|John and I. This was my first visit|
to these lakes since I was his age,
One of the most beautiful series of lakes on Earth, I would guess, is the Enchantments in the center of Washington State. Rugged and wild granite peaks rise at strange angles as snow fields melt into a series of ten or more blue-green lakes, with crystalline waters flowing between boulders and flower fields from one to the other. These are ranges dominated by softwoods (I counted nine species), most of which are evergreen. But these high, relatively dry elevations (the lakes are up to 7500 feet above sea level, with peaks rising higher around them) are also graced with a generous scattering of larch trees, which turn golden in the fall.
|Aasgard Pass is that "flat" spot to the left of the central|
peak in this photograph. I hummed "Ride of the
Valkyries," but none appeared to fly us over it. At least
we weren't carrying heavy packs.
So here's fodder for those who question my sanity, or good judgment. Yesterday, John I hiked up to the "back door" at Aasgard Pass (named after the country where Valhalla is placed in Nordic mythology, full of jewels and gold), into the Upper Enchantments. We swam in one of the highest of those lakes, and hiked back down again, walking the last mile in the dark. (John is back to the University of Washington today, so that was his send-off.)
|Colchuck from above. The larch are just|
beginning to change color -- though still beautiful.
Was it worth it?
Do you have to ask?
|Two of the first of the Enchantments, descending slightly from Valhalla. Clearly the land exists, and |
really does possess jewels. The lower lakes are punctuated by oddly-shaped granite peaks, and of course
have more vegetation.