Paddy-Go-Easy Pass & Sprite Lake (Jul 26-28, 2019)

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sprite_lk_coverConditions: backpack
Gear: overnight gear
Map: USGS The Cradle
Area: Roslyn, WA
Reference: Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region
Stats: about 6.72mi, 3130' gain (round trip)
Weather


What a fun weekend! Steve was out of town and I had a three day weekend. After trading a couple of messages with a friend, we decided to try something a little different. The plan...pick something easy to backpack in to and then spend the weekend relaxing, painting (watercolor), and reading. We succeeded on all fronts!

We got a bit of a late start on Friday and didn't hit the Paddy-Go-Easy Pass TH (3464') until a little after 1pm. It was a warm day, 86F, we would be taking the hike uphill slow. There isn't much water on this trail so we stopped when we had a chance for a short shade break and Radka set a really nice pace. As a friend says..."Start slow and ease off".

We reached the pass at about 2.81mi (6103') and enjoyed the views. Looking east we could see a small plume in the distance of an unknown fire. Lots of flowers were still out. Yes, it was warm. I kept thinking that I couldn't wait to get to the lake so that I could take a dunk.

From the pass the trail heads southeast a short distance to the lake. Just as we neared the lake we saw two other hikers who had also set up camp on the far side (outlet side) of the lake. Other than that, the lake seemed like it would be quiet for a Friday evening. The other two hikers we headed back uphill to explore further so Radka and I dropped out packs, peeled off all the layers, and jumped in the lake to cool off. OK...so not exactly jumped in...it was too cold for that...but we still got a good soaking. After a short break to cry off we headed over to the far side of the lake to set up camp for the next two nights (3.4mi, 5982').

Towards evening it started to get a bit buggy. I really hate swarming mosquitoes. When the breeze would kick up the bugs were gone. When the breeze died...the bugs arrived in large swarms. Come dark we dove in the tents for some reading, podcasts, sleep...

The weather forecast had called for some light rain on Saturday morning. Well it turned out not to be so light. About 4am the drops started and that woke me up. Pretty soon it was a good downpour. Awe rats...time to go back to sleep. I woke up a few more times either by a short stretch of sun, a break in the rain, or snoring and waking myself up but each time the rain quickly returned. 9am came and it was still raining. Rats...I guess I'll go back to sleep. Finally, by about 10:30am the skies clears and we ventured out of the tents. There was one last squall that moved through that forced us back into our tents but by 11am it was finally clear and we got up and made a late breakfast.

So it was time to pull out the watercolor supplies and start painting. I first picked a spot near my tent. The bugs weren't too bad. The temps were considerably cooler than yesterday and there was a pretty good breeze. I think both of us were pretty happy about that. First painting down we headed over to the stream outlet to try another. Not long after setting up I hear Radka say..."I see something in the water and it has legs". Salamander!!! Eventually we made our way to the far side of the lake and tried painting from there as well. Finally evening was approaching and with the chilly temps we decided to make some dinner and dive into the tents.

Sunday morning came and we weren't in a rush to get out of the tents. The day was turning out to be another warm day so we decided to head out instead of painting more in the morning. The trip back down to the car was pretty uneventful. The worst part was getting back to I90 only to discover that westbound traffic was at a near standstill (overturned RV near Easton).
 
Sprite Lake Slideshow

sprite_lk_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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