Takhlakh Lake and Mt. Adams!

A day trip!

I get the feeling, as I throw the crew into the Perfect Tow Vehicle, that Bridget and Spike know we are going somewhere special.  The drive to Takhlakh Lake is about 25 miles from North Fork Campground.  The first part of it is a dreamy, scenic drive —  sunbeams slicing through evergreen boughs above, dappling the road ahead with soft light on the pavement, ferns feathering the roadsides bright green, glimpses of the wide Cispus River.

I have to stop!

This is a downstream view of the Cispus as the morning mist floats up the slopes of what I believe is Tongue Mountain (4,838 ft.).

1-P1060964-001Here’s the view looking upstream.

1-P1060963-001Yes, it’s a dreamy, scenic drive and a smooth, paved road until . . .

It turns kinda’ mean.

Now it’s dirt and gravel.  The worst washboard and pot-hole ridden road I’ve ever been on.  It seems like we will never get there! I stop twice to make sure the solar panel is secure.

In retrospect, I realize the tedious climb at the second-half of the journey is simply to prepare one for the grandeur to come.

I park in the day-use area and the crew and I walk toward Takhlakh Lake.  In one heart-stopping moment, I step beyond the trees to this sight.

1-P1070029There are scenes in this world that are so exquisite, so magnificent, so absolutely transcendent, that only the basest individual does not feel a rise in emotion at the sight.  I stand transfixed, as if existing on another plane, even though noisy people chatter around me.

Children splash along the shoreline, oblivious to the glory above them.

1-P1060995I take several photos, of course.  And being a typical amateur photographer, I can’t choose only one to show you.  Instead I post all these — imperfections, be damned!

The next photo does not capture the luminescence of the snow and ice the way I hoped it would, but there’s no mistaking the beauty of this mountain.

1-P1070032Looking at my Benchmark atlas, I believe that’s Adams Glacier sliding down the middle of the photo.  Pinnacles Glacier is out of view to the right.  Mt. Adams is 12,267 feet above sea level.

Later on the way home I struggle to find the right way to describe the glowing whiteness.  At first I think of marshmallow creme… You know, the gooey, fluffy stuff you put on peanut butter sandwiches as a kid.  That’s not quite it.

Then it comes to me…  meringue!  The way meringue — the pure white part — glistens when left out of the refrigerator.  Scroll back up.  Can you imagine it?  I do wish I could have captured it for you here.

1-P1060992“Okay, crew.  Let’s walk around the lake!”

1-P1070005 Bridget and Spike are eager to follow the trail.

“Stop a minute, guys!  I want to take another picture.”

1-P1060996Takhlakh is not a big lake.  Its water is clear and glacier-cold; its banks pristine.

However, even with the stunning beauty of the place, I’m glad we aren’t camped here.  The campground is full, of course, for Labor Day Weekend.  It’s like a city in the woods.  I get the heebie-jeebies just driving through it.  But that’s me.

Back to the hike around the lake . . .

1-P1070008Spike sees an opportunity for a cold drink . .  .

1-P1070016. . . and a soak perhaps?

1-P1070014Alas!  Spike finds water too cold for a soak!  I thought that would never happen.  The mud certainly wouldn’t stop him from a soak.  Maybe he, too, stands transfixed, mesmerized by the wavy reflections on the surface of the water.

People are on the lake in row boats, canoes, kayaks, floats, and boats with electric motors.

1-P1070010

Some are fishing. 

I stop the crew in order to watch a young man reel in a fish about 10 inches long.  Within a minute a guy in another boat reels in a similar catch!

1-P1070020We don’t make it all the way around the lake.  A couple we meet along the way tell us it’s about four miles.  I don’t want to ruin this lovely day by over doing it.  Spike and I are slowing down, although Bridget is still hopping along like a pup.

1-P1060994Almost back at the start of the trail, we come upon another couple.  The young woman has her hand full of huckleberries which she reaches out for me to take a look.

1-P1070026“Oh, so that’s what huckleberries look like!” I exclaim.

“Go ahead and try some,” she urges.

“Mmm . . . taste a lot like blueberries.”  I smile and thank her.

They move on while I sit on a fallen log to give them time to get ahead of us a bit.

“Boy, this has been some day, hasn’t it, guys.”

No answer to be heard.  Bright eyes and happy tails tell me they agree.

As I drive us away from Takhlakh Lake, I’m blessed with one more look at Mt. Adams.

1-P1070033rvsue

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58 Responses to Takhlakh Lake and Mt. Adams!

  1. Brian says:

    From your photos Sue I can almost smell the mountain air!

  2. mockturtle says:

    Gorgeous! I’ve been tempted to try Takhlakh Lake in my RV but have concerns about the road in. Still do but it looks wonderful. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve dragged the BLT to mountaintops on pretty rough roads. I wouldn’t take it to Takhlakh. It’s so much easier and with less wear-and-tear on yourself and your rig to camp at North Fork and make a day trip.

