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Hiking Lazy Mountain

Honestly since moving up to Alaska I haven't done much hiking. Bears scare the shit out of me and I don't really have hiking buddies up here. And by don't really I mean I just don't. But I finally got over the initial fear and started hiking again. Most recently I hiked up Lazy Mountain in Palmer. Mainly because I liked the name and it wasn't a million hours away. 

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There are two ways you can hike this-take a left or take a right. I chose to go up the more difficult path (left) and quickly came in tune with the reality that I am not in hiker shape anymore. The trail is all up hill. No lulls. I felt it. And I felt it for the next few days. Somewhere along the way you reach the first picnic table where all the people I had met on this trail were turning around. At this point the two different trails up meet and turn into one. Turning around at this point would have been the biggest disappointment. Alaska has a lot of unbelievably beautiful places that blow my mind and the trail up to this point was not one of them. Pretty damn average by Alaska standards. 

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The view doesn't start to get crazy until you walk up past that first table. Before you reach the top, you'll see a second table. This portion of the hike was a lot easier than the first bit. You're constantly going up, but not quite as much. Going down was worse. Didn't feel great. Once I finally made it to the top where the American Flag is I hung out for awhile and ate my snacks and gave the dog water. Overall it was worth it, but only if you keep on going. And side note-while I didn't see any bears, there was a moose out in the forest on my way hiking up. Thankfully he didn't mind PatrĂ³n (the dog) and I. 

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Coldwater Lake-Mount Saint Helens

Coldwater Lake//Mount Saint Helens November 2017   

*Hint* It was cold.
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November 12th 2017

It was one of those days where I had pretty much nothing going on and I felt the urge to go outside-despite the weather looking god awful. I had slept in that morning and didn't leave my apartment until about 10 am. Having a late start I knew I couldn't do anything too crazy, but me being me I said screw it and drove almost two hours to Coldwater Lake over in the Mount Saint Helens Monument area. It's pretty late in the year and around now pretty much everywhere in the higher elevations is covered in snow. I took a look online for the road conditions and it had said (and lied) that it would be snowy and icy. So I got super excited that I was going to see snow and stuffed my winter wear into my car. 

 Pictured above: A perfectly fine road. 

Pictured above: A perfectly fine road. 

After my taco bell/gas/grocery run I realized I was running short on time. I got there around 12:45ish. The hike around this lake isn't exactly a short one. It's definitely doable in a day, but not when you're slow like me and want to get out of there before nightfall. According to my little handheld gps I did a little more than 6 miles. I went in about 3 and then turned right back around because it was 2:30 at this point and I'm afraid of the dark. I was moving really slowly. I took around 600 photos and sat on one of the millions of benches off the trail to eat lunch. At the point that I turned around I was freezing. I wasn't moving quickly and I left my heavier layers in the car when I realized I wasn't going to get to hike in the snow. It was lightly raining off and on and I wasn't smart enough to put my rain jacket on right away. Don't be me. Anywho I got back to my car pretty quickly after putting the camera away and was greeted by one of the most glorious rainbows I had ever seen when I was just about near the parking lot. I didn't quite get it in a full force because I did not run quickly enough to get to the view point I wanted.  

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Overall I can't complain. I left pretty late in the day, chose somewhere far away and chose a trail that I knew I wouldn't be able to complete. I will be back though at some point to do the whole thing. (Future snowshoe trip anyone?) And for those of you who don't like hiking, there's a nice little walkway with interpretative signs about the area. Plus it's a good stop on the way up the the observatory if you're just going up to look at the crater. Here's a link to the hike. And I'll put up the map for the location at the bottom.