Laurel, Misty and I went out for a nice breakfast. We met up with their friend Eric who’s big into climbing, as are Misty and Laurel. Today’s plan was for Eric, Misty and I to meet up with Jason and Nicky and go out for a couple days of hiking in the Cascade Mountains. I was pretty excited about this trip, as it’s a great change from cycling. Unfortunately Laurel was unable to come because of work. We all met up in the early afternoon and got a few things at the grocery before taking off on the 3-hour drive. We made it to a small Bavarian town called Leavenworth. It kind of reminded me of one of the small mountain towns in Colorado. We got all our permits in order and drove towards the trailhead. We packed up all our gear and started up the many switchbacks of the trail. The lower mountain scenery consisted of bushes and bare trees, scarred from a recent forest fire. As we gained elevation, the forest closed in. The trees were much larger. We passed large cedars and Douglas firs that must have been 200+ years old. Soon it got dark and we turned on our headlamps for guidance. After passing through some rocky talus and some more thick forest, we reached Nada Lake where we decided to camp. Unfortunately, no campfires were allowed above 5000 ft so we were unable to warm up as much as we could have liked to on this cool evening. We found the perfect camp stop with tall trees all around. We all set up our tents and started cooking out meals on our camp stoves. We also prepared for the cold and put on some more layers. After dining on the previously dehydrated, we smoked a bit and told some jokes and stories until bedtime.