RA Ellis

The hike to Cave Ridge on Snoqualmie Pass is a little brutal. It’s not really a trail, more a goat track that spends some time on a dry stream bed with rocks the perfect size and shape to break your ankle. It’s less than three miles as the crow flies, but that crow died from elevation gain. To top it off, if you’re doing the hike for the reasons we were you needed your camping gear. And enough water for the hike, the return and two days of intense activity. Gallons. “A pint’s a pound the world around.” And all of your technical caving gear. The labyrinths under cave ridge were phenomenal, but could take a lot of rope and hardware.

Rick, Lara and I did the hike on a beautiful August day. Which, of course, meant a brutally hot August day. It was a challenge. We were in good shape, hell, great shape, but at the end we were exhausted, drained, dehydrated and bruised.

The camp site was the first reward. An outcrop on the shoulder of the mountain with a flat surface and incredible views. The second reward, as the sun set, was a rare aurora borealis display. Only twice in my life have I seen it this far south.

“This is amazing,” Rick said.

“Definitely. I think the only thing that could make it better would be a fine scotch. Maybe an Islay. Ardbeg.”

“That would be incredible!” Lara said.

“Then maybe we should have some,” I smiled.

“Are you f****in’ kidding me? You carried a bottle all this way?”

I smiled, “Nope. You did. I snuck it in your pack before we left. Who’s up for a scotch?”

“You are such an asshole, RA,” Rick said.

But he enjoyed the whiskey.

RA Ellis writes humor and sometimes waxes philosophical about things that offend people who are offended by those sorts of things. He enjoys single malt whiskeys, cigars, and being left the hell alone.