It has been a busy couple of weeks. Amber and I have been visiting friends and family, doing some odd jobs for travel cash and taking care of last-minute details before heading out of country. It is amazing how fast the time is going as we near the departure date for China! We did get the chance to take a day trip with friends to the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim WA. We headed out early one morning, crossed two mountain passes and got in the que for the Bainbridge Island Ferry at the Seattle Ferry terminal. (It feels like only yesterday we were boarding a ferry in Maine to head East into the Atlantic!)
We realize this blog is intended to be about adventure and travel, full of insightful commentary, exciting stories, interesting travel tips and inspiring pictures. But we would like to dedicate this post to all the friends and family we were blessed to spend time with in December and January who wished us well, shared the holidays and made it so hard to say goodbye!
Well Amber and I had separate adventures this week. She climbed into the Gothic Basin off the Mountain Loop Highway on the west side of the state and I soloed into Lake Janus just on the east side of Stevens pass to search for some late season trout. I got a fairly early start, hitting the trail by 8:30. The drive in from Highway 2 was a little frustrating. The Smith Brook road is extremely popular with novice hikers and the trail head always gets packed with the cars of people looking more correctly prepared for a day picnicking in the park than taking a hike on a backcountry trail. Their back road driving skills usually reflect their trail experience and I wound up in a caravan of little city cars being lead by a gigantic 4 wheel drive truck that looked like it had never seen a week without a trip to the car wash. When we hit the parking area I was out of my rig, had my pack on and was signing the trailhead log book before most of them were out of their Subarus and Priuses. I hit the trail hard because I wanted to get into the lake. I did the 3.6 mile, 1550 feet of elevation gain trek in an hour and 5 minutes! I was feeling good. Amber and I had explored this lake a couple of weeks earlier and I knew where I wanted to look for the best fishing spot. I worked my way around the opposite way we had gone last time.
Over the weekend, we spent a few hours in Leavenworth, Washington during their Autumn Leaf festival. Leavenworth is a small town in Eastern Washington State that was at the center of the local timber industry in decades past. When the industry changed, so did Leavenworth. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains the town took advantage of the fact that the local terrain looks much like the Alps of Germany and redecorated in a Bavarian theme.