A commonly held belief about the Pacific Northwest is that it rains all the time. While, admittedly, it does feel like that at times; those times lie primarily between the months of November and May, sometimes June. Currently we are in the middle of a full on drought.
So, after a couple of hikes with minimal water, I decided to search out streams, a lake, and hopefully the namesake for these mountains: some cascades. What I got was way more than I bargained for.The trail to Lake Ann in the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest begins at a high-elevation (cheater) trailhead and actually descends through forest to a hanging valley. In this basin, a creek slowly meanders extending the bloom time of the flora pretty much right until the snow flies in the fall. The trail re-enters forest and climbs for a couple miles with several glorious rills and rivulets to maneuver. The pups sure appreciated the many opportunities to hydrate and cool off! Soon we emerged from the tree-line and crossed huge snowfields, talus slopes, and ripe meadow losing then regaining the trail along the way.The uninviting frozen-over lake steered my attention elsewhere and I noticed a climber’s trail toward the summit of Mt. Shuksan. And more water; this time in the form of hanging glaciers.Between the glaciers, high alpine flora, and cascades I was nigh giddy and followed the decent tread up until it fizzled. Then I packed up the poles and scrambled up to another world. A world I don’t really have any more words for.