Group photo of Lighthouse staff hiking in the Cascades

Group photo of Lighthouse staff hiking in the Cascades

Courtesy of Deng Kong, Lighthouse Receptionist

A group of us went hiking on Saturday, August 5th, 2018 at Goat Lake in the North Cascades. We hiked six miles of the 10.4 mile round trip trail. And what a hike! I discovered that if you want the pesky bugs to leave you alone, bring Jon Ott along; they found him to be a tastier morsel than the rest of us – LOL!

The trail going in was rougher than coming out and yet I found going in was more fun. We went on a twisty trail surrounded by conifers, alders, ferns, and skunk cabbage. The trees in this area were ancient and several hundred feet tall. The tread is soft, and the stream crossings were small with stepping stones. There were protruding rocks and tree roots, and we climbed over downed trees and boulders. Meg spotted very unique looking mushrooms; one looked like a fried egg as yellow dots on the ground and one looked like orange peel growing on tree trunks. I touched and smelled the orange peel one and it had that mushroom smell but none of us knew if it was edible or not. We also saw trees with bear claw marks on them; trees covered with moss making them look like they are wearing a sweater, and plenty of red huckleberry growing along the trail.

We hiked along Elliot Creek going in. We stopped for lunch on a log that was a perfect length to accommodate our group of eight with a very pleasant sounding creek behind us. We were in the shade all the way.

Some of the group members were curious about the distance of how far we were from the junction so we asked several hikers heading the opposite direction of us. The answer was a mile, a half-mile, or mile-and-a-half. As we traveled throughout the day, we couldn’t help wondering where the heck that mile, half-mile, and mile-and-a-half were; the entire day when someone in the group asked how far are we? The answer was always a mile even, though we were only a few steps from the parking lot!

The trail coming out consisted of an old layer of packed gravel, lined with alders. It was flat and easy and yet I found it to be the hardest! I guess by then it was because I was all tired and hot! Dana Marmion was completely spent at the end!

This outing was a joint adventure between Lighthouse’s current and former employees and participants of the Ski for Light Puget Sound Program. Thanks to Bill and Chris Witzkes for leading the hike, Meg Johnson, Patrick McManus, and Lindsay Ott for guiding, and the blind brave souls – Jon Ott, Dana Marmion, and yours truly, Deng Kong! We’re all looking forward to the next outing!