CW: As far as my favorite lake sample so far, I would say Lake 7,200'+ because it was probably the most difficult to get to of the samples I have taken and it was en route to climb/scramble Mt. Fernow, the 8th highest peak in Washington. A very enjoyable and rewarding trip (if you enjoy endless loose talus and scrambling).
CW: I would say the diatom project has only changed the places I go slightly And in fact, I would say it has actually added to my adventures more than anything. I was going to many of these places already and now I can get something else out of them. It almost seems like I wasted a lot of opportunities on previous trips in which I didn't take samples.
CW: The most exciting thing that has happened on a trip while sampling would have to be staying the night in the old Three Fingers lookout. There is roadwork being done and we ended up having to ride our bikes along the closed road for 14 miles each way instead of the anticipated 9! Then there was a 7 mile hike up to the lookout with a little bit of tricky moat travel, a climb up the ladders, and opening the shutters for a beautiful sunset and evening in the fire lookout. A strange feeling sleeping in such a high mountain environment while being entirely comfortable in the lookout. I ended up getting two samples on the way out and we had a blast riding down back down to the cars.