4.5 MILES – MCKENZIE BRIDGE, OR
Halfway through the year I was halfway through completing my goal. Tenas Lakes was on my to-do list of hikes for at least a year. I probably had read about it a half dozen times, becoming more and more eager to explore the area. The lake was so dreamy in photos, I knew I had to take some for myself one day. That day had come.
I had read that the mosquitos were overwhelming, but felt I was prepared. We started off on the trail, already so excited by all the wildflowers I was seeing along the trail. After about five minutes of hiking I realized I did not prepare for the properly! It was not a cool day, and I had to wear my sweatshirt the entire hike just to protect myself from getting bit. Although the mosquitos were annoying, I wasn’t about to let it ruin my time in nature, on this hike I’d be looking forward to doing. As we got closer to the lake we started seeing snow on and off the trail. Since I had never done this hike before I didn’t quite know where to go when snow covered the trail. It was fun figuring it out. It is exciting being on a new trail, not knowing exactly how much further there is to go. That excitement and energy is what brings me to new places.
I remember so clearly walking up to the lake, phone in hand, videoing as I step closer and closer, until the lake was in view. Mark and I were mesmerized by the deep, green-blue color the lake gave off. We had just enough wind around the edge of the lake to keep the mosquitos away while we ate our delicious hiking snacks (I always pack the same thing). Once we fueled up, I decided to venture out and look at all the wildflowers. The view is always a great reward at the end of a good hike, but there is also much to look for all along the way, which is something I am learning as I become a more avid hiker.
This hike holds a special place in my heart, as I feel it was the pivoting experience for my love for hiking. I really started to blossom with my curiosity for new trails and difficulties. I was building confidence within, and I was proud. This was going to be a good thing for me and I couldn’t wait to get better at it.
From Eugene, Tenas Lakes is a a little over an hour and a half, along highway 242 (gorgeous drive!).
Thank you for following along in my journey and passion.
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