A different kind of beauty

It’s a good time of year to go backpacking in Central Washington.  The wildflowers are starting; it’s not high enough for snow.  And there’s still lots of water, in lakes, streams and waterfalls.

I visited the Channeled Scablands with a small group, mid-March.  Eight fairly flat miles in, eight out.  Weather was good – it got down to about 40 at night, but a campfire of old sagebrush and a flask passed among friends thwarted the chill.  This area, called Ancient Lakes, reveals remnants of the sudden flood caused by the bursting of the ice dam which held back Glacial Lake Missoula until the end of the last ice age.

This area has a desolate kind of beauty.  Quiet, peaceful, lonely.  A retreat from the ordinary.

But driving home, Snoqualmie Pass was hammered by one of the hardest rains I’ve ever experienced, and there’s new snow in the mountains on April Fool’s Day!