Dizzy Swallows

Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge

March 23rd, 2011 4 Comments

Our kitchen and living room look out over nearly 180 degrees of the Cascade Mountains. Making coffee in the morning sunlight, I can hear them calling as clear and loud as a gong. My birthday pressie from Jacob was a pair of hiking boots. After years of watching me tromp about in old sneakers, soaking up whole mud puddles, and getting poked by the tiniest pebbles, he’d had enough. While my new kicks won’t see me moonlighting for The Sartorialist anytime soon, they will float me through 12 hours of hiking with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Rattlesnake Ledge and Lake

Last Saturday, we took them for their first spin, driving the quick hour to the Central Cascades. This area is crisscrossed by hundreds of hiking trails, dangling promises of mountain views, sparkling lakes, waterfalls, the Snoqualmie river, and acres of lush green forests.

reflection

From this embarrassment of riches, we chose Rattlesnake Ledge, a relatively easy 4 mile hike ideal for breaking in new shoes.

rock and details

moss

Close enough to the city for day hikers, with what are arguably the best views around, this trail can get rather crowded. We left early, however, and were rewarded with a quiet, morning hike.

nurse log

The forest was alive with the sounds and smells of spring, the steady drip, drip, drip of melting snow. Vast, moss-furred boulders hulked near the path, resembling nothing more than green woolly mammoths.

rock and stream

first snow

Nearer the top, broken patches of snow lay scattered and soggy, melting into tiny streams that trickled back the way we’d come. As the sun grew hotter and the higher altitudes brought more snow, we were caught in a rainstorm of thawing trees before suddenly bursting out at the summit.

panorama

panorama 2

The view was everything one would hope, stretching out over a patch-worked valley before rising up again in indigo glory to the adjacent peaks. It was the kind of view that makes you feel huge and tiny all at the same time.

moi

cliff face

Peaking over the cliff face of the ledge itself, we could just make out the car in the miniature parking lot below. Rattlesnake Lake looked back at us, doubling the sky in dizzying disregard for gravity.

lake from above

panorama 3

Contentedly munching our trail mix, we breathed in the fresh mountain air, the spring sunlight, and were wonderfully, gloriously happy.

us and the mountain

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4 Responses to “Rattlesnake Ledge”

  1. Kyle says:

    WOW!! This just climbed the ranks on my TO DO list, for awesome adventure!.. Nice that its so close, and its nice to hear you’re close too. You’re so beautiful Danielle, some things just don’t change.

  2. Ronny says:

    Hey Danielle. These are great photos. Really great. What kind of cameras do you use? Aaannnd I love that Literary Stimuli feature on your blog. I’m a little jealous…not going to lie! 🙂

    • danielle says:

      Thank you Ronny! I use a Cannon 40D, which is quite possibly the love of my life. And glad you like my literary feature…which reminds me I need to update it! Haha!