“The best thing you can do when its raining, is let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When we have an adventure planned and the forecast attempts to foray its way into our fun I often spend days fretting about it. Should we go? Should we not? If we go, how likely is it that it will rain? And if it rains, how long will it last? Will there be sunshine that follows, to soak up all the wet – or will we be lugging out wet tents and grumpy kids and a mad mess to deal with then we get home?
This is a tale in two parts; two trails that share a start but venture off in opposite directions, to two pretty lakes, and popular destinations. One is down. The other is up. Neither are too hard or too far or too rough. And neither lasted as long as we had hoped because both involved a foray of rain.
What I have learned from both is that an adventure is an adventure no matter how long it lasts. And no matter how much you fret, the rain will come or it will not. We don’t get think our way around it. But definitely bring a Kelty Shelter tarp just in case:)
AND ~ any amount of time in the wild, no matter how wet, or short, is time well spent.
**There is no where else in the world where a rangel of teenagers will sit for hours and just hang out with their parents. Where hang-man, however socially inappropriate it might be these days, can roll on for hours and Uno wars rumble relentlessly behind tent walls. Where tiny spaces in wide open places can transport us all back in time, to simpler days in the most magical ways.
Dewy Lake is nicely nestled just outside of the Mt Rainier National Forest, which means you do not need a permit to sleep there. We had a couple kiddos who were packing in for the first time and one of them was only 9 years old. So I was looking for something pretty on the eyes and pretty easy on the feet. And Dewy is exactly that. Its a sweet little jaunt from Naches Pass down to Dewy and, if the weather is nice, its totally worth it to complete the loop hike up above on your way out.
Just two weeks later my pretty sister, my nephew and his buddy wanted to venture off into the wild as well. My sister and the buddy had not backpacked before and the weather was looking pretty shoddy all over the place once again. So I found myself at the same trail head with a very similar weather outlook, only colder. I should have clued in when my sis asked me if I was bringing a coat or wearing shorts and asked if she could borrow a pair of sock:) But, I didn’t. So we rolled the dice against all of my inner voices and set off to see if we could survive for a night none the less.
Sheep Lake is also located just outside Mt Rain-ier National Park. You start at the same trail head just past Tipsoo, on your left, and hop on the trail just behind the pit toilets. This dirt path leads you along the road for a bit but even that is pleasant as it sets you up gazing out into the folding arms of the lush and lovely foothills. Then you tip left and amble into the forest as the trail gently leads you up to the quaint and quintessent Sheep Lake. It’s an even shorter hike and a smaller lake with maybe six camp spots along its shores and a few more off up in the trees. And I’ve heard, on sunnier days, it’s hard to find a spot to call your own.
Sometimes the wild is wet. Would I choose it to be that way? Goodness no. It makes life messy and the load we carry heavy. But, “things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out” (John Wooden). And so, in the end, this is a tale in two parts – about some people who made the best of a wet situation. And a girl who is so very blessed to call those people her own.