Some of you may recall that I have been struggling with a hurt knee throughout the spring and summer. Today I got back in that saddle and went for my first actual hike since doing the damage, and the knee came through fine! I’m still doing physical therapy, and I’m not all the way healed yet — I have to be careful when I walk, think about foot placement, and be conscious of how the muscles in my leg are pulling in different directions — but this is a huge step forward for me.
Today’s trail is a very popular one in the Pacific Northwest, and had long been on my radar, but for whatever reason I had never actually hiked it before. Lake 22 supposedly gets its name from 19th-century railroad maps, which listed each creek numerically. While the others went on to receive proper names, the numbers for “Creek 22” and its source lake simply stuck. The trail isn’t very long, at 5-1/2 miles round-trip, but that was perfect for me as a knee tester. It climbs fairly steadily through a beautiful forest, with simply dozens of waterfalls along the way, some of which are quite large. Some sections of the trail are extremely well-maintained, as you can see in the photo above, while others were fairly rough, with fallen boulders to scramble over, and some water on the trail.
Regardless, the view at the top makes everything worthwhile.