Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Big adventure in Amberland

After climbing and a good nights rest, Amber and I were in charge of getting Mike and Elizabeth to the airport. They were flying back to St. Louis to be with the family because their mom was having surgery (the surgery went well, and she is currently recovering great). This was gonna leave Amber and myself on our own for a couple days, and most importantly meant I was gonna get to drive some- YAY!
We decided that since we were still pretty close, and because it had been one of the greatest places we had been, to head back to Bacon Creek. Home of the best tubing in the world. We had a blast and did just about everything you could think of. Sight seeing, mushroom looking at, hiking, tubing of course, and even a little wave train riding- that's right, that wave train.
This was about the most we saw of the actual city of Seattle, well that and the airport of course
On our way out of town
Bacon creek was just as scenic as the last time, and it was actually sunny this time around.




This view was just a little ways down from our campsite

One of the days we decided to go into North Cascades NP and do a hike for part of the day. We found one pretty close on the map that didn't look too long. We found the road leading up to the Thorton Lake trail at about noon. That was when our trouble began. Now you have to take into account two things with this story. First I don't drive the vanagon very often, and second this wonderful beast of ours has all of 67 horsepower. So we start up this gravel road that is supposed to take us to a trail head, and I'm having a little bit of trouble. The road isn't full so much of pot holes but giant dirt wave-train mounds. I have to keep the speed up to go up the hill, but I have to keep the speed slow so that our heads don't hit the roof going over the continuous line of speed bumps (I'm hoping Mike doesn't read this part of the blog). Finally we got to a point where I needed to put it into first to get up the next hill...and we were already in first- we decided this would be a good time to pull over and just walk the rest of it. After a quick lunch we were headed up the road at about 1pm.

Well we figured we had to be pretty close since we had been driving for a while, so we just kept walking and walking. Finally about an hour and a ridiculous amount of elevation gain later we arrived at the trail head-yay. This was when we found out that this short trail was actually 5 miles one way, we were thinking 5 miles total oops. But at this point we had already walked forever on the road, so we decided to go for it.

One of the many forms of moss we saw along the way- this one kind of reminds me of hair standing on end

View from near the top

Amber being Amber-no one else can do the bunny nose quite like she can

Finally we got to the lake, and it was beautiful



So we decided to take a quick dip- it was very refreshing =very cold, but nice too

and the water was super clear

Sun bathing or stomach crunches? You decide

So we had made it to the top, now we just had to get down, with an hour worth of daylight. Yikes! It had taken us about 3 hours to cover the 5 miles. Our only hope was that it would be descending the whole time. So we collected ourselves and literally took off at a run down the trail. Well I was jogging, Amber was doing this crazy power walk thing and leaving me in her dust.


Almost dark, but almost down


Somehow huffing and puffing and stumbling along we managed to make it back to the trail head in 1 hour. It was still light enough that we could read the sign at the trail head, and soon that too had faded into darkness. But at least we were off the trail now, and just had to walk on the road in the pitch black. Finally with a complete lack of depth perception, we saw those beautiful round eyes of the van glimmering at us through the darkness.
And then of course how could forget the main event- the creek

and the tubing
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Amber donned Mikes helmet and life jacket and bravely tackled the rapids

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You can tell this one is me because of the lovely pink life jacket and the constant scream

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Amber trying to go hands free...for a little bit

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And the all time favorite we tackled the river together

We had a really good time, and even went down some unexplored huge rapids

The day before we left the creek I had decided to have another look at the wave train that I had once been so happy to miss out on my kayak. I decided what the heck, I'm in an inner tube- I'm invincible!

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It was the best tubing I had ever done. The waves were so big they dropped me down and everywhere I looked all I could see was water, then it threw me up to the next wave and the roller coaster continued. And somehow I manged to stay on the tube for the whole thing. In fact it was one of the smoothest rides I'd ever had- Amazing! Amber filmed the adventure although she also had the job of saving my life if anything went awry, see how responsible we are.

Of course what trip to bacon creek would be complete without a little mouse for company. Our little 4 legged eating machine friend returned once again. I thought there was a chance that the first time was just a fluke, but I think it's safe to say the mouse remembered us good and well. The first night I didn't even hear him, but the second night the little monster made sure his presence was known. Next morning a whole bag of trail mix and the m&ms were gone. Apparently this mice didn't like the raisins.


To break up the drive and so that Amber could see the ocean we headed back towards Seattle and stayed at Deception Pass State Park. I'm sure it was very pretty, but as soon as we left Bacon Creek things got rainy and foggy. So it was kinda difficult to say. Of course it was pretty in it's own mysterious fog enveloped way.





You can call me a dork if you want to, I really like the different textures in this picture

Amber Adventure was a thumbs up all around


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