      There’s something to be said for a brief experience with all that magnificence. Sometimes staying close to beauty on such a grand scale makes one go away jaded. I left infused with wonder.

      • PNW alison says:

        It is a pretty bad road, as are many in the Gifford Pinchot. So many of the national forest roads just have no money for maintenance any more. Some of my favorites have become impassable over the years. I guess that’s good for the ecosystem, but for us… its sad. So enjoy while you can!

      • Cecilia says:

        Love the pictures, so peaceful. When you mentioned the boats with motors, I cringed at the thought of all that beauty being disturbed by engine noise. I lived in various parts of Washington, but never made it to that Lake. I hope to retire in the Pacific Northwest in a couple of years, and that lake is now on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing your journey.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Only electric motors are allowed. They don’t make much noise at all. They are small and push small fishing boats.

  3. Larry has lots of rodent-exterminating experience says:

    Hi Sue!
    Regarding your rodent infestation, you don’t want to use anit-coagulant baits since if a rat dies from it and one of the gang “ingests” the varmit, they may die too. If you had no crew I’d highly rocommend the baits. Instead, you may want to try these “rather cruel, but very effective” rodent glue-boards. I’ve never used one, but when I lived in Europe and went to the grocery store I’d see that these boards definitely worked. Nothing made me want to skip buying fruits and veggies in the produce section more than a glued-down mouse. Available at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Pest-Mouse-Glue-Boards-Count/dp/B005968T1M/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_1/185-4713703-0072233 Good luck, Larry

  4. Caroline near Seattle says:

    In 30+ yrs of living in WA I’ve never been to Mt Adams. So thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. You were blessed with the right weather for viewing. I drove to Mt St Helens a few months ago for a little day trip and had the same sense of wonder; although that feeling came from seeing the devestation as well as the beauty. From the Observatory you’re practically peering into the hole that was created by the blast … quite a sight. But your photos are much more peaceful.
    Great photos today! And always a joy to see the pups marching along the trails.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting comment, Caroline. I was going to drive up to Mt. St. Helens today but it took so long to put this blog entry together, the day flew by. I’ve got my priorities!

      The view you mention is from the other side of the volcano. I’ve heard it’s quite a sight. You can see cinders blowing and all.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos today!

  5. Caroline near Seattle says:

    It was very quiet and still when we visited in May.
    The first year that climbers were allowed back onto Mt St Helens, I joined my brother’s friend and went to the top. It was hard work but what an experience! The terrain changed constantly; from meadows to boulders to rocks, then finally thick ash … 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards slding thru the ash. At the top it was so windy that ash got into my camera and it never worked again. So I have ZERO photos of the experience! But I’ll never forget how vulnerable I felt when we stood on the rim of the crater and looked down as wisps of steam escaped. And what a view …. we could see all the peaks of the Cascade range. Boy, was I young then!
    It would have been very busy at the Observatory on a holiday weekend so just as well you don’t go, given your dislike of crowds. Besides, I’m glad you updated your blog. The entries and photos are always so peaceful and refreshing. BUT take advantage of any clear days you get ….. they will soon be few and far between. Safe travels!

  6. PNW alison says:

    What a great adventure you and the crew had! And Spike – huh? no soak? You don’t like those lakes that melted off the glacier about 2 seconds ago?
    Sue, now you’ve experienced the secret spell of the Cascade Volcano mountains, be aware: once you’ve seen them, you will be drawn back again and again, always seeking higher and higher campsites. Better start saving up for 4WD now!

  7. Alan Rabe says:

    Hi, Sue. The pictures are beautiful as usual but there is a small addition to you’re equipment you might want to make. A polarizing filter will clear all the haze from the sky and render it as a deep blue. It will also give the ice and snow the look closer to what you are looking for as well as clear up the image of the peak. They are not expensive and come in all sizes to fit your lens. Not the focal length but physical width. They are very helpful in all hazy conditions. The circular type are best for digital cameras. And best of all you can get them on Amazon. They are a two piece filter. You attach it to the lens and once you are focused you spin the outer filter to get the amount of effect you want.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=polarizing%20filter&sprefix=polarizing%2Caps%2C223&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apolarizing%20filter

    • Mick says:

      RVSue’s camera, a Panasonic DMC-TZ3, has a lens protective shutter that closes tight to the lens when retracted in the power off position. There is no room for a filter and probably no threads. BUT there is a “SNOW” setting that uses digital signal processing to help with the glare. Probably not as good as a filter but it may help.

