4.6 MILES – GRANITE FALLS, WA
One of the greatest gifts I have received from all my hiking ventures is growing closer with my sister-in-law, Kat. In early March 2020, we chose to visit our family in Seattle. I remember it so clearly. The Coronavirus had just begun. We didn’t really know what was going to happen, but I remember thinking it would all pass after a month. (Now i say maybe five years!) We were driving into Seattle midday, and were the only ones driving on the highway of five lanes. It was eerie and surreal, and this trip will forever be a tied to our experience with the pandemic.
I wasn’t super extreme at this stage of my hiking goal but I knew I wanted to spend time with Kat, and she wanted to take me on a winter hike to Heather Lake. I was a little unsure because it was cold, I didn’t think I had the proper gear, and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure about the difficulty of hiking in the snow. The road to the trailhead was covered in snow, and I remember getting anxious, not only for the hike, but for the drive too. I knew I had to let go and trust everything would be ok, and I am glad I did because this hike changed my perspective forever.
Once we started our hike, the trail was surprisingly dry, no snow. As we climbed the snow covered more and more of the trail. It was magical. I looked up at the trees and was captivated by the snow covered limbs. Every time we turned a corner or switchback there was something new and amazing to see. As we got closer to the lake, Kat started to get excited, and not because we were almost there, but because she couldn’t wait to see my reaction once I saw the lake. It was my favorite part of the hike, and something I do now when I take people on hikes. Her genuine care touched me, and I practice the kindness shown to me on the daily.
At the lake, we enjoyed our snacks and a nice glass of rose. On the descent we talked the entire way (fun fact, we share the same favorite colors). Kat and I always had a connection and I look up to her in many ways. After our time together on this enchanting hike, our friendship opened up new avenues and now we have a deeper, more meaningful relationship.
This was my second favorite hike of the year, and bonding with Kat played a major role. I didn’t know this at the time, but this hike also kickstarted my desire to explore more into Washington. I am grateful for the experiences I am able to share with the special people in my life.
Winter hiking is a favorite of mine and I hope to do more of it. A lot of things about it make me nervous, but I find the challenge in overcoming those fears as part of my growth as a hiker.
Thank you for following along on my journey.
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