Documenting my first summer in Washington
Backpack in over flat ground to Ipsut Creek Campground. Have dinner on boulders in the tumbling Carbon River and spend the night. In the morning, leave your things at camp and continue on the trail towards Carbon Glacier. Take advantage of the suspension bridge along the way for some spectacular views of the river-bed and Rainier (if the fog is clear). Have lunch once you reach the Glacier, as even if it's thick with fog when you arrive, it may clear for a full view by the afternoon.
Beach-camp along the Washington Coast. Take two cars, parking one on the southern end at the Oil City Trail-head. Pile into one car and make the short trip north to Third Beach, where the 17-mile hike begins. Make sure you have a bear canister and a tide map, as getting around several of the cliff-points may be impossible unless you time it right. The trail took us 3 days and 2 nights, with time for a sun-baked, solitary swim along one of the many desolate beaches you'll encounter.
Hike up to Lake Serene, by Gold Bar, on a sunny day for an excellent mix of burning thighs, teal glacial waters and jagged peaks. Commandeer a log raft and paddle around the lake - just make sure the air is warm enough so you don't get too cold.
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