Yes, I'm taking poetic license in my title from Robert Frost’s poem: The Road Not Taken. I recently headed up towards Snoqualmie pass for a hike to Annette Lake. The hike is characterized as ‘more difficult’ but wearing the proper footwear, and perhaps using poles, the route should be do-able for most everyone.
A permit’s required for hikers. Permits are purchased at US Forest Service stations; day passes or an annual pass are available. The weather this year has been cool and there’s been a lot of snow in the mountains. Even with that said, I didn’t really believe there’d be snow on the hike as the Forest Service employee shared. I can’t explain why I thought I would know anything about what was up there…
There weren’t too many cars in the trailhead parking lot. This photo isn’t actually marking the beginning of the trail to Annette Lake, it was just to the right, but that one didn’t really have a lot of info on it, was smaller and pretty non-descript. Seems like the hikes I’ve been on recently start out fairly steep and eventually turn into a moderate grade and so it was with this one. The trail wound its way into the woods…I LOVED the coolness and shade the trees provided. There were a lot of switchbacks and every once in a while the trail would come out into the clearing. Yikes--the jump in temperature was felt immediately!
Waterfalls were another welcomed and refreshing area and I would linger on the bridge….ahhhhh!
I enjoy gardening and keep my eyes out on hikes for any unusual or interesting plants. There were several ‘beds’ of trillium. Some varieties of trillium are endangered and all trillium are delicate in that they are seriously damaged if a flower is picked off.Ants can be an annoyance while ‘picnicking’ outdoors, but ants are beneficial for trillium; they spread trillium seeds!
Darned--the Forest Service people know what they’re talking about….about ½ mile before Annette Lake there was snow! Walking over the snow was precarious; very slippery with the areas that had melted, mucky and yucky. The poor footing detracted from hiking as a meditation in motion with the an audible rhythm to the breath and the regular beat of foot strikes. I decided to leave the trail (I know, bad idea) But my thought was if I just walked around this tree it’d bring me to a place up the trail that was just dirt. Sounded good at the time… Sure I saw the chunk of bark (inside facing up) just laying alongside the tree trunk—didn’t think twice when I stepped on it. Before I realized just what was going to happen, I was flat on my back. It took some time to gingerly get to my feet—ouch! The meditational aspects of hiking may have been left behind (or, in my case, on my behind) with being present and living fully in the moment taking its place.
Continuing onward I on came to the realization that what I was seeing ahead was Annette Lake….Annette Lake with a layer of snow still on top in several places. What a dichotomy—brilliant blue sky, toasty temps ….and snow on the surface! There happened to be a Forest Ranger up there too. After chatting with him for a bit, it was time for lunch. ..food never tasted so good! Then it was time to relax in the sunshine, listening to the birds and the water tumbling down into the lake. We’re so fortunate in this area to have an abundance of hiking trails. Check the Gallery for more photos.
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