      • Alan Rabe says:

        She might also try the Beach setting. The only other alternative is to use sheet filters but that would require the use of a tripod and I don’t think she wants to go in that direction.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh, Mick . . . I can’t believe it! I forgot all about the “snow” setting! I need a “pop upside the head.” (That’s Georgia talk).
        🙂

  8. Diane says:

    OMG! Infused with Wonder…I like that. Awesome! Thank you Sue for Sharing this experience with us. You lifted my spirits today.

  9. Glenda says:

    I agree with Alan that a polarizing filter would certainly add to the clarity of your photos, that crispness in the colour and detail. Having said that, your photos are amazing and I am grateful that you have shared with us such a beautiful place. I would have been dumbstruck too………..so many in this world to behold and that was certainly one of them.

    • Glenda says:

      Just adding to the above ………….I thought this would be a good idea, but not sure if one can be fitted to your camera.

  10. Ladybug says:

    Oh my, just look at Spike licking his chops, anticipating the soak that never came! Almost worth not getting a soak picture.

  11. dawn moore says:

    Gosh, Sue, loved your gorgeous photos of beautiful Mount Adams! Thank you so much for bringing back memories of going to Mount Adams with my maternal grandmother, mom & siblings to pick huckleberries! What a wonderful time we had. We certainly enjoyed those berries, especially as syrup, during the winter. Loved Spike’s indecisive stance…unusual for him. Hope he gets a soak in soon! Happy trails to you & the crew, Sue!

  12. Marilu Paulson says:

    I believe these are your most exquisite photos yet.
    Enjoy!
    Marilu

  13. Chuck Hajek says:

    Your pictures are beautiful as always. Wanted to see Mt Adams, heard about it from some Casita friends years ago. Thank you for putting my and Mick exchange on batteries go through priority! Solved a VERY confusing problem !

  14. WOW! I agree with Marilu, exquisite! So glad you are finding such beauty!

  15. That was one amazing view! Thanks so much for the pictures. Glad you shared several:)

  16. Tawanda says:

    WOW, your capture of Mountain and tree line with their perfect reflection on the calmer water is stunning, can totally imagine how breathtaking it was to take it all in up close and personal, “meringue” is a great description of the white wonder draped over Mt. Adams and edging down the slope.
    T~

  17. Tawnya says:

    Aunt Susan that is just beautiful! I really hope one day I can be doing what your doing. Looks so much fun. Please stay safe, and yes, always remember I’m just a phone call away if you ever need me! I love you tons!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, sweet Tawnya!

      Someday you WILL do what I’m doing. Anything you put your mind to, you can do!

      I love you tons, too! Sending love to Brian, Scott, Melissa and all the family . . .

  18. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Amazing photos. Love the close up of the glacier.

    Sometimes it’s hard to capture the beauty you experience in person…like the deep blue blue blue of a glacier or hot lava shooting in the air. I’ve tried in Alaska and Hawaii and have seriously FAILED. Your pictures are always awesome!

    The crew looks like they are having a blast! Enjoy! Thanks for sharing.

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Dearest CinandJules, I am afraid I owe you an apology. I have lost close friends due to drugs and even aids, both socially unacceptable illnesses and some of the comments that were made hurt. They were all good people and excellent musicians and other than their personal situations were not any of the things described in the previous session. However, that doesn’t permit me to insinuate that you are not caring and compassionate people, in fact I know you are. I sometimes let my passion get the best of me and over react. So I offer to you both my sincerest apology, I had no right to accuse you the way I did.

      Love and Best Wishes
      Alan Rabe

      • cinandjules (NY) says:

        First and foremost…I am truly sorry that you have lost several dear friends.
        In regards to the comments, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I was never offended by what was said so no apologies are needed.
        I don’t think you overreacted at all. The topic hit close to home and you responded from your heart. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

        What’s great about this blog is… It brings people together from all different walks of life and people who are at different places in their life. But together we all come to experience and enjoy Sue and the crew’s journey.

        Smile…it’s all good!

  19. Michelle Flores says:

    Welcome to the PNW. Hope you are going to make it thru Oregon sometime soon? There is lots to see here in Oregon as well.

    I finally found your site again…I forgot that you changed sites and didn’t sign up for it and was thinking about you the other day, so found an old email post and got “re-signed up” to get your posts.

    Enjoy all that Washington has to offer as Oregon has just the same if not more.

    Michelle

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Michelle . . . Yes, we will go through Oregon. I couldn’t come up this way and bypass your beautiful state!

      • Michelle Flores says:

        Glad to hear it. Interested in knowing where you are headed or if you want any ideas. Email me direct if you like. Born and raised in this area.

  20. gingerda says:

    wow, all I can say is “breath taking”. Your pictures are amazing.

