Poor kids. All they wanted was to hang out on the beach. Playing in the sand, splashing each other, nurturing melanomas. Pretty much what any kid wants.
But... we're a hiking family. Dang it. And that means we go hiking. Dang it. No matter what. And we have fun. NOW!
Worse, someone in the family likes going places he hasn't been before. With snow levels still really low and all the trips close to Chelan being pretty much straight up (except the glorious Echo Ridge, but we'd already tapped out on that destination for this year) we were forced to head to the Entiat valley. Never having been there I was pretty happy with that plan. Amy was less thrilled by the 30 mile drive up the paved, but narrow and twisty road.
However, nobody got really sick and we arrived just ahead of the entire population of Kermzakistan. Timing. We haz it. We hurried out of the parking lot and onto the trail. It was hot in the sun, but the ice cold water in the shade made for a deliciously cool route.
And it wasn't even that steep. Nobody had trouble keeping up, as long as they were in a good mood. Sometimes moods aren't good. Such are moods. That's what treats are for. And hugs. Eventually, we squeezed the goodness back into everyone and we were all marching along. Except when we had to stop for a picture. And then run back down the trail to see if it took and try it again.
The trail follows the creek that's a long series of cascades with a couple of big falls thrown in for good measure. Well, it follows it until it doesn't. There's an inexplicable long switchback away from the water where it's hot and dry and dusty. We busted out water bottles for the first time and tried not to raise a huge dust storm as we moved along.
Finally back at the water we stopped for lunch. Mmm... lunch. Nothing like lunch on a hot, sweaty hike. As a bonus, we were almost at the top where the trail looped over the river and headed down the other side.
Turns out, we had come up the good way. The other side, with the exception of one nice viewpoint, was pretty much all dry and dusty hill climbing. Yee ha for blind luck! (To follow our steps cross the bridge where the trail splits so you're on the climber's right of the creek.)
Although the way up had seemed pretty long, the way down was actually really quick. Because were were skipping down the trail? Because there was nothing to see? Don't know, but it was. Soon we were back at the car.
Ready for stats? NOT SO FAST!
Cuz this ain't over yet. A 30 mile drive up the road meant it'd be a long time before we were back. Just two miles more and we'd get to see Entiat Falls. How could we pass that up? Well, you might want to. Not too impressive. I guess I was expecting more than a 15 foot drop. The kids really wanted in the river, but it wasn't a good spot. So we popped in a DVD and headed for home.
Now... you can have your stats: 1.4 miles and 600 feet of gain. (That's about the same gain as Twin Falls, but in half the distance.)