October 29, 2013

Maple Pass

My friend Stacer is here visiting for a week!  After a couple of chaotic months in Seattle, this is exactly the kind of place you want to be.  The quiet, the solitude...the quiet.  You have time to be alone with your thoughts and let them go.  It can be healing.  

And HELLO!?  Mandi dinners and treats and wine and fires in the woodstove & percolated coffee & cozy jammies and snuggly couches and breakfasts?!!  God, I am loooving this time of year and it's a blast to have my friend here.  :)

We'll be hiking Maple Pass this week...  Or what I lovingly refer to as the 'Swiss Alps of Washington' trail and it occurred to me I've never shared these pictures!  And that's crazy because Maple Pass is truly breathtaking...  I thought I'd reminisce.  :)

We did this hike when my aunt and uncle came to pick up the twins.  Our last hurrah... *sniff, sniff*... This is the Overlook.  

I went with the fam in early August but Stace and I are going end of October.
This should be... interesting.  :)

Maple Pass is one big loop.  We went clockwise so it was steeper at the start for us for about three miles.

It's so gorgeous... And cool to see the road that we came in on from so high!  :)

If you look to the left about a mile or two in, there is Rainy Lake. So pretty!!!

There is a waterfall that flows down the side of the mountain into the lake.

Up even further, you can still see the waterfall but you're walking through this lush green mountainside covered in wildflowers. Apparently this is all covered in a couple feet of snow now and is 'incredibly windy.'  Also described as 'a complete winter experience.'  Hmmm...

Oh, look!  It's the fam waiting for me... again.  ;)

And if you look to your right... another lake!  I believe this is Lake Anne.  I could be 8,000,000% wrong about that.

And if you look straight ahead?  YODELAY-HEE-HOO!!!!  :)  :) :)  :)  :)

For the record, I didn't see a Swiss Miss sighting... but even in August, it makes you want to drink hot chocolate and put your hair in braids!

Just ZERO regret about being here.  I can't believe I get to see something so beautiful, let alone hike it, live in it... let it's energy course through me.  Amazing!!!

Lots of switchbacks to get to the top...  Oh, look!  There's my family again way ahead of me.  (It happens).  ;)

I was also pretty camera happy.  I didn't know if or when I'd have the opportunity to hike it again. Thankfully, Stace and I are squeezing in one more time before winter (if all goes as planned)!  And due to the snow, I'm incredibly happy I got these shots when I did.  :)

This is looking back from the top... Pretty breathtaking...

So beautiful!

When Stace and I go, we won't end up doing the whole loop.  These switchbacks are all under snow.  Instead, we'll do an out & back to the top starting and ending at Heather Pass. 

It is absolutely crazy the amount of wildflowers on these mountains during summer...  Pretty orange ones...

And that is what our switchbacks look like from the top!  Kinda cool, huh?

It makes sense when you think about it but I'm always dumbfounded by the fact it's the start of August and there's still snow on the mountains!  I LOVE IT!    

These panoramic shots are NUTS.

It was fantastic to be there with Aunt Amy and Uncle Bill!

You hike these mountains and breathe the air on these trails, taking in the view, and its just so gorgeous you want everyone you ever met to be able to experience it.  

I remember thinking how cool it was for the girls to be able to show my aunt and uncle 'their' Mazama.  And especially to experience such a breathtaking hike.  Perfect family day!!!

You can't believe it's real. This is probably about four miles in... three more to go!

Another panoramic shot...

So we hiked in snow-capped mountains... but off in the distance are the REAL DEAL.  They were covered with snow!  Mid-August and THAT covered.  I can't even imagine what they look like now.  Crazy.  So beautiful... Pretty purple flowers!!!

How do you write this?!  

This time of year the mosquitoes, bees and flies are FIERCE.  We couldn't believe it.  We ate lunch while walking in circles because the insects were so bad.  Ha!

Totally worth it, though... I mean... COME ON ALREADY!!!


Just another random lake out there in the distance.  They're everywhere on this hike.  And again, the water... just the most surreal blue.  It doesn't look real!  This could be Lewis or Wing Lake... I've got them all jumbled.

I thiiiiiiiiiiink this is Lake Anne.  :)

Look at that water!!!  I've said this before in blogs, but the lakes around here all look like mood rings to me.  They're multi-colored and shimmer just like one... 

Awww... I LOVE THESE GUYS.  :)

Wildflowers everywhere... EVERYWHERE!!!


See how it shimmers?  Just imagine it in person on a hot day with a cool breeze...

Absolutely one of the most brilliant and mindblowing hikes I've ever done.  I'm sorry to have missed it this fall!  But if you EVER get the chance to go... this might very well be my favorite.  I have to believe it's one of the most gorgeous places on earth!

Don't think... GOOOOO!!!!  :)  :)  :)

All the beauty in the world,

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