Sarah and I moved out early for a run around Bead Lake. I haven't been there since I was 19 (old enough to buy beers in Old Town on the way). Back then, I was fishing for burbot. I never caught any and I still haven't. I've only seen pictures of this "fresh water ling cod." I dont think it ever dawned on me when I was 19 to run around the damned lake. I don't know if that means I have become tougher in my old age or just more demented.
It was a beautiful run, with lots of stops for pictures. There are some really nice campsites along the trail, as well. The Discover Pass is no good at Bead Lake. If you park in the parking lot you pay $5. Same to launch a boat. The boat launch used to be a Washington State fish and game launch, but years ago it shut down. Recently it has been resurrected into a national forest pay deal. I guess it hasn't been that recent - 10 years? Recent to me. But you can still park for free at a trailhead that is in the forest and run to intersect the main trail. That is what Sarah and I, unwittingly, did and it worked out fine.
Bead Lake is very deep, as I remember. It is also crazy clear and extremely cold. That didn't stop Sarah from swimming. It did me.
The almost 9 mile run is an out and back. Apparently, there is no trail all the way around the lake. We could've gone a mile further to make it an 11 miler, but hey...
Lots of dark, dark cedar groves. My favorite kind of place.