This Wild Life ~ Dewey Lake, August 2019

“Promise to stay wild with me.” ~ Victoria Erickson

Dewey Lake, American Lake, Kachess Loop

We have a tradition, of sorts, to meander into the wild at least once a year with our Hendies (Mike’s younger sister and her fam). But, as with most things that involve our children, it’s getting trickier and trickier to hold onto to our wild institutions. My sister-in-law was hoping for a Mt. Rainier destination but when I showed up at the White River Ranger Station at 7 a.m. on Friday morning in hopes of a sweet spot Saturday night, there was only one wilderness group camp left in the whole park that would accommodate us. And although it was in the park, it didn’t offer any views of that big beauty we were reaching for.  The ranger I spoke to recommended we try Dewey Lake instead, just outside the park ( which doesn’t require a permit).  And so – despite the cloudy forecast and our children’s grumblings we packed up and headed that way.

I think its easy to believe that making magic happen is easy for some.  But, the truth is, it’s always work. Nothing truly good is  easy to come by or easy to find.  You just have to decide what’s important to you – and make it happen sometimes.

 

42CD7B07-F08B-4266-9E89-119D95F1E355
Our original plan was just to do a one-night – Saturday to Sunday.  But, once the permit gig got squashed and we knew we were heading into Dewey with no guarantee of a camp spot, Mikey and I decided to hustled in Friday night after work with half our clan to see what we could find.
9C1DEFA0-801A-4862-9C8F-D06466185B2D
We parked at Chinook Pass and hopped over 410 on the PCT.
E3D47018-96C0-41FE-9DC2-F7566D8707FA
And entered into the WILDerness:)
142F29F2-D05C-4B0E-890D-653B62C0E56B
The jaunt into Dewey starts out on the PCT side of the Naches Peak Loop.  The path is pristine and the incline is slight.
AFFD2D4A-5F3E-4A5A-9CEC-D3DBA1BEEA8D
We shared our path with the clouds, but with a 6pm start no other humans joined us on this lovely little tread.
EE448780-D359-4E54-A50D-E86165DBC4AA
At 1.5 miles our pull into the clouds took a sharp left down to Dewey Lake.
6BD0389E-FD3C-42CF-9AE7-B94AAE9D1742
Chase was not pleased with the fire restrictions.
5C6D9B34-6256-4E2A-A2C6-FBDCB12D7CD8
Down at Dewey the nebulous mist was so dense we couldn’t see past it’s shores.  We bobbed and weaved our way around the PCT side of the lake (which boasted of beachy lakeside accomodations) trying to find a place to call our own – only to discover that everyone else had as well.  So we shimmied all the way to the end of the lake and took a left on the Dewey Lake trail in hopes of finding something on the other side.
7389DA50-3C54-42C8-AC5C-FCB38ACAFCCD
Just before dark we found a cozy little opening in the trees on the far end of the woodsier side of the lake. Figuring it would do at least until morning light, Mike pitched our tents while I boiled water for a late dinner.
85E4867C-8389-4F39-9025-E7A70A7E3BBB
A thick brume blew through the trees surrounding us, dousing them with its irriguous entrails and then those tall timbers wept upon us as we huddled in the dark.  Chase and Hadley took to their two-man promptly after dinner.  But, we savored the dank and wild night, sipping on wine and listening to our teenagers chat and laugh in their humble little abode until the wee hours.

At home, we live together.  But, its easy to fill the spaces between with us with others and other things.  Sometimes, it is only out here, in the wild, that kinfolk become comrads – remembering the gifts they have in one another – for life.

