Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fall foliage tracker

This is pretty neat - has a fall foliage tracker. Looks like Washington is still in summer mode, despite these trees on my street being the first on the block to change colors. They are always the harbingers of fall for me!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Gothic Basin

Over Labor Day weekend, my friend lb and I went for a day hike out on the Mountain Loop highway. We decided to head up to Gothic Basin, since I'd recently heard from two different people how great it was up there. It was about 5.5 miles to get up to our destination, but well worth the climb. We were rewarded with striking rock formations, green valleys, tarns, and views of the surrounding peaks. When we first reached the basin we turned left instead of right and wandered down to the point where there was a sheer dropoff of about 1000 feet in elevation down to Weden Lake. Realizing this was not quite right, we backtracked and then made our way to Foggy Pond (frequently mistaken for Foggy Lake). We ended up taking the long way around, passing another pretty tarn with a waterfall on the way, but finally made it up to Foggy Lake. Though I have it on good authority that the lake often lives up to its name, it was in fact beautiful and clear when we were there. We picked our way around the lake so we could find a place to swim, though the swim itself consisted of a quick dunk and rushing back out to the warm rocks due to the frigid water temperature. Finally we turned our boots back downhill and made our way back. Foggy Pond tempted us with its much warmer water, but time was of the essence and we knew we needed to make haste in order to get back to the car before dark (it's not July anymore, Toto!). All in all it was a great hike, worthy of the praise it was given that inspired us to go in the first place.

As an added bonus, we stopped for dinner at the first little restaurant we saw, and were treated to the musical stylings of a Guns N' Roses cover band called Max Axle, complete with dancing groupies. Click here to see the rest of the pictures!