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Synopsis

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 from 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.

Merritt Lake hides on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, between the crest of the range that partly protects it from Pacific storms, and halfway to the deserts and cities of Central Washington. The lake is protected by Nature more than legislation, within a land that is punctuated by avalanches and forest fires. Luckily, it is even better at producing quiet, serene moments.

Nature's residents range from rodents to raptors, and from delicate flowers to massive pine forests. Most of us drop by for peacefulness, exercise, fishing, or adventure, but some build campfires while forests burn, or fire guns during busy weekends.

Get to know the fuller, richer story that so few of us take the opportunity to experience.

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