I don’t know why I waited so long to do Blanca Lake. Maybe it was too far. Maybe I thought I’ve done enough lake hikes that I didn’t really think that 8 miles round trip was really worth it. Maybe I thought the pictures of the lake were photoshopped. I finally hiked Blanca Lake this weekend, and I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided I just saw the prettiest lake in the state of Washington.

With the path of the trailhead washed out, it took us an extra two miles to get to the trailhead. It was relatively flat to get there, but we saw see the initial elevation gain right off the bat with Blanca Lake’s trail. A multitude of never ending switchbacks, we hiked to the end of one switchback only to look at another one with higher elevation. Not to fear, there are not as many false summits as switchbacks. We definitely thought we had reached the highest point of the hike a handful of times. When you finally reach the top, you are met by a descent down to the lake. From a distance, we could see the turquoise water of the lake. Extremely motivated, we marched onwards to the lake.

The water was unreal. Yes the pictures online depict its actual color. The shade of blue that the lake represented was turquoise, the same kind of Frost Glacier Gatorade. In the backdrop, you can see mountains covered in some snow, and you can hear the rushing waterfalls created by melting snow. I’ve done a lot of lake hikes bows from Lake 22 to Heather Lake to Lake Annette. This rivaled the lakes featured in every Banff National Park ad that shows Lake Moraine and Lake Louise. The lake didn’t seem real. The water didn’t seem real. All in all, this hike is worth the drive and hike.

— — —

Here comes the perspective part. You can stop now if you only wanted to read about the lake. My friend, who shall remain nameless, began cramping on the way up the hike. Through sheer willpower and determination, he was able to not only make it to the lake, but also make it back. The mind is a powerful thing. It can deter your day or enhance it. All hiking is is walking. But there’s a mental and physical challenge that I think teaches anyone a lesson of preserving. My friend wanted to see the lake. This was the one hike that he wanted to truly do. I truly do not know if I cramped as early as he did if I would have continued on the hike. But he strived on, leaning on his trekking poles on the way down. What am I trying to get at here?

There’s a line from one of my favorite movies Into The Wild. It goes, “If you want something in this life, reach out and grab it.” If you find a drive, find it, use it, and build on it.

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