In late October, we got a collective bug up our butts to take a hike before it was too late in the season. As an intrepid last minute planner and avid indoorswoman, I did an internet search for “fall hike Washington” and found a description of Blue Lake, which sounded lovely. “Imagine a short and easy hike to a beautiful, deep blue lake. Add in views of several stunning North Cascade peaks. Then ring the lake electric yellow of larches. Sound good? If so, definitely add this hike to your October larch march.” Sound good? It sounded great. Of course, when we arrived, we were completely and utterly unprepared for it to be the frozen pass of Mount Caradhras. I swear, you could almost hear Saruman laughing at us from on high. But damn it, we were there to hike, and we were going to hike, adverse weather conditions or no adverse weather conditions.
The hike itself was fairly easy, even in the snow. There were only a few patches where the path was muddy or icy; the worst bit was when it got icy and there was a steep drop-off to one side, so we made sure to go slow and cling to the wall so as not to have our corpses become a warning for others. I mean, yes, I live my life as a warning to others, and I imagine my death will do the same, I’m just not ready for it yet. Ostensibly, it’s called Blue Lake for the color of the lake. I can’t verify this, as the lake was frozen over on our trip. Next time I go, it will have to be in August/September so as to see for myself.
Since we found ourselves with a lot of unexpected snow, the only proper way to deal with it was to make snow angels. I may have had a numb butt for the rest of the day, but it was totally worth it.
On the hike back to the car, it started to snow, so we redoubled our efforts to get back faster, as we didn’t have chains for the car. It was fall, it’s frankly a miracle that we had hats and gloves. It was definitely a beautiful hike, just not the hike we were expecting. Damn you, Saruman!