Saturday, June 21, 2014

A beauty missed an adventure gained

My friends came to town so we decided to go hiking, they had never hate to the mountains before. So I decided to take them to Snow Lake near Mount Baker. We started off pretty early in the morning and on the way he stopped and saw the Snoqualmie Falls on the way. Which for some reason I never seen before even though they were great falls and it was truly beautiful.
Then we stopped for breakfast at Tweetie Café. Which was a quaint little café  with an old style feel.

Eventually we made it to the trailhead for Snow Lake. After a misadventure in a washed out parking lot and off roading just to get back on the road to get to the right parking lot. As soon as we arrived we were immediately greeted by beautiful views of the mountains covered in snow and waterfalls from the snowmelt running off the side of the mountains. We started our hike and not even a quarter-mile into it we hit snow and not just a little snow several feet of snow that we had to hike over. It was snowy for the rest of the hike and it was beautifully sunny so it was blindingly bright. 
We ventured on over the slippery snow and got many rays of sun to say the least. I gained some wicked tan lines even with apply sun screen twice. The views were spectacular and even breathtaking. The trail was surprisingly busy despite the large amount of snow still covering the mountain and we saw many other hikers along the way. Eventually about 2.75 miles into the hike we had to stop because the trail had completely disappeared under the snow. But the end was still gorgeous and even got to see a tiny little lake even if we didn't just see the Snow Lake.
We even met some nice people who were willing to take a snapshot of us.
It was a beautiful hike even if we didn't get to complete it. I can't wait to hike it again in the summer to finish what we started!

My lesson that I learned on this hike is to wear sun glasses in sunny snowy hikes. Otherwise you'll burn your eyes! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Road Trip: Seattle to Iowa

A couple of weeks ago I made the tedious trek across the country once again. This time the goal : Return my mom's car to her. Good goal. Unfortunately is took four days of solid driving. However, there are so many up sides to driving across the country and that would be all the Amazing and wonderful things that you get to see when you are driving into places less traveled. This time I took a route that I usually don't take. I went the northern route driving through Spokane, WA where I stopped and visited a local car show and saw the musical Wicked for the first time which was fantastic! Then on through northern Idaho and into Butte, MT for the evening. There I stayed the night. The second day I drove south and went through Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park which I have driven through twice before but it never gets old. Saw many hot springs, Old Faithful and even my first grizzly and her cub! Went on to Billings, MT for the evening and went on to see the National Battlefield of the Battle of Little Big Horn which was beautifully tragic. Set at the foot of the black hills and so beautiful. A must see, right of the highway and no reason not to stop. Then on to Rapid City where I stopped for a buffalo burger and then to see Mt. Rushmore National Monument which I have also seen before but was really nice to see now as an adult but of course I indulged in the amazing homemade ice cream that they serve there. If you have time definitely walk around the short trail that goes up right under the mountain face, it shows the monument in a completely different light. I stayed that evening in the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City. A beautiful hotel that you feel completely luxurious in and takes you back into the old wild west. Day four I went on to Iowa! I stopped at Wall Drug a tourist trap 101 but a fun little town and the Corn Palace, both places I have visited before but if you have to choose, choose the Corn Palace. The art along is worth the quick little stop. Over all the trip was amazing, if not long. I would recommend taking even more time on such long road trips if you are wanting to make it into a fun road trip. 10+ hours in the car each day makes it hard to enjoy. I'd recommend not spending more than 7 hours in the car each day on long road trips. So you can stop and enjoy the sites and not feel rushed. 

On this trip I did use the handy website RoadTripper to help plan the sites that I wanted to stop and see along the way. It even has user reviews on the major tourist sties telling if it is worth seeing and it is very accurate. I highly recommend this site for road trips. 

Finally got to see Wicked after waiting 10 years!
The Grand Tetons!

Jackolope at Wall Drug, yee ha!

The beautiful Alex Johnson Hotel. 

Hot springs in Yellowstone.