Olallie Lake via Pratt Lake Trail

Oh wow to this hike! We went with Sausage and Igloo today, which is lovely to share hiking with them.

Firstly we were all a little surprised at how much snow was at the start of this trail, I expected snow but not until a little further up. We started with our chains on our feet to from the very beginning and kept them on the whole way. I kinda wished I had my snowshoes for the end of the hike as it would have made it easier than the pot holing we ended up doing. But I made it to the lake!! 😀

I need to take my photos off my camera, so will do that tomorrow – currently I’m sat in front of the T.V at 9:30pm with The Vampire Diaries on! I’m watching from the beginning as I missed the last 2 seasons. Any way I digress — I’ll update this post tomorrow. In the meantime have some photos from my phone of Olallie Lake ❤

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Project 365 Week 11 & 12

After last weeks high of managing to write up just one week, we are back to a two week write up!  It is beginning to look like spring, it has also chucked it down with rain almost every day, there are a lot of cats and two hiking trips!  Happy Mother’s Day to those in the UK 🙂

Week 11

Day 71 – The morning after my works auction, we were headed down the elevator to check out, and look at that ceiling!

Day 72 – A lazy Monday for me, and the cats too. I couldn’t help by snap a sleeping Max in his basket.

Day 73 – Daffodils!! They are coming! I really need to dig out the dead autumn plants and get the ground ready for my summer plants. If the rain and cold ever stops that is!

Day 74 – My crocus’ all came up, I’m really happy these bloomed as I thought the ground had been too hard and cold for them. I also have a whole hanging basket of purple and white blooms 🙂

Day 75 – One thing I’ve wanted since moving to Seattle is Chinese Take-Away in a box like this, like in Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS (ok they are Portland but it’s near to us in Seattle!) and other American shows. We have failed to find somewhere that does their take out in these boxes but a colleague of mine came in with this take out box with Chinese in!! I was very excited, we are hoping to go to Downtown Seattle just to get take out in a box 😀

Day 76 – It is St. Patricks Day and we cannot find any Guinness! Luckily after this photo we found some 🙂 Bottled and a bit fizzy…oh well, they tried!

Day 77 – We went for a wander to pick up some craft supplies from Joanns and Micheals and on the stage in the food court was a lady playing a portable organ! It sounded very realistic and yet it was so little!

Week 12

Day 78 – Hiking with friends. See here for the full post. This is a place called Olallie Lake. We’ve tried getting here before, but not made it. This time being snow covered we tried an alternate route and came up Pratt Lake/Granite Mountain Trail and then off to Olallie. I was so happy to reach this beautiful snow covered view.

Day 79 – Hiking again! This time to Gold Creek Pond. See here for full post on this day. I love that it is March and we can drive an hour from home into the mountain and find this amount of snow. It is like Narnia ❤

Day 80 – Hubster and I went for a local wander along Kirkland waterfront. This is the view over Lake Washington to Seattle.

Day 81 – Sleepy cat! Marie snuggled in bed.

Day 82 – I went out with a friend for dinner after work and came home to Max cat poking his head out of the side hole of their tunnel. Funny monster 🙂

Day 83 – World Market is a store we go to a lot, they have a lot of foreign foods like Bisto Gravy Granules and Birds Custard Powder! 😀 Found some flowering tea in here.

Day 84 – I didn’t take any other photos today which was silly. We had a nice morning, we saw Beauty and the Beast, followed by brunch at Homegrown – a lovely sandwich and salad place! Then a trip to Half Price Books which has many books, some second hand and some new. I love to check out the music section and found a book of Beatles Songs and Bach Two Part Inventions! Both came to $18!!

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Gold Creek Pond 03/20/17

I went on this hike with one lady – usual hiking buddy – and we hoped to meet the other one on the trail….which we did! Lovely to see her briefly too.  Driving along the i90 towards Snoqualmie Pass we were able to see how much snow was still around. I knew that people were still skiing and snowboarding up here, but it wasn’t until I saw the snow mounds on either side of the road that I realised just how much they had been clearing the roads over winter. It was really high and we could not see over the top, not even to see the gas station!

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I thought I had snowshoed around here last year, but couldn’t remember for sure until we arrived. There were not many people when we parked up on the road side, using a Sno-park pass. I did not drive this morning because I don’t have one of those pass. I have the other two popular ones though!

I was not as cold as the last time we went out for a snow covered hike, but it was still chilly and so much snow! More than I expected, but after a weekend of lovely weather, the amount of foot traffic had really packed the snow down so the snowshoes stayed on my pack.

We wandered around the lake originally, and then veered to the left off onto another trail through the trees and up onto what would be a driveway for the little huts which are out there, and then onwards to Gold Creek Trail.

