There are some moments in life when we just need a break from reality. I had a pretty rough week so I was very much looking forward to my day off: Friday. The mountains were calling me. I spent my day on a solo mission, checking off a 2015 bucket list item; The Big 4 Ice Caves!
The Big 4 Ice Caves are located in the North Cascades, about an hour and a half northeast of Seattle. The drive was stunning. Once I lost service I was able to just get lost in my own mind as well as the windy roads of the mountains. An inviting aqua stream matched my trail and I wrapped around, up and over the paved path. The drive was supposed to take only about an hour, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off my surroundings so I was gliding along very, very slowly. I was in absolutely no hurry today. I had nowhere to be and nothing to do but lose myself and find myself.
It was a warm day in Seattle- about 50 degrees. However, once out in the mountains the temperature dropped to a cool 35 degrees. Still, it felt warm as the sun shined down. I was in my fleece, leggings and rain boots. I found my way to the trailhead and set out to explore and take in nature for the afternoon. Equipped with my Canon, GoPro, Iphone I set out to adventure and get some more practice with my various cameras. Set to a soundtrack of Cat Stevens, Lord Huron and Fleetwood Mac I enjoyed a quite little hike alone. The path was covered in ice, which made for a slick walk but the sound of the distant waterfalls trickling down was soothing to hear in between the song change.
The short and easy hike leads to a truly breathtaking landscape. The snow covered Cascades set the backdrop of the Ice Caves, waterfalls and natural wonder. It sounds strange but the mix of the sun reflecting off the snow and the natural beauty of the earth made my eyes hurt. I think I may have also lost my breath a few times, ha! The Snow Caves are really snow caves under an avalanche chute. There are signs all over warning hikers of the dangers of going on top of and inside the cave but, I live a life of risks. They are too beautiful not to venture inside..
The shades of blue and orange were stunning. The “cave” had a pile of packed snow at the back and through the open arch you got an eyeful of the Cascade backdrop. Melting snow and ice was dripping all around inside the Cave so it definitely wasn’t a dry hike. Of course, I had to get some dance pose photos to continue my “Dance Around the World” project. Many people came and went while I was enjoying my surroundings, I suppose it’s not a huge thing to look at unless you really enjoy spending time outdoors and picking apart tiny details of your surroundings.
Over all, I love this location. It’s a very easy hike, hint hint hint to all my not so active family and friends who want to visit….. but really, it is quite stunning and not too far of a drive. Easily attainable for Seattle folks to spend the day.