On Thursday, Sept 6th, my hiking buddy and I set out on our second annual end of summer backpacking trip. We are both lucky enough to have wives willing to take the kids and give us a few days each year to unplug, unwind, and get off the grid. No work. No internet. No phones. No stress. Well, a different kind of stress, at least. We enjoyed this trip even more than our trip last year. However, I am finding as my life stretches close to its 37th year that it's becoming harder and harder to recover from the exhaustion wrought by these types of trips. But it's a good, satisfying exhaustion, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So where did we go, you ask? We did a loop trip from Salmon La Sac over Polallie Ridge, down the Quick Creek Trail to Waptus Lake, with a day hike up to Spade Lake and eventually a return via the Waptus River Trail. Roughly 30 miles of hiking and almost 8000 feet of climbing in 3 days with full packs.
On Thursday after work we headed over Snoqualmie Pass to the warm sun near Salmon La Sac, WA - just northwest of Cle Elum. Along the way we drove through Roslyn, WA which was the filming site of the television show Northern Exposure, for those of us old enough to remember. All of the lakes along the way (Keechelus and Cle Elum) appeared to be extremely low after an almost record length dry spell in Western Washington. That night we car camped near the trail head at the Salmon La Sac campground. The campground itself was very nice but damned near empty. We had a few beers and worked on lightening our packs which had been much too heavy last year. It wasn't long before a dark clear sky fell upon us and revealed a countless number of stars that we can never see from the city. "A good omen for the trip," I thought.