Barclay Lake – July 9, 2011

This time we added some more hikers to our group.  Jake and Cheryl couldn’t make it, but Julie brought along two of her friends, Janet and Jane (actually I can’t remember the second gal’s name so Jane will have to do).  I could tell right away that they were serious hikers.  Before John and Shelly arrived I made sure that Julie informed her friends of our non-serious hiking technique and our need for Starbucks before each hike.  They were aware.  Just to be clear, we aren’t lazy…we just want to really enjoy the nature of our hikes and not feel rushed.  Not to mention John and I both have serious knee issues and we’d like to both be able to walk the next day.  Shelly also brought along Shuri, her exchange student from Japan.

Julie and her friends decided they would just meet us at the trail instead of go to Starbucks.  Hmmm…that should have been my first clue.  We got our usual and headed out.

We started up the forest service roads and part way up thought we missed a turn, so we turned around and headed back out.  Turns out that the directions on the Washington Trails Association website were incorrect.  They said we needed to be on forest service road #6034 and we were on #6024.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize it was a type-o.  I did let them know, but as of today (7/14) their website is still incorrect.  Anyway, by the time we got up there I’m sure that Julie and friends were chomping at the bit.

Barclay Lake is a trail that two summers ago I went running on.  I just loved it.  It was bittersweet being back knowing I couldn’t run, but this time I planned some different fun…picture taking.

We probably got less than ½ mile into the hike when Shuri turned her ankle.  She had hurt it earlier that week running.  I felt really bad for her, but she was a trooper and kept on going.  She actually went ahead of us with Julie and her friends.

The trail descended towards Barclay creek before ascending again towards Barclay Lake.  Mount Barring is striking as the backdrop for this lake.  Again we lucked out with the weather.  It was just amazing.  We got a bit concerned for a while when we got to the lake and Julie, Shuri, Janet, and Jane weren’t there waiting for us.  We continued on the trail around the lake and finally caught up with them towards the back of the lake.  We found a couple of locations along the lake to stop and take pictures and snack.  As we headed back out Shuri quickly rolled her ankle two more times.  Janet offered Shuri one of her walking poles which helped a lot.  Everyone but John and I headed straight back without stopping.  John and I took our time, although we did see them at least twice.  We went somewhat off trail in a couple of spots and we came across a very magical setting.  John even mentioned that it looked like a place you should see forest pixies (you can only understand how ‘cute’ that statement is if you know my friend John who is a 6’4″ teddy bear).  I took some pictures, but they don’t even come close to doing it justice.

Just as we came to the trailhead, Julie and friends we headed out…perfect timing.

This time we were not ending our hiking day without lunch at Mi Tierra even though it was after 2pm by the time we go there.

Notes of interest about Barclay Lake:

  • Northwest Forest Pass required.  Can be purchased at locations such as Big 5.  Check their website for locations.
  • Only porta-potty is at the trailhead and it was well maintained.
  • There was a box to check in for the hike, but there were no unused pieces of paper.
  • Camp spots are available at Barclay Lake, but do yourself a favor and don’t setup camp at the first one you come to.  We saw a bunch of people at the first few and the ones just a bit further down the trail were completely empty and much prettier.
  • No garbage cans available.

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