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Robin, on a Ridge

..picnicking with my girlfriend.

Story by Luke Mattson May 24th, 2014

East on Highway 2

My girlfriend Robin and I work opposite schedules.

I work weekdays, she works weekends. I work during the day, and she works during the evening. Our schedules rarely align to where we both have an entire day off together.

All this to say, we had been wanting to go on an outdoor adventure for quite some time, so we each decided to take off one Friday in May to do exactly that.

Since the western part of Washington state was expecting it’s normal helping of rain for that day, I proposed we drive east on Highway 2 - over the mountain pass and into the drier side of the Cascades. There is a well known trail there called Icicle Ridge (no icicles in the spring mind you) and the weather looked as if it would be fairly sunny and in the mid-60s. I thought all this would make for a great hike and a rewarding picnic at the top of the ridge.

Robin agreed, and early that Friday morning we hit the road..

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After a little over two hours of driving we were hungry, so we stopped just before reaching our hike to grab a burger and soda. Robin was all over that Pepsi pose.

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Hitting the Trail

After filling up on food and driving up and down Icicle Road we finally found our trailhead. Reading up on the hike I knew we had a couple thousand feet to climb to get to our desired vantage point, but for whatever reason I thought it would be a cakewalk.

Cue the switchbacks.

I consider myself a fairly well-seasoned hiker, but I was out of breath before I knew it. To my surprise Robin cooly trail blazed out front, and we stopped a handful of times to hydrate and take some layers off.

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As we got higher up the air naturally became a little chilly, but we were able to stay dressed down to our t-shirts.
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The vast majority of the tall pines lining our trail were Ponderosa. One of my favorite trees we have here in Washington, it wraps itself in a robust bark, rich with an orange and tan hue. This thick armor helps protect it from the late summer heat that often gives way to forest fires, not uncommon for this side of the Cascades.
Some of the trees we saw looked like they had braved a few fires themselves, including this one I had Robin stand next to.

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What are these photos about?

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the top

An amazing view is what we were hoping for, and that’s exactly what we got. You can see all your surroundings and then some at the top of Icicle Ridge. It seems no matter which direction you look the Cascades trail off into an endless haze of dreamy blue, and streams and creeks running off the surrounding mountains weave themselves into the Wenatchee river as it carves its way through the tiny town of Leavenworth below.

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Robin walked out on the ridge for the first look.


What are these photos about?

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The Picnic

One blanket, one bottle of merlot, one loaf of bread, one block of cheese, one pack of prosciutto, one avocado, one bunch of grapes, and one bar of dark chocolate - stir in with mountains and serve.
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I was really excited to get some shots of our selected morsels when we laid out the blanket to eat. Robin and I made a team effort in curating all the pieces to our meal, which we wanted to keep simple and savory. We brought some jars for the wine, but did not have any plates or napkins, so we used some strips of bark lying around the ridge to stage our food.

It worked out rather nicely.

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Let's eat

We sliced up the bread, avocado and cheese using our pocket knives,

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then we got to eating and drinking.

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What are these photos about? (Optional)

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Robin briefly took over the camera while I gave it up to munch, turning the lens on me.

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But I quickly took it back because I’d much rather take pictures of her.

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Part way through the picnic we had the pleasure of being joined by a feathered friend. Robin spotted him and I was quick enough to grab a shot before something caught his Eagle eye and he flew away.
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Dessert Finale

After an afternoon of delicious sights, bites, and birds, we capped it all off with some dark chocolate. Ghirardelli’s Sea Salt Soiree never disappoints.

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Taking one last look, we said goodbye and hiked back down to the ground. The view is too tremendous not to see again, so I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

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Robin, on a ridge

What are these photos about? (Optional)

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Footnote: Trail name: Icicle Ridge | Shot via: Canon EOS 70D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 | Edited with: Adobe Lightroom 5 & VSCO Film 01 | Tooth ring worn by Robin & Tear Drop ring worn by me, by Temper Brand
Leavenworth, WA, United States