8DBFFDFC-3883-4A33-8661-2181F6A6E495
At 6 a.m. heavy hooves danced in the lake just outside our forested walls, rousing me from my slumber.
CF23B330-C73F-4A82-A2ED-B45B98A3887A
I rolled around in the tent for a bit and then rose to this wonder.
KtvKbuUCRFKlYfR0FzcMwA
And a light I had been longing for shimmered all around.
85DA558C-FAD4-4BB4-BB02-EC26E561B005
I had told our buddies that we would try to find a spot on the PCT side of the lake.  So, just to make sure they could find their way to us, I ran back to where the trail split and ushered them the other way:)
3E729EF4-A735-4BBC-BD45-66D618557C48
It worked like a charm!
3D6A9176-00DF-40C8-A40D-262618FF9ED7
But, by the time the ‘others’ of this wonderful life of ours found their way to us – so had a thick haze.
942CE06B-9B87-43EA-9567-8BB0B4274438
We all watched it roll across Dewey, hiding Rainier and eventually the light that shone above us as well.
7EE2A2CD-BC78-4741-BD04-351E10A6B3E9
Then we ventured back to camp.
4336E596-B0F7-4556-B001-5A98708831FF
Our Gal Dang Dog rolled in something putrid so Hads gave her bath in the lake.
F3E6A4F2-5ABF-4CA1-BD01-7CE1E38DFCC5
And then the nine of us laughed…
4672CE69-1B13-4074-A0F6-9EEC622E4F38
and chatted around camp.
41096655-61C3-41D9-A39C-E0AD3F3DC408
After hanging for a bit in the chill of the cloud that sat upon us – the grown ups decided to go for a day hike while the big kids bowed out with a smile.
7B4B3905-0974-4184-8F20-4BAE3190E553
We scurried back across the end of the lake and as soon as we hopped back on the PCT the skies opened up.
63D83139-459F-4423-A7FE-4A8635AE8B56
Sharing distant views with us along the way.
B6504C24-F639-4624-A883-39E05C53A53B
After four easy miles we dipped down to American Lake and sat on it’s pretty shores enjoying the blue skies above us.
9752BA49-A489-4153-B365-6A3F09658D97
And then we headed back the way we came.
A8973C89-D958-434C-90C1-80E97A89A745
Enjoying the views along the way.
0BB8A014-7A69-4FF4-9B29-8FB28C81C238
But, when we returned to camp that stubborn cloak of clouds still masked the beauty of Rainier.
AB3A4D9C-2BAD-4ED8-B8B5-B93496C67AFF
With no fires allowed within a half mile of the lake and the haze holding strong we talked of moving camp.
58F5CADF-5267-4A59-9E6C-6819D430D817
I even ventured down Dewey Lake Trail a bit until I ran into this gal.
70C4E969-5DC8-4EFD-B516-2924487E263A
But, in the end we decided to stay.
33F8725F-8916-49FD-8166-120CA670633B
The clouds may have been thick – but the company was good.
C67EC3E2-6030-4A83-9DEE-355B6E671B4A
And although toasty embers were not allowed – good times were.
478ADC9E-653E-4651-AF33-06A304D2D748
So we made our own rules.
8966E566-7510-40AF-B058-4F637D2B9DDC
And in a world where we get to decide what we do with it all.
63FEB564-C055-4B4D-8D54-A6BEFFD6400B
We ‘Stepped’ it up.
0F2CE536-39E5-47FB-90F0-CE9CDD839733
And made our own incandescence.
08607833-396F-4A0A-99C7-29CDC8E19FFF
I mean, who needs a hearth when you have each other.
39D776A0-1290-4E8F-B408-844015F9E5AB
As always, before we knew it – the day began to fade.
DFA590E6-857B-474A-BC55-9DE22FE3AF80
And that cloudy view, so persistent in its suppression of Rainier’s splendor, lit up all pink.
5AC8D4EB-3234-4F71-ACD6-1165B65A70B1
And we frolicked in its somewhat subdued flushing fanfare.
5F5CB8BD-155F-4DFC-AE48-5BF9338B7D71
And then we dined on water resurrected meals of wonder and enjoyed a frivolous little sideshow of our own making.
17FA764D-1A24-4B78-9133-B8D2ABB5E1EA
Somewhere in the dark of night the clouds waved a white flag opening up to clear skies and gifted us a morning of pure glory.
A3C29299-7F63-458E-8892-9EF3A44AB3F9
We pack up under brilliant blue skies.
52A13EF4-B9F2-43F5-9992-BEFEDCB41FBB
And headed back up to the Naches Peak Loop.
DBFB16E5-87B8-41D5-869F-810BEC40467D
The climb out proved to be a bit more challenging than the descent.
852FB5BE-8897-4023-BAFA-9A3DF7FC92FC
But, once we were up – the trail did not disappoint.
2B3F15ED-1E0C-4896-B35B-D91F54969DE0
Just as soon as you hop back onto to the loop Mt Rainier booms off in the distance.
00E36235-E8EA-4FF2-8238-A82C77FFF045
Providing a backdrop so beauteous – words cannot suffice.
2F9C8FBF-BE8B-4530-B07D-712AA0175970
The park and forest boundaries bob and weave around the loop.  And although there was no signage poo-pooing the pups on the way in – we did see a sign where the loop meets up with Tipsoo in the end banning our furry friends.
50DF9F82-CDD1-43BA-AE47-64E5CB9C2828
But, at this point we didn’t know any better – so we just enjoyed the view.
60EB30B2-3BE3-423D-B9C0-34EACB496CCB
And kept on keeping on.
73DDBFC0-3FC4-4DCC-BB51-09C3FB13899E
And then something wondrous happened!
39FCB3E5-C7F9-4064-B941-34B6DAEFA38C
Suddenly our little loop turned into a wildlife park of grand proportions.
D6077168-C9E0-435C-B8B9-985DB7E6EACE
With sideshows all along the way.
868214D0-CFA9-401B-8972-5BB8AC632946
We could bear-ly believe our eyes.
BF871CB9-6219-46DE-8764-6B1F39EFA726
This side of the Naches Peak Loop is astounding.  In so many ways.  And I would highly recommend starting at Chinook Pass and ending at Tipsoo.  Mind you, our traipse along the other side was in a magical mist of clouds – but nothing really compares to thing kind of a finale.
E4DC0D89-BF26-4F39-88EB-4966DFBA6101
Soon our party of 9 met up with 410 once again – where we saw the no dogs sign.
533EB74D-069D-43E6-AAA9-3DF6BEDACB17
So we dropped our four legged friends and the kids off at the Tipsoo parking lot.
OHkg8fzNQLqZKaTPQliDPg
Saving them from the last little climb past Tipsoo and around to the Chinook Pass parking lot where our cars were parked – picking them up on our way back down.

“Promise to stay wild with me.

We’ll seek and return and stay and find beauty and the extraordinary in all the spaces we can claim.  We’ll know how to live. How to breathe magic into the mundane.”

Vicorstia Erickson

We always have a choice. To stay or to linger.  To venture or remain. To see or not to see. To be – or not to be.  

This life we live has all the possibilities of brilliance – no matter where we go or what hovers above us.  Its what’s within and who we are with that matters most.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mileage

Day 1 – Chinook Pass to our hidden treasure on Dewey ~ 4 miles

Day 2 – Side trip to American Lake ~ 9 miles round trip

Day 3 – Breaking Camp, climbing out of Dewey and back around to finish the Nachess Loop ~ 4.6 miles

Total ~ 17.6 resplendent miles

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s