hiking · photos · Trip Reports

I’m Happy When I Go Home

R12

My weekend started with that. The cat, who apparently loves to launch himself off my foot – and only me – pulled his favorite stunt on Friday morning. I wasn’t feeling much like hiking on Saturday, but could at least wear shoes.

So the family and I went to where I call home. Because nothing is better than driving up to alpine and blissfully relax, on a warm sunny early May day. Oh wait, normally one doesn’t get to go home here until late June. Oops. I want to love and hate it all at once, with the extreme low snow year.

R15

And this photo says it pretty much in one shot: almost nothing. The PCT runs here on this ridge, at Crystal Ski area in Washington, it should still be heavily covered. It isn’t.

R1

At least one can drive up high enough to get snow, although it is very late season snow – icy and not light and fluffy. It won’t last long (and this is at around 5,ooo ft.)

R7

The Mountain was so pretty over the weekend.

R6

One of my favorite places to take the boys is Tipsoo Lake. Even when snow-covered it is so pretty. Considering most years it is a push to open the highway before Memorial Day, that it opened in April this year was shocking. We had a few good storms right after the passes opened, but with the way it is weather wise, it won’t last long – the lakes are open and melting.

R4

Plenty of bare ground, even in the trees.

R3

Walker had tucked in a couple of gardening shovels, so he wanted to dig out the picnic tables 😉

R2

Le sigh. If only I could have put up a tent here and relaxed for a few hours. Warm, light breeze, no bugs and well, just perfect.

R14

And another little one, hoping he can also dig out picnic tables.

R13

Walker and Alistaire happy on the snow – it was really wonderful up there.

R5

Rainier, flanked by perfection.

R10

Leaving alpine, we drove down to White River, which had opened up on Friday, for the season.

R9

While having a picnic, I walked down to a favorite section of the Wonderland Trail. We shall call this the Graveyard of Bridges. The channels change all the time, and the bridges are easy to replace – find a dead tree, plane and hatch it, attach a handrail and ta-da!

R8

But oh do the glacier river beds provide amazing views of her. And in a few short weeks Sunrise will open, up high above at Rainier…and then I am truly, truly home. It’ll be mine to visit till late September and then she’ll go to bed for Winter.

R16

But for now…yeah, I will take this. It’s been 10 years since a mega low-snow year.

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