Annual Pilgrimage to the Evergreen State
To begin my time in WA I met up with Brad for a fun hike near Mt. Rainier. A short but bumpy ride up a dirt road led us to the surprisingly crowded (for a Thursday morning) trail head to Summit Lake in the Clearwater Wilderness. Upon arriving at the lake we were greeted with quite possibly the best view of Mt. Rainier one can find. No matter how many times I gaze at this mountain I am always mesmerized by its immense size and striking beauty. At the lake we fished for a while to no avail (during my last visit to this lake in the late '90s I caught over 22 fish in an hour). We finally stumbled our way to the top of a great lookout and signed the register.
Though Mt. Ruth is not a "big" mountain or a technically challenging mountain it is a MOUNTAIN with a glacier (albeit a small, mostly nonactive one). Mt. Ruth sits at a prime location to offer summiteers views of Baker, Shuksan, Slesse and the illusive Picket Range. My partner for this trip was Justin May, who previously resided in Vermont but currently calls Bellingham home. We started early and ended up completed the climb in 8hrs round trip. This climb was very straight forward and didn't even require a rope as the glacier was still well covered in snow. A classic ascent with marvelous views!
Towards the end of my stay I drove up to Anacortes and took the ferry out to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to meet Pete. After getting our dry bags packed and the boat loaded, we headed downtown to pick up some supplies. We paddled out to Jones Island which is about 1/2 mile off from San Juan. Conditions were perfect during the crossing and we were lucky enough to get a great campsite right on the water. Once again the weather was amazing and we enjoyed a gorgeous starlight night with raccoons constantly scurrying in the bushes scrounging for scraps of food.
Overall I had a great time in Washington visiting friends and family, while enjoying the amazing recreational opportunities of the PNW. A month's worth of fun packed into a week. Looking forward to next summer!