Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paying Homage to the Little Black Dress

It all started with a long look into my closet where I noticed my cute little black dress which had yet to be worn for the season. The summer was fading and it looked like my opportunities for wearing a short summer dress were limited. A little voice inside me said, "It wouldn't kill you to go on a date; just one date is all I ask". I had been nose to the grindstone trying to score a high GPA (managed a 3.9) and was currently working toward taking the nursing entrance exam. In all my studying, I had managed to completely ignore the opposite sex and had felt like I didn't need the distraction (that's what Facebook is for).

The day after I led a fantastic hike to Cady Ridge near Lake Wenatchee, an opportunity to take my black dress out into the light presented itself. A fellow hiker asked if he could reciprocate for the nice hike with "a hot drink or a casual meal". Casual, my ass, I need to wear this dress! So I picked a Taiwanese dumpling house at Lincoln Square in Bellevue and readied the dress with shoes and a necklace.
wasting time on FB in my LBD

The day of the date, I was digging ditches on the Pacific Crest Trail at Snoqualmie Pass while heavy smoke from forest fires in the east hung in the air. The thought that later in the day I would be all girlied up in Bellevue was almost too much of a shift, yet I managed it with near-grace (I changed in the Issaquah Community Center's bathroom, on the way down from the Pass).

When I arrived at the meeting spot and saw Rich, his jaw slacked for just a moment, as he had been expecting to see me in hiking wear or casual attire, at best. He had no idea of my hidden agenda to get my dress out for an evening.

Two months after that first date, my dress is no longer in season, but the relationship sparked from that first date (yes, I give some credit to the dress) has endured.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Summer Summary

The summer is long gone, washed down the drain by the recent deluge of the fall/winter season and swept into compost bins along with colorful leaves. But at least there are still photos, images which seem to be from so far away.

This summer was a successful season of lake swimming, edging me ever closer to my goal of swimming in all the lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (that a trail goes to). The tally was six new lakes, shown in the order of my appearance in them:

Myrtle Lake, 4th of July – first swim of the season and snow and ice covered half of the lake
proof of my swim

this is on the shore of Myrtle Lake

Upper Melakwa Lake, Aug 5 – on the second day of a backpack on the hottest weekend of the year

this is just 1/4 mile up from Melakwa

Big Heart Lake, Aug 11 – I led a women-only hike to this lake 7.5 miles up West Fork of the Foss River

my hat is off to this beautiful lake!

the USFS has updated the distances to add 2 miles to our trip

Hester Lake, Sept 12 – a private trip to Myrtle's sister lake on a very rough trail off of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Read a previous post about it here.

a beautiful lake at the end of a tough hike

sign-eating tree

Ridge & Gravel Lakes, Sept 20 – it felt like summer was back, but this ended the swim season

I spy....

in Gravel Lake

 Next summer, the swimming will get a little more challenging, as there are fewer lakes left for me to swim in that are easily accessible and below 5,000 feet. But I look forward to the adventures it will bring.