August 17, 2008

Snoqualmie River Middle Fork Trail

Saturday temps rose above 90. But the lure of hiking was too great so we headed to the Snoqualmie River on the Middle Fork Trail. We arrived early to beat as much heat as we could and to beat the crowds. We had better luck with the crowds.

We chose this hike in large part because very little of it is in direct sun. the heat (and a fair amount of humidity), however, had the upper hand.Almost as soon as you begin you cross this beautiful bridge. Not a soul was stirring on the way out but on the way back several people were just below us fishing.S makes her way along a switchback.
Yikes. This was no Forest Service chainsaw. Wind or lightning caused this split.
Because we were still on the west side of the Cascades, the forest is green and mossy. About a mile and a half into the hike we found ourselves under the gaze of Stegosaurus Butte.
Someone with more time and energy created several cairns during their time spent along the Snoqualmie. We just sat and ate and enjoyed the cool breeze and rushing water.

We were happy to spot the bridge on our hike back. We were tired and hot and out of water and ready to be in the car. It's a great hike but we'll be back when temps are about 20 degrees cooler. I think this will be a great hike in another month. We'll be back.

August 11, 2008

Sammamish River Trail

Sunday we returned to the Sammamish River Trail(SRT). We had been once before a week prior but wanted to go further. The SRT is a paved multi-use trail running from Bothell to Marymoor Park in Redmond. Like the Green River Trail, this trail runs 10.9 miles along, you guessed it, the Sammamish River. The Burke-Gilman trail connects to the SRT near Blyth Park in Bothell. We started near Wayne Golf Course around 96th Ave. NE and headed east all the way to the end of the SRT in Redmond. We made it a bit passed NE 90th. I couldn't find a name for the little park in which this Native house replica pictured above is being built.

I didn't get a chance to shoot too many photos and the trail was more crowded than I prefer. Next time we'll get an earlier start. We put in a very respectable 20.21 miles round trip, our new personal best. This included a short stop at Redhook Brewery for lunch. Also close to the trail are the Columbia Winery and Chateau St. Michelle Winery. However, our attire and our appearance was more suited for Redhook. Plus, there is always a large crowd of cyclists there so helmet hair and dusty legs don't turn any heads.
Four huge dragonflies greet you, two at either end, when you pedal off the trail and onto a short bridge that leads to The Herb Farm and Redhook.
Nearly tame rabbits hang out in the brush by the parking lot at the Sammamish River Park. This rabbit was spread out in the cool dirt to beat the heat.
The are around the little parking lot at the same park is home to at least a dozen roosters, all of whom try to out crow this guy. He was definitely the loudest.

For the record, that's iced-tea in my glass. As good as a cold beer sounded, I knew I needed real fluids. Water for sure and a bit of caffeine as a compromise.

August 07, 2008

Hiking on The Iron Horse Trail

A recent hike along the Iron Horse Trail near Snoqualmie Pass along the I-90 corridor. We started at the Hyak Sno-Park where we cross country skied in '07. From this point most folks head west so they can hike/bike through the old tunnel. We headed east to avoid the crowds of cyclists and the tunnel. A short tunnel is fine but this one is over two miles long - in the dark. Granted, we could wear our headlamps. But the novelty would wear out long before two miles.

We had the trail to ourselves with the exception of some cyclists now and then. It was quiet. It was sunny. It was hot. On I-90 there are large electric message boards providing road conditions and such. The message board indicated the temperature at 67 degrees. But it was certainly hotter than that on the trail.

Spotted some beautiful columbines.

Lake Keechelus is huge. You drive along it on I-90 and during some points of the year the water level is low. This reveals hundreds of tree stumps usually hidden under the water.
The trail is flat but gravel. After a while the gravel get to your feet, especially your toes. It's really nice to find a couple of potty stops along the way. One is brand-spanking new, still in the process of being painted. By far the cleanest pit toilet I've used. It services a walk-in camp sites. We stopped there and snacked at a picnic table in the shade.

Brilliant orange lillies.
Similar shots from two different seasons.
A couple more from a cross-country ski trip in January '07.

Lake Keechelus under snow.