Keekwulee Falls and Franklin Falls - April 2, 2005

This snowshoe expedition is rated 4 high-tech $60.00 polycarbonate avalanche shovels out of 5 on the Snowshoe Expedition Shovel-o-meter.

After seeing the 4 weekends in March be taken up by (1) this year's edition of the annual Wealth Abatement trip down to California to help Mama Helen with her taxes, (2) another trip to California for work, (3) having the flu, and (4) a garage weekend spent working on the cars, we finally saw our way clear to having an outdoor day.  After our unusually unsnowy winter, we got 3 feet of snow up at Snoqualmie Pass over the past week, and were determined to do something useful with it, to wit:

  It's a Spring snowstorm!
  We're happy - we get one more
  snowshoe hike this year!

We met up with Rick, as usual, at the North Bend Factory Outlet debacle this Saturday morning at 8:00 AM in the freeking morning AM, and headed up into the mountains on I-90, off at Exit 47, and to the Melakwa Lake trailhead, through a bunch of nice new snow.

An ideal lunch spot with a view of the waterfall through the trees.

Where the footprints end is where we wussed out and turned around.  As can be seen, the trail curves around through a steep section - what can't be seen is the avalanche chute above the trail and the cliff at the base of the steep area below the trail.  We all decided that we were still too young to die, so we stopped and had lunch instead. 

Poor Rick gives an emphatic "Thumbs Down" to the little weenie dirt baskets on his hiking sticks.  We hope he springs for some real snow baskets before we resume snowshoeing next Fall. 

Looking back for a last glance at the waterfall.  We had originally hoped to get all the way up to Lake Melawka, but given the literal turn of events, we conveniently forgot that fact and decided to pretend that the plan had been to just go to Keekwulee Falls all along.

We inched our way back down to the trailhead, fired up the Mazda, and as we headed back toward I-90, we went flying by one of the all time best crops of Mountain Bananas ever witnessed by man or beast.  We came to a screeching but safe stop, made a hasty u-turn, and dashed back to wander awe-struck amid the splendor.  Truth be told, sadly, two of us stayed in the car, somehow unable to fully participate in the magnificence of this wonderful visual and olfactory Mountain Banana Bonanza...

  Mountain Bananas,
  also known as Skunk Cabbage,
  but what's in a name?

  Call them what you must, 
  call them whatever you will,
  they really don't care!

A Mountain Banana Jewel...

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