Snoqualamie - Dutch Miller Horse Camp
Woke up under the ski lift in Snoqualamie and headed into town to eat at the diner attached to the hotel. We had come to terms with the fact that we were not going to get showers in this town, but Jake was determined to at least wash our clothes. After ordering our food Jake eyed the hotel lobby. (See yesterday's blog about how we were turned away from doing laundry.) Knowing that confidence alone can make the impossible possible, Jake grabbed a bag of our laundry and strode past front the desk while his pockets jingled with quarters. No one stopped him.
After some basic detective work he found the laundry room and started a load of wash. He came back to his seat just in time for the waitress to serve our food. It was delicious, the taste of victory that is, and the omelet wasn't half bad either.
We needed to get back on trail ASAP in order to keep on our tight schedule, but we had to wait for our laundry to finish. So as we waited we called home, checked email, and made small updates to the blog. Once our laundry was finished we quickly made our way to the gas station to round out our food supply for the week.
As we were walking out of the station a gentleman pulled up to the door and asked if we could help him fill his tank because he had a disability that prohibited him from doing it himself. We obliged and followed his car over to the pump. He noticed our backpacks and began asking us questions about our adventure. He had lots of questions, and you could tell his interest in us was sincere. We must have chatted with him for 20-30 minutes before he continued on his way.
It's true that every minute we spent with him put us further behind schedule, but his genuine character put us at ease and we were more than happy to just hang out and talk with him. Thanks to this kind stranger we hiked out of Snoqualamie in a cheerful mood. (The best experiences you have hiking the trail sometimes come when you're not hiking the trail at all.)
Last night we had decided that today we would take an alternative route that was supposed to be more scenic, a little shorter, and would go pass some hot springs! We were stoked because this meant we could make some good miles, still see great sights, and get clean in natural hot springs!
Since today was a Saturday the trail was PACKED with day hikers heading up to Snow Lake. At the lake we met a ranger who told us the trail ahead was beautiful, but "a little rough." Well, that was an understatement.
The trail was made up entirely of large jagged rocks that appeared to be strategically designed to hurt anyone who tried to walk on them. The corridor was littered with downed trees, and it seemed that the only ones that had not fallen over were the ones with branches at face level. Needless to say, the going was slow. When we finally made it back to real tread Jake's shins were hurting and Karrie was nursing her eye that had been attacked by too many branches. We took comfort in knowing that we would soaking in some beautiful hot springs soon and continued hiking.
We saw a pair of hikers heading toward us and excitedly asked if we were on the right trail for the hot springs. They told us that we were on the right trail, but the hot springs were full for the weekend and they wouldn't let us in... We thanked them for the information and kept hiking anyway. Motivation, or no motivation, we hike. It's just what we do now.
Thirty minutes later we were at the Goldmyer Hot Springs. The hostess was very friendly and told us all about the hot springs. Since we couldn't swim in them and were overdue for a wash, we asked if there was anywhere else to swim nearby. She pointed us a short distance down the trail to a river that people often enjoy swimming in during the summer months. (Middle Fork of the Snoqualamie River) When we got there Jake stripped down and jumped in, while Karrie washed a little more tactfully. The water was freezing, but we didn't care. It was a beautiful spot and we needed to get freshened up.
We dried off just before the sun set, and quickly cooked a hot meal to keep us warm. Since we were still behind schedule we decided to hike on into the night. In the desert night hiking is nice because open sky provides light and the stars make up for the scenery you're missing, but in Washington the tall trees make night hiking difficult. So we only went a little further and called it a night at the Dutch Miller Horse Camp.