Posts Tagged With: meetup

Snowshoeing to Lanham Lake

A meetup event with last minute change of plans due to crowded Stevens pass forced us to park at Nordic center and snowshoe to Lanham lake instead of the original plan of Skyline Lake. It was insanely crowded and I was surprised to see the number of cars waiting to blanket the parking lots. Even though we reached around 9:15 AM, we couldn’t find a spot at the ski resort and at the next lot too. I wasn’t expecting much due to the forecast, but the clouds were over the mountains and we had nice views. The frozen lake nestled between snow covered trees with tall mountains in the background and Sun peeping occasionally from the clouds. I wore my new Cortez down and hard shell jacket which kept me warm throughout and I cherished the bright blue color on me. The organizer had bought Green tea and shared with everyone. I played around walking on the frozen lake and pushed a bit by inching more towards the middle. It was an easy short snowshoe but still a rewarding outing.

Activity overview

Photos and Videos here

 

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Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Winter hike to Blanca Lake

I almost didn’t get up since alarm was on vibrate mode. I woke up at 6, got ready in 20 mins and left my home. A meetup hike with Jim again and I have started to like his hikes and the group. It was a snow drive again and I felt the snow in between was scraping my car’s belly. We were split across 5 cars and mine had the lowest clearance. I realized even Crosstrek’s clearance was not very good enough for the winters here. We started the hike at 9 AM and the first 2 miles was a walk on the washed out road. Then the switchbacks started and it was steep for the next 2 miles. The long distance, snow-shoes weight, previous day’s snow hike and less sleep was all taking a toll on me and my back hurt a lot. The views on the ridge were soothing and the winter wonderland was at its prime with various shapes of snow. We then dropped around 500 feet to the lake. I wasn’t expecting such green lake and it looked vibrant with all the black and white around. We had fun and lunch facing the lake and started our return hike at 1 PM. It started raining slightly by 3 PM and by 4 it had picked up. It was 11.9 mile hike and I was just glad to have completed it. I neither wore snowshoes nor microspikes, my new Quechua boots was excellent in blocking the cold and water but it has a hard sole. So I might get a soft layer below my feet. We all were done with the hike by 5 and started our drive back to Seattle. I was glad with the rain since it washed my car quiet neatly.

Activity Overview

More Photos here

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Categories: Outdoors, Seattle | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A fitting welcome to USA – Robert H. Treman State park

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I got the most amazing welcome in United States of America – a beautiful hike with localites at a state park in upstate NY coupled with pleasant weather.

It had been two days of juggling around since my arrival in Ithaca. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I was looking forward to visit a state park. It had been four-and-a-half months since my last trek (owing to a leg injury). I had learnt about the hike a couple of months ago (back in India), courtesy meetup.com, and RSVP’d immediately. I consider meetups an easy way to go on trips and meet people at a new place.

The hike planned was at Robert H Treman State Park. The park is located around 4.5 miles to the south West of Ithaca. Since I was new to the place and didn’t want to walk all the way there I contacted Michelle, who organized the meet-up, for help reaching there. She happily agreed and offered a ride to and fro. We all reached the parking lot and after brief instructions started our hike. The group was very friendly and welcomed me with warm smile. Few in the group were surprised about me being there since I had been in Ithaca for less than half a week. I felt that upstate New York was more or less like Western Ghats (in India) – full of greenery, with streams making their way through the hills.

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I learnt that the hiking trails in such state parks are usually a loop around a short length of river with numerous cute waterfalls along the way. We started with Gorge trail. Everyone hiked at their own pace. From the start we walked through thick jungle with tall trees towering over us. Greenery was abundant and I loved every bit of it. Some parts of the trail were just flat paths through the woods and some had railings to cover the steep descent. The trail went beside waters and beautiful gorges with small waterfalls adding beauty to it. I really enjoyed seeing people of all ages hiking the trail – children and oldies included. The weather added to the charm – the sun peeking in the jungle occasionally and giving us the much needed warmth in the usually cold region.

We shifted to Red Pine trail which had a steep ascent to reach the top of the state park (half-way). It was here where I realized that Americans have really taken care to maintain such trails and parks. There was abundant place for picnicking, with grills to cook on and benches to rest. There was an old wheat flour mill, built in late 18th century, which belonged to Treman family. They donated this piece of land to NY state (and hence the name of the park). It was quite an experience seeing multistoried old mill with huge gears and containers.

After a small break, we carried on to the Rim trail. Soon we had a view on the biggest waterfalls of the park which was nestled in a gorge. Then after around 2.5 mile of downhill hike we came back near the other side of the parking lot. There were cabins, swim area below a small fall, children’s play area, and huge landscape of lawn to make it a perfect place for a weekend getaway. I was left awed at the cleanliness, greenery and peace in the park. I agree that I haven’t done justice in using the right words in explaining the features of a state park and the beauty. Will try to get better with more hikes.

I am glad I went to the hike with total strangers even though I was only 3 days old in an entirely different continent. I thank Michelle for being an enthusiastic host and all others for a friendly welcome to the United States of America.

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Nikhil Navali

Categories: Adventure, Ithaca, Travel | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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