Hooray!! Our first backpacking hike of the season! Its the end of May and spring has finally arrived in Seattle. The sun is peeking out every other day and it seems to linger around longer and the days are getting longer and longer. Goodbye rainy wet winter, hello hot spring sunshine. My parents had initially planned to hike over Memorial Day Weekend, but the weather wasn't looking good, so we had to postpone it. But now finally we've got our packs all ready to go.
Coincidentally, Mum finished my grooming this week, so I look a little bald again, but it sure helps to keep me cool for the hiking weather. I look much neater now again. No more ewok look. (Altho, I must add, I have been called cuter with the ewok look)
You see my blue backpack? Yup, I have my own backpack. Hurry up Mum, I can't wait to go. Is Daddy ready yet? Check out my groomed body. My saddle looks like a darker shade of black because it is more than a week old of hair growth. My shoulder blades, chest, head and neck are newly stripped so it still looks bald. But with 1 week of growth, and I'll look handsome again.
I'm all packed, set up and ready to go. We are at the trailhead about to venture into the wilderness. I use a very short leash (aka a tag) when I go hiking sometimes. You can see it in my photo above. I also wear a bear bell (but it is muted slightly in a mesh bag so no one else gets annoyed) because this is the season bears come out hungry from their hibernation. There were several bear sightings in my neighbourhood, and that is scary.
Trail: Taylor River Trail
Distance: 18 miles return
Time: 5-6 hours to Snoqualmie Lake
Area: Mt Baker-Snoqualmie Forest
Elevation Gain: 2100 ft
High Pt: 3200 ft
.... unfortunately, we did not make it to Snoqualmie Lake which was our destination for the night. The trail was wretched. There was still snow at 1800ft and there were so many trees fallen over the main trail due to the severe winter we had. It slowed us down so much, that it took us 4 hours to do a mere 3 miles.
Falling in line behind my pack leader, Daddy. Negotiating the snow covered rocks was tricky, we had to be careful with where we were stomping. There were also fallen trees and broken stumps all over the place which made it very hard to enjoy the hike. We tried our best but it was really tough hiking through snow.
Mum and I, taking a break
Hey Mum, look at what we have to climb over and over? Fallen trees...
Just because the trail was challenging doesn't mean an Airedale loses his sense of knowing how to have fun. I found a stick and asked Mum to play with me on the bridge. Chewing sticks is fun regardless of where we are.
Another example of the down trodden trail. Trees and more trees fallen over and we had to climb over, climb under and negotiate these obstacles. After the 3 mile mark, my parents decided that it would take us too long to get to the lake, which was 6 more miles away (3-4 hours hike time) and also, the reports from other hikers said the lake was still frozen over. There was just no way we would be able to camp that night, and so we turned back. Phew!!
Jumping over trees with a backpack on is no easy feat. But I still did it, and made my parents very proud of me.
Chewing on branches along the way
When I got home, I was very happy and tired. I jumped onto my favorite couch in Mum's study and took a long nice nap.
There is often a saying that Mum repeats over and over, "A good Airedale is a tired Airedale". When I am well exercised, I am the best Airedale ever, compliant, sweet, obedient and attentive, but when I am not exercised or mentally challenged, I can be quite naughty and fiesty. Maybe that's why Mum enrolls me in 2 agility classes per week and we head out for adventures often.
So we didn't get to camp overnight at Snoqualmie Lake on Saturday, but I'm fairly certain that very soon, my parents won't be able to resist the call of the wild again, and we'll go backpacking again soon.