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.).
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.
There 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.
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.
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.
“Stop a minute, guys! I want to take another picture.”
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 . . .
Alas! 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.
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!
We 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.
“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.
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