Last month, Andrew and I decided over breakfast that we were terribly overdue for a hike. Since mid-April is early in the season for hiking, we fired up the Internet and searched recent trip reports for something dog-friendly and not drowning in snow. By the time we finished our bagels and coffee, we had decided on Lake Serene.
There was a lot of snow. Three rather steep snowfields to post-hole across, to be exact, and I didn’t bring my gaiters. The hike fell in the category of Fun #2, which is to say, not so much fun at the time, but awesome in glowing retrospect. I might even upgrade this trip to Fun #1.5 because I was so dang eager to get outside and away from novel revisions. It would have taken a lot to spoil my enthusiasm.Stats: 7.2 miles, 2000 ft elevation gain, high point 2521 ft above sea level.
Companions: Andrew, and Jasper the dog.
Quotation of the hike: “Jasper is like a mushroom. They both consume wood.”
Highlights: Gorgeous snowy lake and solitude (compared to what I would imagine a summer day here to be), waterfall.
Low points: Puddles in boots, no gaiters.
The hike was beautiful. The Cascades are always beautiful, and WILD. Honestly I get a bit panicky about the possibility of moving back to the east coast and leaving the Pacific Northwest behind. I have flashbacks of driving around upstate New York with the in-laws (likewise Virginia with my family): They’re so in love with their countryside and kind of shake their heads at our “urban lifestyle” in Seattle. But I look out the window at the scenery passing by, and all I see is farmland.
Much of the east coast is a landscape fundamentally shaped by humans. I don’t see the absence of people–I see a history of people sculpting their environment, stretching back centuries at least. And then I go on a hike outside of Seattle, and I find heart-stopping wilderness. I love it so much, even when my hiking boots are filled with snow and I wish I had just brought my skis already.