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Bench Lake

That it was 92 degrees at Mount Rainier last Friday wasn’t the problem.

It was the two wilting kids in the back of the van who’d already hiked that morning and who might have given anything to suck on ice cubes for the next half hour.

Which was when we set our sights sort of low and aimed for Bench Lake three-quarters of a mile away.

It might have been the water bottle dumped down their backs, but the moment we put our feet to the trail, these two trotted off with their second wind…

through meadows…

and past ponds…

until we could see it…

Bench Lake.

Which ended up being the kind of place you can look down to the bottom and count your toes.

And which, instead of turning our bodies to popsicles and our breathing to painful gasps…felt like bath water just before you let the drain out.




Not so much.

Which didn’t matter to these two.

And eventually didn’t matter to my daughter and me, as we scrapped the mid-thigh wade and flopped ourselves into the water, too.


No regrets.

By the time our son finished his little mosaic

It was time to claw our soggy selves back up the hill…

And do a little loitering on the trail for home.


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