Sunday, July 13, 2008

Stars, Stripes and Snow

Independence Day 2008 (or as we like to call it amongst friends - 'Sod the Brits Day')

The plan was not to waste the day drinking like navvies and falling asleep before the fireworks began but to do something energetic and uplifting! That's how we ended up hiking up to Snow Lake in the Alpental valley (East of Seattle in the Cascade mountains). As it turns out the hike was aptly named as it didn't take too long before we hit some very significant 'slabs' (technical term) of snow - covering the trail and on steep slopes. And there was me thinking the Portaloo at the beginning of the trail was going to be the biggest challenge of the day ( I still haven't built my lung capacity quite enough to be able to take a large enough breath to last the whole time I'm unzipping, weeing and zipping back up again - working on it though).
In the immortal words of the song (maybe only the Brits will get this) 'the only way is up, baby!' and so that's what we did. Went up ( and slid back down a bit) and up again ( and down a bit more, in my case). And all the time the four legged fiends were just bouncing up and down like gazelles as if they were on concrete - oh to be a dog.
Anyhow -the hike was fantastic - well worth the quad/calf workout with superb views of the Alpental valley, beautiful swathes of wild flowers, wild ( and sometimes treacherous) waterfalls and lots of interest for the ornithologists amongst us (way to go Tiff :-) ) The pics show us at the top and the bottom!
By the time we had got back down and home, showered and changed it was time for dinner - of course it had to be a traditional Independence Day BBQ with dogs and burgers, salads and corn - and topped off with a few raucous card games and the firework display over Lake Union - sweet.
The evening wouldnt have been complete without Cortez's arsenal of illegal explosives which he and Leigh expertly ignited in the driveway - ensuring that no-one on 36th Ave (south precinct) got any sleep until after we were done scaring the crap out of them!
Here's to the next Yankee Doodle Day - hoorah!