Thanksgiving Day, 11/28/13

Lake Dorothy Trail

7.5 miles of hiking • 2000' elevation gain •

A beautiful day to give thanks and what better place to do so than in one of the Creator's masterpieces, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. A quartet of tryptophan-phobic aging amblers set off under azure blue skies for a ramble to Lake Dorothy. The morning was brisk, the air clear and fresh, the mood reflective and joyful. The trail was in decent shape, relatively snow-free at lower elevations but occasionally icy where shadows lingered. The colors of the forest, verdant greens, stone grey, russet oranges, contrasted with the purity of the white snow, ice encrusted. The lake herself basked in brilliant sunshine, the frozen throes of night cracking beneath solar rays unseen but felt warmly on bare flesh. Icicles of the purest crystal hung from boulders cloaked in togs of green moss while all around water cascaded with a ferocity to fell Pantagruel. At Dorothy's southern shoulder the trail hid beneath snow bearing the imprints of weightless spirits while a stream barred us from passage to the lakes of bear and deer. Sitting beside the impetuous stream we lunched in a warming light before embarking homeward. An icy coldness subdued the earth and we were forced to battle a frictionless frozen footpath with the tentative steps of a toddler until breaking free of early winter's snares. Thankfully, all survived intact and we bid farewell to the frozen delights of the wilderness and a day of remarkable peace and beauty.

Directions: Take Highway 2 east bound. After mile marker 45, take a right at the sign for the Money Creek Campground. Ignore the 'road closed' sign. Follow this road just over a mile to Miller River Road (Forest Road 6412). You will turn right and follow the road for about 9.5 miles to its end. This gravel road is usually in fairly good condition and a low clearance 2WD vehicle can usually make the trip without any difficulty.
Amenities: A privy and one picnic table are on site. Good camping sites are available along the lakeshore.
Trip reports and a hike description can be found at the WTA website and the Forest Service website.
Hungry after your hike? Try one of Zeke's burgers. If you worked up a sweat don't forget a shake. Located on Highway 2 west of the Money Creek campground, Zeke's has picnic tables outside and under cover in a heated, no frills dining area.
Heading east? Try the Cascadia Inn in Skykomish. Good food at a decent price. Nothing fancy and there is an outdoor seating area for those willing to be feasted upon while feasting. You may even run into a PCT through-hiker. He or she will likely be a wee bit less ripe than you but hey, you were on the trail and not laying around all day.