As I started this post, I thought how I would share about the Blue Lake trail itself; how steep it was, how exposed it was, how well a family could hike it, how many switchbacks there were, and how busy the trail was. But as I sat to write, thought, started sentences and deleted them, I realized my story isn’t about the trail and the minutiae of it.
Yes, the Blue Lake trail was gorgeous. Yes, it was dusty and rocky and rooty. Yes, you too should go hike it.
We climbed through forests, small mountain meadows and looked upon sweeping vistas that made me smile.
As with any given family hike, someone or many someones found it challenging while others or many others found it refreshing and invigorating. On our first hike of the trail, Amelia and I found Blue Lake to be difficult while on our second hike of the trail Clara found the trail to be difficult. Both days though we made it to the lake in 2 hours (give or take).
But, we actually hiked this trail twice in one week and getting the children to return with the promise of fishing and not doughnuts should tell you …. it’s an excellent destination!
The signposts warning of habituated mountain goats had us excited at the possibility of spotting one and nervous about the possibility of stumbling upon mountain goats. The girls found mountain goat hair and recreated scenes from the Lion King on the numerous rock outcroppings along the trail.
I marveled at the beauty of this state that I call home. I fondly thought of friends and family in the Midwest who would also marvel at the beauty along the Blue Lake trail. And I wasn’t even halfway to Blue Lake!
I smiled and appreciated the opportunity that my family could be here hiking together and adventuring together. We roamed in nature beyond the reaches of cell phone coverage. Beyond where I could take a few crappy photos with my phone to share with friends on FB and wait for comments and likes. Into a place where I not only was forced to just put away technology, but I wanted to put it away. I wanted to soak in the warmth and beauty of my family and my surroundings.
The sun and heat, the beauty of Blue Lake and the spirit of summer, all begged us to take a dip into the icy waters. The girls giggling about disrobing to their underwear in public, while I insist it’s all good and strip down to my skives to prove my point. The chilly waters drawing me in, my adrenaline rises as I stand knee-deep contemplating a hobbled retreat or hasty dive into the cold. I always choose the hasty dive. At least once. Usually twice.
We snack, we rest our bodies, we jump in the icy water, we warm our bodies on rocks, we explore the waters edges, we squeeze our dirty, wet feet back into our boots and we prepare to head back down the trail.
And those mountain goats? Yup, ran across one on the trail during each of our hikes.