Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny! It was just about perfect hiking weather. We left the apartment around 7:15, but then were delayed for about 20 minutes when Shawn and the guy parked behind us both decided to pull out of their parking spaces at approximately the same time. Both bumpers were dented/scratched, and info was exchanged, but I don't think we're going to do anything about it.
We drove about an hour away to get to Mt. Pilchuk. We drove up the first forest service road a few miles before we noticed a few cars parked on the side of the road. When we turned the corner, we saw why....snow! The road was completely snowed in, as far as we could see. We decided to just park the car and start our hike a few miles further down the mountain than originally planned. Shawn was feeling pretty confident that the snow wouldn't cover the entire road, but it turns out that we really should've used snowshoes. We did hike up the road a few miles, but we were walking through quite a bit of snow (probably a couple feet) almost the entire time. It was still beautiful, but it was definitely a workout! And poor Shawn was wearing shorts, so his socks and hiking boots got soaked.
We eventually came to a place where part of the forest service road had washed out at some point over the winter. (Note to self...we need to contact the forest service to see if they know about this yet.) This is where we stopped to have lunch, and this is also where we decided to turn around. See, Shawn was also pretty confident that the road would be pretty much in the tall trees the entire time, so he thought we wouldn't need sunscreen. Turns out, we were in the sun almost the entire time. So once we had lunch, we knew that we'd be getting pretty sunburned if we kept going. As it is, Shawn decided to wear my fleece shirt on his head to avoid burning his face. It was awfully sexy. :)
Overall, we had a wonderful day on Saturday! The hike was both harder and shorter than we were expecting, but we're looking forward to getting back to this trail during the summer. We've learned our lesson...bring snowshoes in May, even at this relatively low elevation! After the hike, we stopped at a great little produce stand that had amazing prices, and then we stopped off for an early dinner (where it was happy hour, so dinner cost us a whopping $9).