This was the ultimate lazy run in our book: hike up, run down. Doesn't get more lax than that when the loop is only 7 miles. I have to implement these restraints on myself to keep my foot at bay and still enjoy the outdoors. I think I'm on a long road before racing seriously again. Dare I say I signed up for the Deception Pass 50k? I had high hopes when I signed up a few weeks ago, but those hopes were knocked down when I reached 60 mi/week and my foot pain was back. I never knew recovery would take this much patience, but for now I'm ridding my running of any goals. I'm soaking up the outdoors in the most relaxing possible ways and looking forward to a long winter season of mellow running and skiing.
We were watching the cutest fuzzball of an Aussie Shepard mix who was a great companion on the trail. Cortes (the Aussie) had never been on the hiking trails so it was a big day for him. He was enthralled by all the chipmunks and frolicked in every meadow we passed.
Justin had raced the Crystal Mountain Marathon less than a week previously so I think we were both happy to be taking this trail the easy way. When we entered the parking area it seemed this might be a popular destination but there were a few forks in the trail that lead to other main points of interest (Lake Lilian, Twin Lakes, Mt. Margaret). I loved the versatility of this trail: We started going up on a dry rocky surface that soon opened up into a wide grove of evergreen trees. After meandering through the towering pines we dipped down a trail into dense forest that opened up into a meadow which soon lead to Lake Margaret.
Lake Margaret, beautifully calm and quiet.
We hung out on the rocks for the afternoon while Cortes chased pikas on the slope. We jogged our way back down to the car which was over in a flash since the trail was less than 4 miles. There wasn't too much running involved in our day but I got my outdoor fill without agitating my foot. We will definitely be back here next summer to explore all the side trails. This particular area of I-90 was less crowded than most trail heads on the corridor so its worth driving the extra ten minutes past North Bend.
Lake Margaret (#1332), Access via I-90, exit 54
Distance: 7 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1800ft
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.