tall mountains in a single bound (at least not yet), a slight 500 ft. elevation gain makes for a bit of a climb but nothing strenuous. Also, since it’s only about 2.5 miles round trip, it’s a great short hike for a picnic or an hour’s exercise while you’re out.
The falls are gorgeous, and if you get to Denny Creek, there’s a spot which, in later months, will be thronged with families, but since it was June, was deserted. The river comes over three large (as in four or five yards) rocks, and depth in most places is only a few inches deep, with lots of little pockets and rills to wade in and enjoy – for about 3 minutes, before your feet freeze from the glacial runoff.
It was a fantastic Sunday afternoon hike, and yes, I waded. How could I not? Lest you all wail and gnash your teeth in despair at my good fortune, I have to admit that just because it’s beautiful weather now doesn’t mean it’s available all the time.
Okay, fine. Yes, it was raining the entire time. Now who’s gloating?