Thursday, January 14, 2010

Engagement Hike

On August 21st, a group of us set off towards the North Cascades. The trip there was very ridiculous and tiring, being stuck in traffic for hours traveling up I-5. The mountains were a welcomed sight for all of us. No more city, just nature......ahhhhhhhhh. It was my girlfriend (now fiance) April, her sister Janell,  janells boyfriend Nathan, my oldest daughter Morgaine and I who all went. This was my daughters first hike, and for age 9 she did an outstanding job, she made her dad proud, that's for sure!

Because of the traffic and the shopping trip for final supplies, we didn't get to the trail head until about 7 pm, so we had a little time to hike and it is only 2 miles to cutthroat lake to camp, so we just went for it. It was still light out when we got to the lake but a new sign posted near there let us know that camping by the lake wasnt allowed any more, which makes sense. 8 years ago was the last time I had been up here, so I perty much knew what i was doing, so I decided to have everyone follow me further up the mountain to a great camp spot that I know of, but it seemed closer than it really was. I thought it was only a mile up the switchbacks, but my memory had failed was more like 2 more miles up the switch backs! so here I am telling everyone that we were almost there, when in fact we weren't even close! We had head lamps and were OK with hiking in the dark( which i strongly recommend anyone to do....very beautiful at night with the stars out) except for morgaine, being 9 she is still slightly scared of the dark, and well, we were getting hungry and after assuring everyone that we were almost there I decided to call it quits because I knew morgaine was having a hard time, and we just needed to get cozy so I found a flat spot off the side of the trail and set up camp, while Nathan cooked some grub. After a night of cold winds and morgaine having to go pee every 5 minutes, the sun came up and I decided to go walk around and check out the scenery. I headed up the trail maybe 20 yards because I recognized the terrain, and sure as shit, there was the camp spot!!! It was a very funny moment.........these things only happen to me!! I love adventure! So we literally picked up our tents and carried them to the other spot! At that point it was getting warm, so we made our plan to hike up to the pass. We packed some water, some food a windbreaker and headed on up! Nathan found his own "shortcut" on the way up and we ended up there before him, but he had his own fun adventure to tell when he finally reached us. He was just thrilled that he got to hike on the pacific crest trail which intercepted with the cutthroat trail. Morgaine did not want to come down off the mountain at all, she took back all the slander towards hiking she had been belting out the night before and now wanted to live on the mountain. It is such a beautiful view from up there.We ate a nice hot meal, laid in the sun, took pictures, and made our way back down the mountain. We got to our campsite, and once again planned our next activity, which would be dinner. Janell and Nathan headed down the trail about 1.5 mile to nearest water to fill up so we could have a good meal, in the meantime April, Morgaine and I took a small nap to get re-energized! after our nap I got up and it was freakin' cold!!! I couldn't stop shivering! So I had a few shots of vodka......that's a good warm up! At about that time the cute couple had returned with the it was time for me to pull out my chef skills and cook up some cheesy tuna helper and some hot cider........anything is good in the mountains! After the dishes were done and food put away, April and I made our way out to the lookout close to our camp, at twilight ( my favorite time of day) I asked April to marry me. Perfect. We all made our way to bed, and woke up dirty and cold thanks to the CRAZY wind! we just packed up and head out down the mountain. We went into Winthrop had a burger EVER by the way...we gassed up and headed on our merry way home. We took a few pit stops, one for picture taking and another for morgaines ice cream reward for climbing the mountain!

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