Monday, July 28, 2008

Worth the four-hour drive?

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Heck, yeah! Green Lakes in Three Sisters Wilderness boasts beautiful mountain views, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and diverse day hiking opportunities.

Of course, there is one catch...this trail is wildly popular! Limited campsites go quickly. Leaving work early on Friday and backpacking in that evening helped immensely. Judging from Saturday's foot traffic, we were fortunate to get a campsite close to the water with stunning mountain views.

From Green Lakes, climbers set off to summit surrounding peaks. I was envious of Ang's accomplishment of completing the trip to the top of South Sister. Her report made me feel optimistic that Max and I could one day embark on this adventure.

I had heard that these ascents were not dog-friendly, so we opted to check out Cayuse Crater.

From the rim, one can see Bachelor, South Sister, Middle Sister, Broken Top and several peaks of which I do not know the names. Sparks Lake is also prominent in the landscape.

Sliding down the snow fields was a welcome change from the dry, dusty trail. We were especially excited to discover a spring flowing from rocks along Broken Top Trail. The crisp, clear water refreshed tired feet.

Wildflowers were bursting alongside the spring.

Returning to our campsite that afternoon, swimming in the lake was a welcome activity. Brett and Max jumped in first. After three attempts to brave the glacial ice-cold water, I finally forced myself to take the plunge. We warmed ourselves in the intense, high-elevation sun, drying almost instantly.

That evening, we walked along the shores of Green Lake. While taking pictures of the stunning scenery, Brett ventured a bit too closely to the snow-packed edge. Fortunately, years of athletic activity honed his lightning-quick reflexes, and he was able to land safely on stable ground. The echo of his iceberg creation could be heard throughout camp.

Max enjoyed his new air mattress with a cozy fleece cover. Since the temperature dropped into the 40s and below at night, the insulation protected him from the cold ground. So I guess it was worth carrying the extra four pounds! This trip, he did help out by carrying his own food and water. On the return trip, he also carried all of our trash :0)

2 comments: said...

Looks a lot nicer than the upper West Side of Manhattan right now.

- T

Dr. Kris said...

You go, Max. He totally deserves a luxurious bed. Oh yeah, so do the two of you ;-).