Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On top of the world!

13 years ago, we went on a canoeing/backpacking trip with our dear friends and their little son, and our own little firstborn.
A few days ago, we went on an adventure with them again, except this time, the tiny toddlers were strapping young teenagers who carried a lot of the weight (most of it food, of course).  

In the past 13 years, we added three more kids to the mix among our two families.

Off we went, to a magical place in our backyard, called Anderson and Watson Lakes.  My heart is still so full of the beauty (and sweat) of this hike, and I'm so tired and sore and sunburnt, that I can't really wax poetically about it, so I shall let the pictures speak for themselves.

This is the way in.  You expect fairies to jump out of every corner, but they were kind of hiding from us.  Five kids are probably too loud for them.

After a three-mile hike, this is what you see.  Watson Lakes.  And then it just gets better and better.  No bugs (maybe a few horseflies, but who's counting?), amazingly warm-ish water, and trillions of wild blueberries.

I've never picked blueberries in a more scenic spot, and that's saying something, because I've been at plenty of scenic spots in my life.

The first afternoon up there, Kai (my firstborn who used to be a toddler, remember?) and I explored around the lake, all the while stuffing our mouths with blueberries. At some point I looked at him and broke out into hysterical laughter because his lips were purple. Apparently, so were mine, and he laughed right back at me. 

 Raka, our dog, found a new hobby: picking blueberries. For real. This dog will poop purple for days.

Boy and dog, gorging themselves on blueberries, while Mount Shuksan looks on
While we explored, the two little girls stayed behind and played in the dirt at our campsite. These two were so filthy at the end of the day, we gave up trying to clean them up. Dirt and dust build immunity, right?

Our friend, who is obsessed with fishing, caught enough trout for dinner. Fish and blueberries, anyone?

Our night was a little bit rough. Raka, who had never slept anywhere else than on top of her sofa in our house, didn't want to stay in the tent with Kai but kept prowling around camp all night long, sticking her nose into everyone's faces. The guys all slept out without tents, so they weren't protected from wet dog slobber by nylon.

The stars were sure pretty though!

The next morning, after enough coffee-fortification, some of us headed out along the lake to explore and pick more blueberries. Little did we know that our relaxing walk would turn into a full-on climbing expedition.

No hiking books mention this route, but it's worth following the little mountain goat trail leading up, up, up, through more blueberry shrubs, past scree fields, patches of wildflowers, snow, and little mountain tarns.

I don't know how much elevation we gained on the steep climb, but Steve guesses it was about 2,000 feet in a mile. Steep. Our little six year old Eva charged on, although I kept begging telling her we could stop. No, no. Onward!

The views and rolling in the snow naked were so worth it!

I will leave you with tired legs, aching feet, and a very happy heart.  And possibly purple poop in the future, but I won't tell you about that.


  1. Lookit that impossibly clear water! Your place looks like Switzerland! I just came back from visiting my sister in the Rockies so I know what you're talking about. Living at sea level didn't help me though. It takes me weeks to acclimate to the altitude so no rigorous hiking. Just non-rigorous. Being young helps you no doubt. I didn't want to leave the weather was so nice. Now back in CA I am a bit depressed but weather is changing. Can finally see clouds late afternoon (haze from wildfire persist) and the temps are in the mid 90s instead of low 100s. Marty says summer is over. I say what? anywhere else mid 90s would still be smack dab middle of summer. It's weird.

    I would love to visit your neck of the woods some day but for now we're too busy with the homestead and day jobs. I'm teaching art in after school now.

    1. Oh, that's sounds great! Teaching art!
      I would love for you to come visit one day!
      We will keep offering our homesteading and wilderness retreats for adults in the years to come, so maybe you can make it out to one of them!


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