“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle
Summer in the Pacific Northwest is the most magical time! Everything is so alive, vibrant, and absolutely beautiful. And it always seems that when the sun comes out to play, all of Seattle does the same.
But while Seattle was getting ready for summer to arrive, my head was spinning at work trying to keep up with all the madness! Ugh. Over the past couple of months, work has been completely non-stop busy. It’s a typical end of quarter for our company, but for some reason, I have felt overly drained this time.
Worst feeling ever.
All I’ve been wanting to do is be a couch potato. Not very pretty, considering I also haven’t set foot at the gym for…I lost track. Yikes! Where has the time flown?!
So to clear my mind, re-energize, and take myself out of robot-mode, I had to give myself a large boost of Vitamin N. Yes, please! Bring on the Vitamin Nature! Whether it’s after work or during the weekend, I cannot express enough how important it is for me to continuously surround myself with nature – the trees, the flowers, the water, the sand, the rain…the sun.
And my weekendscapes are a must!
As we welcomed our summer solstice in the PNW, Seattle decided to make it one of the warmest weekends. And we couldn’t pass it up, so out we headed for some camping and exploring!
Our destination? The Mountain Loop Scenic Byway to Goat Lake. To be completely honest, I never knew this place existed so close to Seattle. The entire scenic loop consists of several other places that are worth visiting, including the Big Four Ice Caves (blog post), which we visited the following day. How did I stay away for so long?!
Wherever you are right now, can you imagine all the amazing places near you that you don’t even know exist? Make it a goal to track those places down! Your time is now! Quit waiting for vacations and instead create them. Experience life for what it is instead of what you want it to be…TODAY.
My heart sinks every time someone tells me that they don’t like to go outdoors (hiking, camping, exploring, etc.) because they don’t want to get their nails dirty…or because they don’t like to feel sweaty. Are you kidding? Who cares?! Drop those Louboutins for a weekend and let your hair go wild! You are missing out on a beautiful world, and I’m not talking about your man-made resorts.
Below are photos from our hike to Goat Lake. They’re a mix of GoPro, phone, and regular ol’ camera photos. Enjoy!
Love and Adventure,
**Don’t forget your forest pass! We picked ours up from the Verlot Ranger Station before we continued to Goat Lake.
The hike was 9.4 miles two-way. We originally wanted to carry our camping things so we could stay at the lake campground, but thought we should first hike to the lake, check it out, explore, and then head back to grab our things.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Twenty minutes into the hike, we knew we weren’t going to hike another two times just to grab our things. What a hike!
The pretty little things along the way. Be forewarned — the hike is long, at times steep, and you can lose the trail easily if you don’t pay close attention.
And two hours later, we arrived at the campground! No campfires allowed here, and there are designated toilets. Be forewarned again — the toilets are literally just a box with a lid…out in the open. No shack to cover it.
Goat Lake, ladies and gents. Is she not lovely?!
So beautiful! And so cold.
Out to find our perfect spot to finally sit and eat. We packed sub sandwiches…and only two water bottles. What were we thinking?! After two hours of hiking, trust me, you’ll need your own gallon of water for this hike.
Our perfect spot. This lake does not have many sit-around areas like the Seattle lakes would. Goat Lake is an all natural lake and is kept that way.
And guess what this man wanted to do after two hours of hiking? JUMP IN! But yes, it was quite cold!
After we rested and took in the view, we made our way back toward the area that had lots of floating logs.
Cool sky in the photo below, right? = ) Such amazing reflections!
And the trip wouldn’t be complete without a Nike-selfie! Haha! The darn Nikes…
As the sun began to set, we figured we should probably head back. We took the last gulps of water from our bottles, and off we went!
Two hours of dehydration later, and after gulping the gallons of water in the car, we decided to drive out to find a campground! Fortunately, the map we picked up at the Verlot Station noted all the available campgrounds.
We found Beaver Creek Campground, which was right accros from the Big Four Ice Caves trail that we wanted to explore the next day. Perfect!
And boy were my feet happy to be inside these Vibrams! YES!
The following morning was spectacular…I mean, who wouldn’t wake up with a smile on their face with this view?
Check out my previous blog post for rants and photos from our time at the Big Four Ice Caves. We had such an amazing time there!