Sunday, August 24, 2008

Swimming in the Snow

One of the joys of living in Washington state (besides the interminable rain), is the extreme natural beauty of our surroundings. Last year, we went hiking at Mt. Baker (click here to revisit The Snow Swim) when there was too much snow to do much more than slip'n'slide. This year, we planned the family hike earlier and went up to the Chain Lakes, a series of interconnected cold water lakes at Mt. Baker.

It was a gorgeous day, complete with sun and a nice breeze. The actual hike was up and down, with rock falls to circumvent and mountain goats to distract us from our burning thighs. Like last year, my husband proved his manly-man worth by swimming in sub-40 degree water.

Our niece dog, Samantha, accompanied the family. She seemed a bit confused by the snow but still put on a good face, gamely skidding around in the cold stuff with a slightly happy look on her face. Here is Erik (my brother and the Otion store manager) and happy niece-dog, Sam, contemplating their small place on the grand mountain.

Wildflowers were wildly abundant (no doubt, thanks to all the rain this summer) up and down the trail, interspersed with water falls and lush fields of dense greenery.

We ended the day as a merry group, despite the badly sprained (broken?) ankle for my Dad. He managed to twist it with a full 2.5 miles back to the cars. Thankfully, Erik came fully prepared with electrical tape and Dad was able to forge a make-shift split, borrow some walking poles and hobble slowly back to the car. He'll be in a cast for a few weeks but impressed us all with his trooper-like attitude. He certainly was in good enough spirits to enjoy a full and hearty meal (along with the rest of us!) at Mambo Italiano.

This weekend was in celebration of Erik's birthday. So, if you're in at Otion this week, be sure to wish him a "Happy Birthday!" It was a great chance to hang out with the family and take advantage of the wonderous magnificence of Washington state.