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Mid-October and the days were getting shorter. We managed to get in two short hikes to two beautiful lakes – Cutthroat and Blue. Next year I think we ought to add Ann and Rainy Lakes and have a four-lake day. I think this may have been the sixth or seventh time I went to Blue Lake in 2017. And I went to Cutthroat a few times in the last few months. Such pretty places and so close to home. I feel lucky.

Yellow is the dominant color. Soon it will be white.

Our valley has been inundated with wildfire smoke off and on for over forty days. This week is particularly bad with an inversion trapping all of the smoke and holding it down throughout the day and night with no relief. A person, or a dog I suppose, should be wearing a mask whenever she ventures out in it. Otherwise, she ought to just stay inside and be grateful for air conditioning and a tightly built house.

Dogs don’t understand this and they want/need a walk each day. Here are a few images from this morning’s walk.

Day 1

We hooked up the tent trailer and headed across the mountains, leaving behind hot weather and smoky skies and allergies generated by the smoke. At Happy Creek we all enjoyed a little walk and cool water before heading back out on the highway bound for Anacortes and the big ferry dock. While waiting for our boat, the girls enjoyed a walk on the beach and the scent of saltwater and seaweed. It was Sky’s first ride on a ferry and she overcame her fears of new things and enjoyed the trip to Lopez Island. We arrived to find two of our dear friends from Twisp camped right next to us! After setting up camp, I got out in my kayak for sunset and Ken joined our friend David in his boat just in time to pull up the crab traps! Dinner was served.

No words needed.

 

Yesterday the girls and I joined with Molly (remember Molly from last year?) and Mary for a nice hike, mostly above tree line in the North Cascades. We drove through a layer of wildfire smoke to get to the trailhead and found perfect blue skies with fluffy clouds. Ground squirrels and hoary marmots and pikas gave their warning calls as we walked by.  At the end of the hike we could see the smoke column from the Diamond Creek wildfire east of us. In the meantime we were treated to vast vistas of mountains in all directions. We all felt grateful to have this in our ‘backyard’. The dogs were most grateful for the last of the snow and a creek of snow melt leading to a clear refreshing pond for cooling off.

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