To celebrate the engagement, Scott generously offered to take Amanda and me on a hike in the Olympics the following day.
We only had to wake up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday -- our first day being engaged. I should have read that omen.
Scott and Courtney arrived at our house promptly at 5:30 a.m. Scott was jittery after already downing a Red Bull. Courtney looked like she hadn't slept in days. Amanda and I were still high off changing our relationship statuses to "engaged" on Facebook. We drove a little more than two hours to arrive at our destination to hike into Mildred Lakes.
We never actually made to the Lakes. Infact, we almost turned around immediately after realizing that there was no trail, only ribbons tied to trees.
The trail is approximately 10 miles roundtrip and all ridges, with constant elevation gains and losses. In total, it's a 2,300 foot elevation gain, but really you're either losing or gaining several hundred feet at a time. We debated whether or not we were actually just rock climbing. As the Seattle P-I puts it, "The so-called trail is an outdoor gymnasium -- all your limbs, joints, and muscles come into play and it's a challenge to remain upright along several portions... However, if you can stick it out and don't get off route or injured, the rewards are there." Lovely.
The hike was exhausting and I sweated like a hooker in church. I felt like that dude from Into the Wild and I desperately looked for that school bus where I could die in peace.
Approximately halfway through the hike we again considered turning around. Scott opted to continue. Courtney declared mutiny. We held a tribal council to discuss and the ensuing arguments would have made for great reality TV. Little did we know that we had an audience.
A man came walking down the slope carrying a large backpack, professional hiking gear and sported a long, curly, Amish-like beard. He was in his thirties but looked like he had been hiking for years (maybe he had?). He looked like an Abraham to me. He gave us a better indication of how far we had to go and we pressed on.
We finally turned around after we lost the trail after another hour and likely less than half a mile away from the Lakes.
In total, we hiked approximately seven hours without hitting our destination. I probably earned a blister each hour and rolled my bad ankle a couple times on the way back.
Still, we got some great pictures out of the ordeal:
Thanks for the hike from hell, Scott! Check out more about the hike on his blog.
Also, we posted Scott's congratulatory video over on the engagement blog, AM PM.