Yesterday Dad and I took Benji for his first hike to an alpine lake in the Cascades: Talapus Lake, about 20 miles past Snoqualmie, just off I-90.

Benji had no trouble with the distance — just shy of 2 miles each way — and overall he handled the climbing with reasonable stoicism. It was much hillier than any hike he’s done to date. Although… I doubt stoics talked nonstop for hours on end. In any case, there were about as many meltdowns as I expected, but not more, which I consider a win.

We did have several stops on the way up, but he always willingly resumed hiking after an internal of trail mix consumption.

Because of its proximity to the Seattle area, and it being Labor Day, lots of other groups joined us on the trail. Most of them brought dogs, since this was a designated Wilderness area. When we got to the lake, we found a very small area to access the shore already crowded with a good number of people. Some intrepid scrambling on logs allowed us a seat relatively… If not far, then at least separate from the other people.

Even with other people, the lake was lovely.

Speaking of intrepid scrambling, Benji wanted to climb all over this log fall. After some initial reluctance and with strenuous repeated exhortations to be careful, I finally let him go out on the logs.

We hiked back, a walk that took less time but more emotional toll as we all got grouchy. But despite some challenges, I think we all agreed it was a successful hike and something we all want to do again.

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