Twelve months of visits to a mountain lake tells more than twelve tales. The solitude found during a Wednesday in the winter is completely different than the chaos found on a Saturday in the summer. The seasons make one set of changes. We make the other. The combination produces a much more interesting set of experiences that can't be revealed in one visit or in a page of some guidebook. Barclay Lake sits about an hour northeast of Seattle on the soggy side of the Cascade Mountains. It is an easy hike within challenging terrain and is one of those rare places where the extremes of hiking can be found. Families can camp with kids and climbers can assault rocky spires. Different experiences give people different points of view. It is no wonder that debates about the environment and land-use are so complex and confusing. Barclay Lake is one place where those various points of view meet and conflict.
The author is a pedestrian hiker and a barely intermediate skier who has enjoyed living in Western Washington since 1980. He believes our world is better for every point of view that gets understood and added to the story of how we should live and care for the planet.