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The girls and I have been out and about on some trails this summer. After a wet and cool spring, we have not had any rain in weeks. The paths are all dusty and dry. I carry water for my dogs and they appreciate it. The streams and lakes and snow patches are welcome sights!

It was a hair-brained idea given the fact that my to-do list is a mile long. However this might be the last day like this in 2016. The weather forecast shows lots of rain and wind for the next four days. Snow in the mountains too. So the girls and I threw together a little bit of stuff and headed to Blue Lake. Our dog friend Wyatt Ann is staying with us and she’s not in such good shape but she was a real trooper, having great fun on the trail.

Blue Lake is close enough that a person can get to the trailhead and do the hike and get home and only use up half a day. Unless she lollygags. And this time, I did not. That to-do list was waiting at home.

September marks the unofficial end of summer around here. Kids returned to school this week and most vacations are over. Harvest season is in full swing. The weather is beginning to feel like fall. Birds are flocking up for migration. And we try to squeeze in a few more hikes. Here are a few scenes from the end of summer.


What a place! We left the house at 8 am and drove for less than an hour on a paved road to a trail that took us to this gem of a lake! And we had it to ourselves. Amazing!

It was the last fun adventure in what has been a lovely staycataion – sharing good times with old friends and visiting some of the highlights of our neck of the woods. The time was interspersed with some work (one wedding and some gallery stuff), a couple of big rain storms and the resulting washed out road that serves our little neighborhood and dealing with a contractor for the repairs. But mostly it was lots of fun with Mary and then Kim and our beloved dogs. Let’s do it again soon!

It seems crazy to have two posts in a row about hiking to Blue Lake. And what if I said that I’d been there another time in between these two hikes? Getting to the Blue Lake trailhead is an easy drive, all on pavement and the trail is not too long – less than three miles – to a superb destination. It’s pretty heavily used but if you time it right, it is a sweet spot.

Highway 20 to the west of us had been closed due to a wildfire at Newhalem in the North Cascades National Park. That meant that most of the traffic across Rainy and Washington Passes was non-existent! Ken wanted to go this weekend and even though I’d already been there twice in the last two weeks, it seemed like a good idea. Weather had moderated and our lives were returning to normal as the wildfires burning all around us were becoming contained. The highway opened while we were hiking.

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