The little huts and homes in-between the trees are beautiful, some are more modern and some look like they need a little t.l.c on the outside.

We had agreed that we would do around 5 miles this morning, which worked out brilliantly as we turned around and ate when we reached a clearing which had recently had an avalanche down it. We decided we had walked far enough and also neither of us particularly wanted to cross this area. We had no doubt that it was safe at that time, but the sun was out and it was quite warm. I had gone down to wearing only my fleece as had become quite warm. We didn’t know how soft the snow would become a couple of hours later, and we still had 3 miles to the end of trail, plus 3 miles back. This trail will be there another day.

On our way back we stopped at the restrooms…I am incredibly happy to have discovered these! Clean, indoors, and warm 🙂 There is also a little cafe, where I tried a raspberry white mocha! Nom nom nom….oh and a snickerdoodle cookie!

I think I want to camp here next winter. It is a safe trail, people use it, plus it is close enough that if I needed to I could get in the car and drive home to a warm bed 🙂

Wallace Falls 03/05/2017

It has been a while since we’ve gone out with Igloo and Sausage but we managed it today. This is a hike I’ve done before but one which neither them nor Hubster has done.  We really wanted to get out, but sometimes at the weekend we have a lazy time and struggle to stick with any plans we try to make. By roping in Igloo and Sausage and agreeing to have a normal timed breakfast before we drove, it meant we committed!

We met at 9am at Homegrown in Redmond, a place we go to too often! Starting the day with a Avocado, Egg and Cheese sandwich and a tea or coffee, before the 1 hour drive up and along to Route 2.

Wallace Falls is a lovely hike with a lot of space to take your time and resting at different view points of the waterfall. The trip reports on WTA read that this would be an almost dry trail which I looked forward to. We have had a lot of snow, and some of our trails nearby are still in high avalanche territory, so finding one which would be suitable for our friends who do not have spikes or poles etc,  but also one which would be interesting for me can be difficult. I managed it this time!

I’ve multiple photos from this hike, using my camera until I filled the memory card (rookie move) and then having hubster continue to take photos on his, then asking for Igloo to share his — I wish I had waited for the new iPhone in  the plus size, the portrait option is AMAZING — huge thanks to him!

The trail began clear, slightly wet ground but easy going. Some trees in the growth had come down in recent high winds, but the path was clear. I like this route because you see trail runners, dogs and families along it. As we got higher the rain began, until we got higher above some of the lower tree line, and the rain turned into snow. The snow began to settle the further up we got and it was beautiful. We didn’t need spikes or anything but I do think if the weather up there gets any colder I’m sure the ground will freeze.

I’ve used a collage maker to upload as I did not want to take up too much space on Instagram and I quite like how these turned out 🙂

I’m never much good at the writing up of my hikes, and think maybe I should take notes, but until I decide how I want to write up you can have a lot of photos to look at!

Some from me, some from Igloo and none from Hubster as he hasn’t shared them with me!

Rattlesnake Ledge 15/01/2017

Brrr…not as cold as Franklin Falls, but it was still quite chilly! We went up with a friend of mine who doesn’t get to hike with others very often. The recent trip reports on WTA mentioned that microspikes would be needed and I am so pleased we took ours. At times it was very very icy and we saw too many people going up in bog standard trainers. Yes I am judging. It winds me up! Rattlensnake Ledge is one of the easier hikes, and therefore very popular at weekends, however people need to take responsibility for themselves.

Unfortunately I should probably put ourselves in this category too. My friend lost one of her microspikes on the way up, so Hubster kindly gave her his to wear as he was in hiking boots and had poles, we thought this would be enough. In hindsight, we should have just turned back.

It was a lovely hike to the top, Rattlesnake is definitely a easier hike than I’ve been doing so it was really nice for me to take it easy. The sky was clear blue for the entire morning. I only had my iPhone to take photos on today, so I have very few. The path was easy to manage, there was a mixture of snow coverage, dirt, and ice. Spring is on the way for sure. 🙂  Enjoy the few photos I took!

At the top, Hubster went for his water and discovered that it had leaked in his bag and over his camera — sadness number 1.

On our way back down, Hubster slipped on the ice and fell off the side of the path ripping his jacket and bruising himself but thankfully nothing more than bruises. He slipped and fell a few more times on our way back down to the car — sadness number 2.  We spoke to a lot of people going up in trainers, wooly boots and other stupid footwear combinations, told them it only got more icy on the way up and that they really need microspikes. Everyone ignored us. I hope no one else fell of the trail into bush and injured themselves.

