Ali + Kate Attempt Hiking Again
If you haven’t been following along on Instagram, we’re back in Seattle! While we were in St. Louis, a friend of ours posted a photo at this place called Goat Lake. We decided when we got back to Seattle that we had to go - the picture was gorgeous! This meant attempting another hike.
We asked our friends, Tim and Kelly, if they wanted to go with us. They had been on Mailbox Peak with us so we felt confident they were our go-to people. Of course they said yes and we started planning our adventure. Rule 1: we had to get up early and go. Rule 2: no breakfast burritos. We were not about to make some of the mistakes we did that day at Mailbox Peak. We also packed a head lamp, dressed more appropriately, clarified it wasn’t a hard level hike and that there would be no snow, and packed lots of snacks and water. We were prepared this time.
We made our way to Tim and Kelly’s around 8:15am on a Saturday. They were kind enough to make a solid breakfast for us before our adventure: eggs, bacon, and crescent rolls (Ali's favorite!). We piled in Kelly’s Jeep and took the two hour drive to the trailhead. About an hour out, we lost cell service. We found a Bewitched CD in Kelly’s car and popped that in for the remainder of the drive. At the trailhead, we took a quick bathroom break and decided to take the upper trail to the lake (saving the lower, more scenic trail for the trek back). It was about 5 miles to the lake and even after a mile, we knew this hike was A LOT better than Mailbox Peak. The weather was beautiful and the path was mostly shaded so we stayed cool. It wasn’t too hard but also definitely wasn’t easy. And it was very scenic.
We got to the lake after about 2 hours of hiking. It was GORGEOUS, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This lake is comprised of glacier run off so it’s clear blue and absolutely stunning. We searched for a spot to have lunch and stick our feet in the water. Most of the alcoves near the water were already occupied so we went back to the “front”. Instead of it being an easy path to the water, you have to climb across fallen tree logs to get to the water. This was the only scary part for me - I really didn’t want to fall. It wasn’t a far fall, it would just hurt. While making our way to the front, we stopped on a log to figure out the best path. While standing there, all of a sudden we heard a “plunk”. Oakley had somehow fallen between the logs into the water and was so startled he couldn’t get back up. Thankfully he had a leash on and Katie was able to pull him up. Poor guy was so scared.
We finally made our way to the front by the lake and started to sit down and get our food out. Just as we were getting settled, a group at the other end of the tree log asked if we were going to swim. We said no as we planned to just sit with our feet in the water and eat. We were met with a “uhm, well, we were going to eat.” We all looked at each other like “uhmmm, okay?”. The same girl then informed us that if they were going to eat it would require them to take their masks off and we wouldn’t be socially distanced then. We honestly looked at them in shock. First of all, we were six feet apart, but of course they argued that. Secondly, there was plenty of room for them to scoot down but they wouldn’t do so. Kate or Kelly made the comment that there wasn’t really anywhere else for us to go to eat because it was buggy near the other logs. Eventually, they made us move.
I want to take a moment to say that we wear masks wherever we go indoors with others. We don’t get too close to others, we wash our hands and sanitize often, and we’ve remained healthy. It was never our intention to make others uncomfortable and we genuinely felt we were maintaining a good distance. Here’s the kicker though - on that hike, there’s not many parts where two people can fit next to each other, so you walk one by one. When others are passing you, you are forced to get very close to them. It’s just something you deal with on a trail. I may be naive but I have confidence that people on the trail genuinely feel healthy and would not put others at risk if they had the virus. Yes, I know that it can spread easily when people don’t show any symptoms at all. However, being on that trail, it’s a risk I was willing to take. A risk that anyone on that trail should be willing to take as they WILL be in close proximity to others.
Anyway, needless to say we were a little annoyed. There really was no other good spot to get to the water. Thankfully, there was a super kind group nearby that offered up their log so we could eat and they moved to another one. We watched as groups made their way toward the group of girls, with no masks on, and continued to swim right near them. When we finished eating, we went back out near the alcoves to try finding a spot close to the water. We walked back and forth for awhile and finally found a little spot. A tree was blocking the beautiful view but at least we got to sit for a minute and stick our toes in the nice cold water.
The hike down was beautiful and I’m so glad we saved it for the way back. It followed along the waterfall and the river rapids the whole way. We had pretty views of the water and I honestly felt like we were in some mythical forest. The greenery and trees were breathtaking. I’m also thankful we took the lower trail down as I felt like it might have been a lot harder going up. When we reached the end, we were really ready to get in the car. While the hike was beautiful, we were all getting blisters, had to use the bathroom, and were worn out. The drive home was easy and we stopped off for some cold beverages and candy to get us through. We were all exhausted and in desperate need of showers when we got back.
I’m so thankful this hike was not like Mailbox Peak. We were truly grateful for the littlest things: getting home while it was still light out, no tears on the trail, and not once did I think I was going to die on this trail. While I was tired, I made it home feeling accomplished, happy, and still in awe of the beautiful views. We were able to shower, eat dinner, and get to bed at a decent hour. In the end, I think not eating breakfast burritos before an adventure is the way to go! I also highly recommend hiking Goat Lake if you’re ever in the Seattle area and have the chance.