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McLeod Lake
posted by John : March 3, 2007

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On the trail

The day started poorly. A call from work that was misdirected and a slip on the stairs while dodging Clara who was dawdling that left me sprawled on the floor at the bottom. Amy asked with genuine concern, "Who fell?" and then went about her business when I announced it was me and not Clara. Hmph. (Nothing was broken, of course, but I have wicked sweet bruises on my hip and elbow and my head hurt like a mother.)

After seeing Amy off (to visit the docs for another round of antibiotics and a glucose test) the girls and I had a late breakfast and at about 11:30 decided we needed to go hiking. Usually I'm the one who comes up with such a bad plan, but this time it was Clara so don't blame me.

By 12:10 we were in the car and after a short stop at an unnamed drive-through archy restaurant we were on the road. We headed past our old house and up the valley of the North Fork of the Snoqualmie. The road had about three or four inches of slush on it, but other drivers had already cut ruts into the snow so we had no problem climbing about 400 feet to a slight widening in the road where I'd seen people parked before.

Maps show a logging road that heads off to the east and although it had been bermed you could clearly see where the road disappeared into the woods. It was slightly overgrown, but still wider than a normal hiking trail.

Once all three girls were ready to rumble (Clara with her backpack, Lilly in the backpack, and Tokul by our sides) we started down the road. I hadn't bothered to actually figure out how far the trip would be, but it didn't seem like it could possibly be very far. Turns out it wasn't. After about a quarter mile we hit the marshy south end of the lake and a little beyond found an open spot that was clearly used by fisherman to get into the lake.

Fish rose near the middle so it would obviously be a worthwhile and short walk to the lake. Although there were clouds blocking the views they faded for just long enough to get a feel for the ridgeline that extends from Mt. Si to Green Mountain. (Yes, there was a clearcut in the area, too, but thankfully the clouds hid that.)

Tokul went for a swim and then decided to go crazy running in circles and tearing up the snow. When she settled we continued along the lake shore for another short way playing in the snow and watching the sun break through from time to time. When we reached the north end of the lake we turned and headed back.

Clara made snowballs and threw them to Tokul who'd jump to catch them. I gave snowballs to Lilly expecting them to wind up down my back, but she usually dropped them harmlessly back into the snow.

The walk back seemed even shorter than the walk out. Neither girl got cold and we wandered in the snow so it was a 100% successful outing. (Plus I got the truck all muddy. HA!)

Total distance was an easy mile. Gain was about 30 feet. (The lake sits at 1,024 feet.) Clara already wants to take Grandpa Jack to go fishing there. I bet he'll be up for that.

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