Shane, Jason, and Brian were up bright and early on Thursday morning to sneak in a guys-only adventure, hauling the inflatable paddle boards two miles up-river for a ride on the rapids.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the plan, given that parts of the river were pretty fast and log-packed, so it felt awfully good when I eventually saw these three floating back toward us on the horizon!

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Apparently there was a brief moment at a log jam when Shane feared for his life, but other than that, they nailed it!

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Meanwhile, back at camp, Jules was gettin’ her baby-fix with little M before he hit the road back to Seattle.

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I wish my hair looked like this after three days without a shower!

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We packed lunches and headed east late in the morning to check out the Washington Pass overlook.  I read this was one of the best places to take in the view of the North Cascades.  Not too shabby…

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All this beauty had these guys feelin’ the brotherly love!

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She fits right in, doesn’t she?

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From Washington Pass, we made the short drive over to the Blue Lake trailhead for another trek through the woods.  We got off to a roaring start, as Jules was determined to keep pace with Gryff (whose nickname is “The Mountain Goat”, since he’s such a stellar little hiker).

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Soon enough, though, Juliette was tucked into the backpack with a treat, where she could enjoy the view from Shane’s shoulders.  This was my favorite part of the trail, where we came out of the woods into this rugged, tree-lined meadow.

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Back out of the backpack and into my arms.

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And…back in.

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The final ascent to the lake took all we had, but finally, we caught site of the water.  And snow.  It was freezing up there!

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We all huddled together on a rock to eat a quick lunch, wolfing down our sandwiches just as raindrops started to fall.

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This guy (Gryffin’s namesake) watched us from a distance.

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We hightailed it down the mountain after lunch, eager to get to warmer, dryer ground.

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Juliette was pooped – by the time we reached the car, she had completely slumped against Shane’s back, out like a light.

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We made a quick trip into Newhalem for firewood and ice, and then spent the rest of the afternoon back at camp, out on the water.

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Friday happened to be Jason’s birthday, so we toasted to him with campfire margaritas.

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And s’mores, of course.  Shane’s eyes in this picture!  Can you tell that his marshmallows were whisky-soaked?

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Coming up:  a whole lotta pictures of us doing a whole lotta nothing!