The night before July 4th, 2017, I decided I was going to hike the morning of the fourth. At this point, my ankles were pretty swollen, but I was determined to hike whenever I had time. Mount Teneriffe had just had a new parking lot built AND some nice bathrooms right outside of the trailhead. The first portion was a windy 0.5 mile tread, the a straightforward 0.4 miles, ending with 1.9 miles of pretty gruel steep rocks, for a total of about 1600 feet in elevation gain. During the 0.4 mile section, the trail was lined with lethal foxtail wildflowers. Just the night before, my mom informed me that Jay would die if he ever ingested one of these flowers, so of course I was extra wary of what Jay was sniffing. If I had done this hike earlier this week, I am sure it wouldn’t have been as painful. Although it hurt much, the view and ambience at the top was absolutely stunning. The air was crisp and cool, and the waterfall wasn’t too big or small. We sat there taking in the whole scene for awhile before heading back down.
On Thursday, June 29th 2017, I got home early from class and had the urge to go see a waterfall. I wasted my 2 hour class in health geography looking up close hikes since I have a fear of getting trapped in a forest after the sun sets. I found Coal Creek Falls after some time, and it seemed perfect; only 2.5 miles roundtrip and an elevation gain of 416 feet. I have been trying to lose weight recently, and I thought I could just run this one. My parents decided to come, so every once in awhile, I would turn back and run to them. Honestly, it amazes me every time my dad can hike anywhere with his 3o year smoker lungs. So proud of him:) After hyping myself up in my head about the GLORIOUS waterfall, we finally reached it…and there was barely any water.
On Saturday, June 1st 2017, my dad and I drove only 5 minutes away from our home and started on Licorice Fern Trail. We are guessing it was roughly 4 miles roundtrip, with lots of ups and downs. I don’t know why, but a depressed mood hit me early on in the trail. It’s interesting how I can be the most happy and feel the most sad in my favorite places. It was pretty narrow, but extremely beautiful with full foliage and little streams flowing everywhere. After connecting to the Indian trail, we got to Sky Country and yet again, no water. The waterfall was fully covered in moss which was pretty cool. On our way back, we stopped at every banana slug to examine its colors.
On our weekly Sunday hike, we decided on Snow Lake. I have heard wonderful things about this hike, but I was pretty pooped out from work and the previous hikes. Nevertheless, Jay and I woke up at 7:00AM to meet up with everyone else. We arrived around 10:30 after buying a single day discovery pass (should probably just invest in one) and got to the top around 12:30 I think. I already loved it from the beginning since it is literally right across from the base of Alpental ❤
The hike started out pretty gradual and was shaded. The foliage here also impressed me. Although a bit crowded, the trail was wide enough for Jay to easily sniff around. About 100 feet in, we reached the first waterfall which ACTUALLY HAD WATER. Such excitement. Jay happily walked across the ice cold water and we continued on into snow! We decided to take this hike pretty leisurely since the views were absolutely beautiful, and it was shorter than we thought. Once we reached the top, it got a bit more breezy, but it felt perfect for me. The lake was still frozen over, which made for an even more beautiful view. We took it pretty back down the mountain, and I still managed to roll my ankles, TWICE. The sensation was so funny since I didn’t feel tired, but my feet just weren’t listening. Jay seemed to finally slow down a bit half way back down. Snow Lake is probably at the top of my list of hikes now 🙂
On Sunday, June 24th 2017, we took a 4 mile roundtrip hike up Rattlesnake ledge in about 100 degrees. Jay was totally fine, while I was not. He was leading the group the WHOLE hike, and would even stop and look back at us, as if we weren’t going fast enough for him. It’s crazy to think a 12 pound little dude can have so much energy packed into him. Afterwards, we suffered through pumping up two paddleboards and heading out towards the lake. After Jay’s near death experience in the backyard pond when he was 3 months old, I wasn’t expecting him to swim, even with his new nifty life vest. To my surprise, he swam amazingly! He even tried to “rescue”me after I got into the water. While on the paddleboard, he jumped into the lake once in awhile, probably just to give me little heart attacks. Once we got home, Jay was still full of energy.