hiking · Other · photos · Trail Cooking · Trip Reports

White Lupine, A Hawk Fishing and Ice Cream on the PCT

This morning was the start of the heat wave that is expected to hit Washington State this week so what better than to run to the mountains, no? There was a slight chance of thunderstorms so we had sun but also clouds that cooled the air. Jeff joined me for a early leave – which helped us avoid much of the heat.

Due to road closures we had to change plans so ended up Chinook Pass on Hwy 410 for some miles on the PCT. We parked at Tipsoo Lake in Mt. Rainier NP as it is a safer parking lot. Met a sourpuss ranger in the parking lot – which I found odd as nearly every ranger or park employee there is a happy one.Who knows….maybe doing tourist patrol in bug hell was not what they wanted?

We went up the Naches Peak Trail to connect to the PCT.

Looking back at Rainier:


There were Avalanche Lilies everywhere, from fresh ones to those wilting:


The meadows above the little lake were just starting to bloom, full show is still coming. The Lupine is still a week away at least. Magenta Paintbrush was starting to pop.


We walked the trail till we left the park and entered the NF where day use self issued permits are required. We headed downhill on the PCT to Dewey Lakes a good 600 feet below.

Ah yes, let us say that my one vice is I don’t put my real name or full address on those permits – boxes get broken into as well many have no lock on them where you deposit the other half! Last summer I had a “discussion” with a volunteer ranger over that in this section – to which they had no argument over my reasons – being that one can have their info rifled by not-so-good people. I do follow the rules and fill it out with how many are on the trip and days we will be out there. But tell you my special trail names? Squint hard 😉 Lesson is this ladies (and gents): Don’t let bad people know you are out there by leaving detailed info on that you are female and what camps you will be in on a self permit. If a ranger questions you tell them you do NOT feel safe leaving that info for anyone to rifle through. Instead, leave your itenary with trusted people back at home!


We reached Dewey Lakes and wandered around the big one (and later visited the smaller, which has great swimming). The clouds flittered in and kept it cool. The bugs left us alone and we took a nice long break.


We found a great campsite to relax in (most people who had camped overnight seemed to be in a hurry to escape bugs….hmmm….what bugs we wondered for a little longer…..)


Jeff pulled out of his pack this bag – a freezer bag full of ice cubes holding two tiny single servings of Cherry Garcia ice cream he had packed in:


Just how awesome was that? About the bestest!


Jeff enoying his ice cream:


But alas….at this point I went to turn my beloved Olympus camera on and the lens motor died. Talk about bummed!


Oh well, on we continued, wrapping around Dewey Lake where we were treated to seeing fish in the lake and in the stream between the lakes!

But…suddenly the bugs descended on us. Unrelenting. Blood sucking. We were nearly out of the basin and knew that Anderson Lake’s basin would be even worse. We turned and nearly ran down the trail back to Dewey. There we encountered the skinny dipping family only a few feet off the trail (those were some white bodies! I cannot imagine how bad they were being bitten and/or sunburnt…..)

As we hiked back down the lake we were treated to what appeared to be a hawk fishing – it would swoop over the lake then dive down to grab. It was one of those “stop and gawk” moments, and the hawk repeated it a couple times for us. It was very neat to get to witness!

As we were ready to leave the lakes basin I happened to look to my side and saw White Lupine in a sea of Purple! Thank you to Jeff for taking a photo of the flowers 🙂


Until recently I didn’t know it existed – Teresa saw it on Norse Peak on our last PCT trip. So how neat was it to see it myself?

Not a long day, but a very nice hot hike….even if we did donate what felt like 1/4 of our blood to the local “residents”.