Back in March I took a drive to Stevens Pass to check out the road conditions and stumbled upon Mt. Index and the trail for Bridal Veil falls. I had mentioned that I would go back the next weekend...and three months later I finally made it out there.
To my surprise the tall one awoke early and with childlike excitement exclaimed "let's go hike!" I believe that was all the energy he could muster that early in the morning as he went downhill quick. We grabbed a quick breakfast from Noah's and headed out of the city and into nature.
"vintage bridal veil"
The trail head was packed with cars and as we made our way up to the falls it was easy to understand why. The first 2 miles is extremely easy, with approximately 800 feet elevation gain I think we made it in about 45 minutes. The spur to the falls has a sign that states only 2 miles up to Lake Serene. I have no doubts that the day hikers and random people out for the day who aren't really prepared for a hike see that sign and think "wow, that first two miles was so easy. The hike to the lake should be a piece of cake".
The trail has 23 switchbacks up 2200 feet in approximately 2 miles. The entire trip is 7.2 miles round trip. The new trail took two years to complete, and it's a doozy. The stairs replace the slippery and dangerous rocks that once comprised the trail, but they did a number on my knees up and back. At least I know now that I'm nowhere near close to the condition I should be in to climb Mailbox Peak.
"let me get this for you"
Of course the tall one, who delivers boxes all day while I just sit on my ass, was not swayed by the stairs nor the elevation gain. Other than sweating like crazy from the humidity, he patiently waited while I stopped to catch my breath more times that I would have liked. Even leaning down to grab a few breathless kisses.
We finally reached the lake, which was still frozen over giving the air a nice chill, and headed to the lunch rock which was just as filled with people as Rattlesnake Ridge would be on a sunny Saturday afternoon. And dogs, did I mention all the dogs on this trail? Tons of them. Had it not been for the scenery I would have really disliked this hike. It has all the makings of a great hike: waterfalls, an alpine lake, sweeping views and a kick your ass workout but it's become like Mt. Si or Rattlesnake Ridge. Do it once, but I wouldn't recommend it as a regular hike. Way too many people.
The hike down went quick and we tried to stay up beat and positive for the people coming up, letting them know how far it was and encouraging them to make it all the way to the top. We met one family sitting on the very log that I almost started crying on, who was so close but was about to pack it all in and go back down. I hope we convinced them to continue on. I also rolled my ankle something awful on the way down and seriously, my legs were like jello. This was a hike where my energy level completely dwarfed what my body could actually do.
The tall one napped on the way back but I hit traffic on the way into the city so my rest was delayed. I dropped him off and then drove the couple blocks back to my place to shower. The day had been warm, so I left the windows open. I could hear cheering and a voice over a loudspeaker faintly in the distance and wondered what it was, however the call of my shower was louder so I jumped in to let the warmth sooth my tired muscles.
Even though he was tired, my sweet boyfriend still walked over to Bimbos to grab us a couple burritos and in the process found out where the noise I had heard earlier was coming from: Dykes vs. Queens softball. I couldn't bring myself to wander over there, but luckily a fellow hiker/blogger and friend took some GREAT shots. I'm really proud of how far his photography has come. Check them out here!
Waking up on Sunday morning, I was a little sore from the hike but I had some lady time issues going on that required the help of some ibuprofen. Again, the adorable one was kind enough to go to the store, and when he returned not only was there pain numbing medicine but all the fixings for a yummy breakfast which he proceeded to cook for me. Awesome? Yup totally.