powered by M&Ms up to rattlesnake ledge
Adam’s montessori school had teacher in-service today so I had both of the boys at home. Blue skies and sunshine! I decided the three of us would head up to the Cascade foothills and Adam would hike Rattlesnake Ledge under his own power for the first time! We left the house after lunchtime. In the back of my mind I worried a little we were skating on thin ice leaving ourselves only the afternoon for the 4 mile hike (I think it’s basically a little over a thousand feet of elevation gain). Adam has always been a good hiker, but this was the first time other than our Cape Alava backpack that I’d have no way of carrying him if he petered out (I’ll admit, I had fleeting thoughts that I could carry him on my shoulders AND Oliver in the backpack carrier if we got in a real pinch). It turns out there was nothing to worry about. Besides, Adam packed a flashlight in his rucksack.
Adam did very well. He kept a sure and steady pace and reminded me 25 times that he was going to eat the entire bag of M&Ms we brought, when we reached the top. I tried to let him rest whenever he needed to, but I’ll admit I prodded us along a little faster than I wanted since I was carrying Oliver. The Rattlesnake Ledge trail has a reputation for being a zoo on the weekends so I looked forward to our being there on a weekday. However, I did not account for the spring break effect……there were a lot of teenagers. Teenagers in groups. Snarling, hormonally-challenged teenagers sneaking cans of beer and cigarettes to the top (oh the rebellion! a can of PBR on top of Rattlesnake Ledge!). Still, it lifted my spirits to see kids doing something besides playing video games or hanging out at the mall. Or shooting guns into a pile of gravel down the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road.
The views from Rattlesnake Ledge were quite nice, as usual. There was a pretty dusting of snow on the local mountains. When we arrived it was sunny atop, but then big clouds moved in and out and we were mostly in the shade. And boy, it was cold up there! Good thing I had Oliver in his snowsuit. Due to the crowd-factor I would never hike Rattlesnake Ledge on a weekend unless it was a gray winter day, but the truth is I’ve always liked this little hike. The views from the cliffs are dazzling, in my opinion. Here’s Adam with an M&Ms chocolate mustache:
I’m awfully sore about not getting a picture of Adam and Oliver Fern together, but 20 minutes after we’d arrived, Oliver Fern inexplicably turned into werewolf baby. His howls echoed across the mountainside. It turns out he was tired- he fell asleep a few minutes after we departed. Must have been all that fresh, cold mountain air because he’d already slept a little on the way up! I took us down the old trail to save a little time, Adam thought it was really neat going down a different way. Frankly, the old trail is still in great shape. It gets regular use, it’s not as though it’s truly abandoned. A lot of old-timers hate the takes-forever-to-get-there grade of the new trail. This is a view to the north of Mt. Si (the town of North Bend is below):
We rested at the lake below for awhile, before heading home. I wish we could have stayed atop Rattlesnake Ledge a lot longer. Rattlesnake Lake’s blue-green color in the late afternoon light is so pretty, we could see it through the trees on our way down. In spite of our somewhat abrupt departure, it was a pleasant afternoon in the hills- a nice milestone for Adam. He probably could have done it last year, but until now I’ve never minded simply carrying him when he got tired.