  21. Hi Sue…what can I say but”Thank you for the gorgeous photos…you always start my day off with a happy heart!”

  22. Susan in Dallas says:

    Love the photo of Bridget & spike “trailblazing” down the path

  23. John fossildreamer says:

    Wow !! I can almost smell the forest and feel the cool of the lake,, what beautiful
    pictures.. Thank you for this little piece (big piece) of heaven today,
    It was just what my soul needed this morning…. Safe Travels

  24. Cari in North Texas says:

    Absolutely breathtaking photos and views, Sue, I think you’ve outdone yourself this time! I am cowering inside away from our 100 degree last-blast-of-summer temps, and I feel cooler just looking at the views and reading your spot-on text. Sounds like you had a wonder-filled, relaxing day, and I’m happy for you. And your side bar says 76 for the high temp? That may be our low right now if we’re lucky.

    I agree with your idea of becoming jaded if you stay within view of a lovely landscape for too long. I’ve had that happen a few times at some of the state parks. The trees, the lake, the trails – after a few days they seem to lose their initial attraction. Still pretty, just not as awesome as on first arrival.

    I laughed at the pic of Spike licking his lips, then again when he was hesitating at the edge of the lake. I remember feeling that way when I was in Juneau, Alaska. They have a glacier right above them on the mountain that feeds the surrounding water, and I had no desire to go wading. I did go up on the glacier, that was awesome, but cold!

  25. rvsueandcrew says:

    Thanks to everyone for the compliments on the photos, as imperfect as they may be. I’m happy you enjoyed them!

    It’s Tuesday, Sept. 3, as I type this. The crew and I are going to Mt. St. Helens this morning. I may come back to Randle to answer comments later today. If I start yakking in this comments section, I’ll never get us to the volcano. 🙂

    Love ya!

    P.S. No sound from the varmints over my head. Either they’re gone or they’re late sleepers …

  26. Tesaje says:

    Breathtaking beauty! Some places are just so astounding there is no photo, no matter who takes them, that can really do the scene justice. You just have to be there.

  27. kgdan says:

    I KNEW you would like Takhlakh! Usually when we go it is very quiet—not so many campers. The walk around the lake is not more than a mile—I could never make 4 miles!!! And I have walked it. 🙂 We do take our Casita there; we just go very slow—what’s the hurry–we’re retired! I just walked away from my much loved hobby retirement job as Buena librarian last Thursday so that I can do what you do. Your stories inspire me. Now my husband has your site on his “favorites”—:)

  28. Alan Rabe says:

    Hello to all owners of RVs, campers and whatever. If you are in need of tables or chairs that fold up into small little packages that can be hidden away, then I have a suggestion. Spiderlegs, I just got one from Amazon, thru Sues link of course so she gets her credit. They have a plethora of sizes, shapes, and finishes, to fit all needs. Just use Sues link to get to Amazon and enter spiderlegs in the search area. I think you will be a little surprised.

    enjoy.

  29. Pauline says:

    Oh my, my, my!!! What absolutely breathtaking pictures! I can imagine how magnificent it must have been in person. Sorry I haven’t commented lately. The ole PC was in the hospital with a virus. All is well now.
    Love you!!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love you, too, Pauline… Good to hear from you again!

      We just got back from Mt. St. Helens. I thought I’d answer comments and maybe post, but I’m worn out. It was quite an adventure! I’m so glad I decided to stay another day so we could make that day trip.

  30. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Yo, Spike , that water up there is a little cold for your belly, eh? Well that’s ok with me ,,,,,Hey Bridget, your looking good ,,,,,,,,,Timber ,,gotta go , my humans coming , see ya

  31. Gaelyn says:

    Your photos evoke such wonderful memories of Takhlakh (Reflection) Lake. Also being eaten alive by mosquitoes trying to camper there.

  32. John D. Lamb says:

    When you first stepped through and got that shot of the mountain reflecting on the lake, oh my!! Those are the moments I live for now!! Had I seen that myself, I literally would have been in awe, and possibly cried at seeing the amazing display of Gods handiwork……thank you so very much for sharing!

    Safe Travels…………..John

  33. R. says:

    Sue and Crew, if you want to visit Mt Rainier NP then dogs on a leash no longer than 6 feet are permitted on the Pacific Crest Trail. We visited there a couple years in mid-September and wildflowers were spectacular. You have a great eye for spotting beautiful scenery so that would be something to capture in your photos. I don’t have a clue about wildflowers this late this year.

  34. Caroline near Seattle says:

    look forward to hearing about your visit to Mt St Helens.
    The weather forecast is for heavy rain and thunderstorms on Thu & Fri, especially on the Peninsula. Then clearing to sunny and warm for Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues. Just in time for your visit to the coast.

  35. Marcia GB says:

    Your pictures speak to my heart in a very deep way, whether they are majestic or light and funny, they may evoke differwnt emotions but it’s the same effect for me. I love the diversity of folks who read and comment on your blog. It’s a meeting place 🙂

  36. Bob says:

    Loved your commentary on Takhlakh. Possibly headed there for a week in September 2015

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