On our way back on the freeway, a stone pinged onto the windscreen and cracked it — sadness number 3.

Gold Creek Pond 03/22/16

I finally had the opportunity to use my snow shoes which we brought from Costco before Christmas. This was not the original plan, but because I managed to hurt my thigh yesterday by slipping on the Ira Springs Trail I asked to go somewhere nearer. I was the driver too, and couldn’t face driving almost 3 hours with a sore leg!

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I love this view. This was a great beginners snowshoe, which was great for me and Sausage (who also came too, might remember her from an earlier post…another Brit living her with her Husband – Igloo – and we spend a lot of time with them).

You simply walk around the pond!

There were a couple of bridges to walk over, a small section of the pond was unfrozen and the water was completely clear. We could see the bottom without being too near. Some Geese were having a little swim on this tiny area of unfrozen ice!

Enjoy the views 😀

Ira Springs Trail 03/21/16

So I hiked this with my two hiking buddies from the Ladies Hiking Group, we were aware of the low avalanche warning and for me I certainly feel comfortable speaking to the others if I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t continue on a route. This trail proved this, and also that we hike similarly to each other as we all felt the need to turn back at the same time.

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Turn back point

We met together and S drove us to the trail head, this was a point I had never heard of before. I hiked Ira Springs last year when I visited Hubster and remember it being really hot! We parked lower down, hiked through the trees and then came across the car park which was familiar to me.

Lovely water streams and mini-water falls along the way, a lot of trees which look blown down but the trail itself was clear from debris. Sometimes we needed to go under some trees but they were alright, nothing strenuous :-p

We enjoyed a brief lavatory break at the car park before continuing up, there were a couple of cars so I expected to see some people on the way. I think we saw some as we were coming down!

The trail began clear and open and relatively easy. Snow appeared along the trail the further up we went. Now, I’m writing this up in June, so my brain is foggy and I can’t remember when the snow appeared, or when we turned off to follow the main trail up instead of turning left and going up the “old” trail. So enjoy some photos!

The view part way up was spectacular! Just after taking those, we crossed an avalanche route. The first one was safe and secure, however once we had passed the next set of trees we had a look and decided not to cross the next one.

You can see how steep the sides are at this point, and after looking at the snow further up and seeing that some of it hard slipped we decided to turn back. This is when I took a small tumble down the side. It was not very far, no more than 2 metres, but honestly it felt like further! I now have a love hate relationship with a tree…..I love that it was there in my way to stop me slipping any further, but I hate that it hurt when I bashed into it. I hate that it gave me a bruise, but I love that it was nothing more serious. We took a slower pace down, partly I think because my confidence was shot after this stage.

We continued downwards and it was over a lovely day. I know since writing this the other 2 ladies attempted this hike again whilst I was in the UK, and made it to Mason Lake. Yay go ladies!

Licorice Fern Trail 03/05/16

An afternoon hike for me and Hubster today. I saw this hike posted on the Ladies Group but on a day when I would be unable to join them, but it looked like a nice one so I nabbed it!

Licorice Fern Trail is about 4.5 miles long, with not a huge elevation so was perfect for filling some time in the afternoon. It was not too far to drive to which was nice as well. It still has not sunk in just what amazing outdoor activities we have less than 1 hours drive from us.

I drove us down today *shock* I actually offer to drive places now, I’m even slightly worried about driving my mums little Fiat 500 when I arrive back NEXT MONTH! NEXT MONTH!!!

The parking lot, is actually road parking. Easy to get to though, and there is a clear sign of where to begin the hike.  We followed the path along and lowered down towards a small stream/creek on the left hand side and soon the path headed upwards so the water became below us. You could tell that we have been having wind storms lately, there were a lot of tree branches on the path and to the side of it. This was such a quiet trail – we saw 3 pairs of people on the first section.

We continued following the path until we came across Licorice Way, this is a road! You cross the road, walk a little to the left and rejoin the trail.

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We came across a couple of families and another pair, but apart from that noone else. It was very peaceful. There was only one section of the trail which was tricky and that was simply because a tree had fallen across which we needed to climb over. Other than that, it was a clear and easy hike.

It was recommended to me to look at Geo-cache’s so I’ve installed this onto my phone, only the free version so far, and there was one along this route. Very pleased to have found it! It took a while – this was a kiddies cache, so a little embarrassing – and had a peek inside. So cute! I didn’t have anything to leave behind so I didn’t take anything. Roll on the next one to look for 😀

Once we reached the end of the Licorice Fern Trail, we turned left and followed the Indian Trail up to the Far Country Lookout, before heading back the way we came.

