Snowball fights in July

 The Wife and I felt like getting out of town on the recovery/regret end of the holiday weekend, so this morning we jotted down directions to a hike near Lake Stevens she’d been meaning to get to, packed up some snacks and The Boy, and jetted off. The trail was called The Ice Caves, which sounded suitably imposing and remote. We misread a comma in the directions and it turned out to be 15 miles further out than we thought, and as the road alternated between asphalt and dirt we were sure we’d left behind any trace of human civilization.

…until we pulled around the final corner into what could only be described as a Fred Meyer parking lot minus the Starbucks. Parking took 10 minutes as we had to vulture a spot from a family that was clearly in no hurry to leave. We dutifully packed up our trail mix and water while the groups around us ferried ice chests and firewood to the grid of barbecues and picnic tables. The trail itself was lovingly manicured and maintained. Carefully navigating between out of shape mothers in purple singlets pushing baby strollers, haut couture poodles, and herds of Russian tourists up a mile of gradual slope brought us to an open field, at the other end of which waited a year-round snowpack, puckered along the base by the legendary Ice Caves.

We kept entertained tossing snowballs around and taking bets on which numbskull climbing the snow would be the first to fall into a hidden ravine. All in all it was a long drive to hiking suburbia, but a nice view.

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