I was talking with Cat yesterday when I realized I had not been to Eunice Lake, which is in Mt. Rainier NP, since August of 2005. It was with Cat I had been there last. With the weather being cool this week doing a hike that doesn’t focus on mountain views sounded good. And the cold, breezy weather promised fewer bugs as well.
Ford and I met up with her and we drove to Mowich Lake, along the always interesting “State Highway 165″ which is not paved and is basically a 2 car wide FS logging road. You can tell the out of staters by the white knuckled grip as they drive 5 mph past you…..the straight drop offs the side and the vast views from the clearcuts only make the drive better 😉 Ah, but never fear – once you enter the park all you see is glorious low subalpine forest and then you get treated to one massive lake, Mowich. Just take a word of advice: DO NOT ever use the privies at Mowich. I learned that lesson years ago. You can smell them 20 feet away……or farther.
We had driven up into the clouds and as we stepped out into 46* temps, the clouds were flittering above. Way behind that ridge and beyond is Spray Park…..
We wandered around Mowich Lake on The Wonderland Trail to Ipsuit Pass. Of which I realized every time I have been at this pass it has been clouded over.
Trees on Wonderland Trail:
A few minutes passed and the wind blew the clouds by for a little while – leaving us with a view of sorts.
We went back to the turn off for Eunice Lake and headed downhill. Along the way you cross a number of avy slopes that were brilliant with color from wild flowers.
Eunice Lake. Elevation 5355 feet. The trail to Tolmie Peak/Lookout continues on.
The lookout is visible in the middle of the photo, a square bump.
Fields of Lupine above the water – the air was very perfumed.
Even though it was only in the 50’s, Ford decided to go wading and enjoyed himself till his feet went numb….
For lunch Ford and I reviewed Packitgourmet’s Many Bean Salad.
I had picked up a bag of this meal awhile back and had never gotten around to trying it. Part of it being I just wasn’t sure about it. And it had a LOT of beans. I’d end up grabbing different meals over the past months. Finally today I told myself we would try it out.
Opening it up you have the bag of beans/seasoning, vegetable bag, 2 packets EVOO, 2 packets malt vinegar and a packet of salad dressing.
Knowing how cooked/dehydrated beans work I took a gamble and ignored the cooking directions and did it the lazy way. I boiled the called for 1 1/2 cups water, then added the bean bag and the vegetable bag to the outer heat safe bag. Poured the hot water over, sealed and cozied up for 10 or so minutes. Came back and added in the dressing, the malt vinegar and 1 packet of the olive oil.
The smell was INCREDIBLE! I honestly had been wondering up to the point of opening the bag if I’d be eating stale Luna bars instead. No, it was so good smelling that Ford popped over with his spoon. I took the leftover bean bag, cut off the top and made him a bag as well and split it up between us. He ate his half and then was trying to get mine.
And this was a VEGAN meal! Beans, beans, beans and a lot of veggies. And the kid wanted more.
We all chatted about it – it would rock tossed with pasta and Parmesan cheese to make a hearty dinner for two. Or served over rice. With bacon added.
This is one I will be buying again. And again! I’d eat this at home – that kind of good!
Ford packing up, though he is hard to see:
After lunch and packing up we went exploring. The lake is crossed by trails.
Looking back down the lake:
Looking down from above of a hidden section of the lake:
Cat took this photo of me walking on a trail above the lake:
Ford ahead of me, on a rock section we climbed up:
The view down below, of another section of the lake. This part is shallow and actually balmy. Somewhere I have a photo of a small Ford in fall of 2004 playing in this section.
One last look as we walked back above the lake, before leaving the lake basin:
Ford and I heading back up The Wonderland at the end (Photo by Cat):
Mowich Lake was nearly covered in clouds as we came back, the coves felt almost like standing at the Pacific Ocean – and not in subalpine.
Highlights of the trip were bunnies and deer. Not bad on a very misty day. And I can say that hiking in 50* weather is much preferred to 90*+ days…….