We tried to find Far Country Falls, but managed to miss the turning somewhere, and ended up by a few houses and the end of the trail! We turned back and went back the way we had come, along the trail, across the road, back on trail all the way to the car. The only thing I really needed was a bathroom!

Mount Si Old Trail 02/29/16

The ladies I hiked with, minus one who needed to head back down. Next time!

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I knew this would be a hard hike, it is steep and long, plus I need to carry my own pack. There are some reasons why I married Hubster :-p

This was another Ladies Group Hike, and I really can not express how thankful I am for finding this group on Facebook. I met lovely women of all ages and countries and I love the conversations we have along the way, and of course I am really enjoying all these new places I get to visit.

Mount Si is in the same area as Talus Loop, Little Si and Teneriffe Falls so I am now very confident in driving this way.

Weather forecast as usual was *rain* and I saw some posts about snow towards the top of Mount Si so I had multiple layers, plus wet weather gear. I still struggle to regulate my temperature when I hike or run, I haven’t worked out why and I don’t remember having this problem in the UK. Changes in food, weight, muscle gain maybe? Anyone have ideas?

The Washington Trail Association is my go to website before I hike, it usually has good descriptions of the trail and directions also members can upload trail reports when they have completed a trail so often you can read about the hike conditions from the previous few days. See here for Mount Si’s page.

The Old Trail starts from the Little Si trail head, and follows the same route until after the Boulder Garden 2nd turn off on the right. There isn’t a sign marker, but one of the ladies we were with knew where we needed to turn off. The trail forked with a trail upwards and the Little Si trail to the right. Upwards we went!

This trail began to get really steep and I was thankful for having my poles with me! Also for having layers I could take off. Yay to hike number 1 in a t.shirt 🙂 I also really considered taking off my hiking trousers and being in leggings only, however it was a smart move to keep them on – it was cold at the top….brrr

There were many switchbacks on the way up, therefore many places to stop for a breather aka photo opportunities. After a while we joined onto the main Mount Si Trail so followed this to the top.

The temperature dropped, and snow appeared along the side of the trail. Spikes were not required today, but I can see how they would have been necessary a few weeks previous. The steepness really worked my legs hard, my thighs began to ache and I could easily have turned around if I wasn’t with a great group of ladies. The rain still held off which was great, because we still got quite wet from the melting snow in the trees.

Freedom The Top!

It was so cold, and so beautiful. We said goodbye to one member of the group at this point. The rest of us scrambled over the rocks – there was a path – and headed towards Haystack. 3 members of the group headed towards the right so look more closely, and 2 of us veered to the right to look at the view, take photos and eat lunch! Sneaky little birds tried to get our food, fortunately they did not like the look of my pasta and chicken! They flew off to bother a gentleman instead 🙂

Once we headed back down, we said goodbye to 2 members who hung back at the top for a little longer. 3 of us enjoyed a chatting hike down, weather temperature increased and we added the Boulder Garden Loop onto our hike (by accident!) as we came down back to the parking lot.

I ended the hike in my t.shirt again. This makes me happy, it is definitely nearly Spring 😀

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Roll on the next group hike with these and more lovely ladies.

Wallace Falls 2/16/16

Two hikes this week 🙂 Off to another falls today, a later start and I’m carpooling with another lady so am meeting in a carpark at 8:30am. This is another hike which will not take all day, and I’m enjoying having the rest of my afternoon to do something else. Sleep, eat….crochet a baby blanket for my friend!

Today three of us went to Wallace Falls, just under a 6 mile round trip.

We all chatted along the trail so I’m struggling to remember what the path actually was like, but I am pretty sure it was well maintained and non muddy. I didn’t slip over, and my trousers weren’t covered in mud!

There were a few stops along the way at view points of the falls and river, with seats and places to stop for a longer break or sandwiches. We crossed a bridge to start with and that was the point at which I realised I did not have my camera, and therefore needed to use my phone. Which of course, I knew was nearly at capacity for storage. *sigh*

The lower, initial start of the trail was easy going and at each view point it began to get a little harder. There were small signs which noted whether the next section was “more difficult” “difficult” etc

The rain kindly held off for us, and I got hot so for the first time since before Christmas I was able to hike without a coat on. This made me quite happy as must mean Spring is on its way…woohoo!

This is another hike I would like to go back to when the sky is clear. It was beautiful to see on a cloudy day, but again there were points through the trees where we could have seen some spectacular views but the clouds were in the way!!

We were almost the only people on this trail. We saw a couple of people on our way up, and then some smaller groups as we neared the bottom. Easy drive out there, so I feel comfortable going that way again by myself, but of course it is nicer to share a ride with someone else. Even better if there is a gorgeous black lab in the back 😀