As the weather gods kept mocking in Seattle – allowing warm sunshine throughout the week only to predict rain on the weekends – I decided to make a weekend escape chasing the sun. I’ve never gone solo backpacking before, and I don’t know whether Kya has ever been backpacking at all, so I chose an extremely easy overnight in the desert in Eastern WA.
I took a half day at work, thinking I could run to REI’s sale for a stove, come home and pack, and be on my way at 2pm. As I left Seattle at 4pm and gratefully only hit minor traffic, I was a bit worried about the 3 hour drive ahead followed by an 8pm sunset. Kya and I left the trailhead at 7:20pm and had a beautiful 2 mile walk in past basalt cliffs and waterfalls. I kept Kya on her extendo-leash – didn’t fancy chasing her as she chased down any desert animals in the growing dark – and appreciated her carrying her own gear, since I was only using a 34L backpack. The lakes and basalt rocks were beautiful, and I chose a campsite more for its view than wind protection – both aspects reinforced themselves through the night. The view after sunset and at sunrise was beautiful. However, Kya did not appreciate the wind on the tent, occasionally waking up with a jump, so I think I will have to pay a bit more attention to wind protection in the future. There were 2-3 other tents around the lakes that night (I didn’t see the third until late morning the next day, so it is possible it wasn’t there the night before).
After exploring for a bit in the morning (and enjoying some tea from the new cooking system), we wandered back out on a different trail. When we saw horses ahead, Kya was curious but not pulling, so I thought we were okay. Wrong. I’m not sure whether Kya has ever seen horses before, but I do know she did not like them. Good to know we will need to give them an even bider berth in the future. Panting dog, happy human, we saw many more cars at the trailhead than the night before. Seems like Friday evening departures will continue to be a good idea in the future – though perhaps before 7pm, if possible.