Friday, May 23, 2014

1 Mile - The Difference Between Lena Lake and Upper Lena Lake

Let me tell you a little story about my first experience camping in the rain. With my crazy adventure of climbing Kilimanjaro, I have pushed myself more than normal to keep hiking in the elements. I have officially become a Washingtonian in that I go out hiking and camping even though it is raining. 
Sometimes I wonder about these people here. But when I pushed through, it wasn’t all that bad.
It ended up my friends Sarah, Craig, their dog Goose, and I. Thomas had to hold down the fort at home and keep the house from floating away. It was a crazy rainy weekend.

So we finally made it out and drove out to the Olympic peninsula to Lena Lake Trailhead where we set up camp on a Friday night. When I think back on it, it was perfectly dry when we set up the tents in the dark with our head lamps. I definitely need a new headlamp, mine was pretty sad compared to Sarah and Craig’s.

So we headed to bed in bear country. As I laid there by myself I realized it was the first time I have ever slept in a tent by myself. Weird. And then I got to thinking that the bear spray was in the tent with Sarah and Craig. And if a bear came to eat me and tore through the tent, there is no way I can unzip the 2 layers of the tent to get out!!!  Yelling for them was my only option. And with that thought I fell asleep.

We woke up leisurely and made a delicious bacon, egg, and zucchini breakfast with King Kong muffins. They are my new favorite thing that I nabbed from my new sister-in-law Lisa.

Ok, this is getting wordy…
Now for the hike info.
This is my view of Sarah most trips we go on. Taking pictures and trespassing. Ok, not really. Only kinda.

My first time ever staying in a tent alone. It was cold. But beautiful.
Look at us ready to hike in the rain!

Do you see these colors?!?!?
And there my friends, is Lena Lake. In the rain.

This is me in focus and the Dempsters not in focus. Clearly I had the wrong settings on my camera.

And their dog Marley Goose. This sucker gets white hair every where! But she's cute.

Moose print.

We rested here and took in the beauty. And realized that there are many people in the world who will never experience this view. Kind of humbling to think about.

Again with the colors.

I seriously cannot get over how vivid these colors were!
The 3 mile hike to Lena Lake was beautiful! All the trees are blooming and the spring flowers are out. There are not fields of flowers, but they were definitely all over. The hike itself was good. Not flat, but not too challenging. Definitely a place I will bring my kiddos later on.

Once we got to the lake and took a break, we started to get cold because we were wet and had stopped moving. So Craig headed back to the camp with the Goose and Sarah and I took the trail to Upper Lena Lake. 

A friend of mine warned me that it was steep! The look on her face when I said Lena Lake was priceless. But as we started up, it was definitely harder than the hike to Lena Lake, but I didn’t think it was all that bad. But at about two thirds of the way up, we rounded a corner and just looked up. And then I knew exactly what she was talking about. Wow. Switchbacks that went straight up. We started up, but a couple came down and said you couldn’t get through to the lake because of the sketchy snow. That was all we needed to hear to head back down!

We made it to camp at 3:30 and decided to head on back home because we had nothing to do for the next 5 hours until bed, and we were possibly not going to dry out or get warm! And thank goodness we did because seconds later the heavens opened and we all just laughed. We shoved the soaking wet gear including the tents into the bin on the top of their car and high tailed it home to the warmth.
Overall we did about 12 miles and it was beautiful. I would definitely recommend it even in the pouring rain, as long as you have good rain gear. 

Confession: I did go buy a rain jacket. I know we are in our no buying things year, but with my Kilimanjaro trip, I am making a few exceptions. And I am giving away 2 pieces of clothing in place of buying 1 piece for all of the items I have to buy for the trip. There is my justification.