needed a quick morning hike that would have me home by early afternoon.
I had been meaning to get back up to Annette Lake all summer. It had
been 4 years since my last visit. A long time for a favorite close in
hike. I headed up I-90, exited at Denny Creek, and pulled into the
parking lot at8:10 am. By 8:15 am I was on the trail. There were only
about 7 or 8 cars in the lot. Not many for this time of year. It was a
cool misty morning. After a string of hot days it was not
unappreciated. Since there would be no views this day it was another
reason for a hike to a lake. The Asahel Curtis Nature Trail that starts
at the parking lot is closed for reconstruction. The Annette Lake trail
is in fine shape. No logs down are other problems.
I made good time heading up. Not much to photograph but the misty
trail. I caught one group but otherwise it was quiet on the trail.
Approaching the lake it became very cloudy. Visibility was minimal. It
gave a very different feel to a trail I know so well. I arrived at the
lake at 9:40 am. 1:40 is not a bad time but not a great one either.
Clouds wafted across the lake. One minute it was clear then I could not
see the other side. I sat and watched the clouds drift across the lake
basin. There were several other groups at the lake but it was far from
crowded. That would occur a few hours later.
I hung around the lake until about 10:10 am. The trip out drops a
little then climbs to the high point. It was not long before I met the
next group heading up. I continued to see more folks heading up most
all the way down. It is still a very popular hike. I just managed to
get started ahead of most of them. Back at the railroad grade I turned
right and headed up the grade. A chance to get in a little more
mileage. I met several groups of bikers pedaling down the grade. After
about .70 miles I turned around and headed back. There were some ripe
thimbleberries along the grade. Very tasty. I reached the parking lot
at just a few minutes after noon. Not only was the lot full, there were
nearly a dozen more cars parked along the dirt access road. I'm glad I
had an early start.
This was exactly the hike I had hoped for. The misty clouds gave the
trail a very different feel. I had more solitude than I expected. The
cool temperature made for comfortable hiking. I had a great morning
hike and was still back to Seattle by 1:00 pm. Just what I had in mind.