Lake Melakwa is in the same general vicinity as Snow Lake/Gem Lake, on Snoqualmie pass in the Alpine Lakes wilderness area. This hike is 9 miles round trip, a bit longer than Snow Lake, but should be a lot of fun. The only concern I have is that Melakwa is a native american word (not sure which dialect) meaning mosquito!!! But....I bought some bug lotion that is supposed to be really good, so I will test it out.
After I post this I am heading out to REI to get a season forest use pass to park the car on the trailheads. A one day pass is $5, and a season pass is $30. I figure I will be doing this enough that the season pass would be a better value. I also want to pick up some trail maps, a hiking pole, and either the Mountaineers loop hike book or their 100 washington alpine lakes hikes book. Maybe they will have trail maps in the book and I won't need to buy some....probably. Oh, and I need some water purification things, because that water is heavy!! I can refill my water bottles from a stream at the lake, but it is not a really good idea to drink it without cleaning it up. Last trip, I brought 3 bottles of water, which was not too terribly bad weight wise, but was not quite enough water. I don't want to add more weight in with more water, but it is a good idea to have at least the ability to get more water on the hike. One trick I have heard is to carry tons of water, and hike a few miles then take out a full bottle and stash it just off the trail, somewhere that is REALLY findable, with a note or something written on it with name and date so no one throws it away or hopefully steals it. If you do this every few miles with some of your water, you don't have to carry as much but you still get all the water you need
Louise, one of my expert advisors from work, recommended a couple different things, so I will browse REI and figure out what I want to do. Louise worked for the forest service for many years, and is an avid hiker. She says her most favorite area is the alpine lakes area, and I must say I like it so far. In a couple weeks, I want to venture south to Mt Rainier, and also over to Mt. Pilchuck and Mt. Si up near Everett, but I have lots of time.
Other things....I have a pot luck again tomorrow, and I am bringing fruits and these wonderful dips I made for the evening shift potluck a few weeks ago. They were so good! I might bring just one of the dips, since it tastes best on bananas and apples, and those are pretty easy to prepare. I want to do both dips, but the other one is for strawberries and other berries, and the strawberries I saw at QFC sorta suck. Maybe I will check out the little fruit stand down the street and see if theirs look happier. The dip that is DELICIOUS on bananas is just a 7oz container of vanilla yogurt mixed with an equal amount of applesauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. So good!! The other dip is great with all the fruits I tried it on, and is made from a 7oz container of lowfat cream cheese, and a 7oz container of marshmallow creme. Wonderful stuff! Lots of sugar, though, but tastes almost like cream cheese frosting. Maybe this is how you make cream cheese frosting?? Hmm....I may have stumbled onto something here........