Saturday, September 8, 2012

8 September - Day 138 - Alpine Lakes Wilderness

From Snoqualmie Pass (Mile 2402) via Goldmyer Hot Springs Alternate Trail to Snoqualmie River Bridge (11.4)

Total Miles: 11.4

Dionysus here. Our town days have become sprawling and protracted affairs. Once in town our battered and defeated bodies give way to the simple comfort of beds and cushioned seats and we become nearly immobile. Ice cream is nearly the only incentive we have to move at all. I honestly don't know how we make it back to the trail. Well, we've come this far ...

This particular town/vortex was Snoqualmie Pass. It was a convenient stop in that the restaurant was inside the hotel and ice cream was right next door. We had planned on an early break instead, despite being fully packed early in the day, we stayed past second lunch before mustering the momentum to get back to the trail.

We decided to take an alternate route out of town which would take us by a hot springs so we could soak our bones. The springs didn't work out in the end but the hike was really beautiful. It started out a very full tourist-thronged weekend trail (bumper to bumper) but by the five-mile mark, around Snow Lake, the trail emptied out a bit and got really gorgeous. 

Pan and Seano at Snow Lake (Dionysus is the photographer).
From Snow Lake the path became increasingly overgrown -- dangerously so -- with blow-downs and crumbling trail edges on steep rocky slopes. It would be very easy to twist an ankle on this remote alternative route (we don't recommend it really). But for SoBo's, this would be less snowy than the high peaks passage.

Makeshift bridges provided by big trees was always the norm in the Cascades.
 By the time we got to the Goldmyer camp, it was beginning to drizzle. No room at the inn, alas, so we had to camp outside the Goldmyer boundary the other side of a nice bridge beside the river.

We camped on the banks of the river next to a very old cedar (800 or 900 years old).

It rained and thundered in the night for the first time since Oregon. Enchanting!

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