Emma and I walked along Puget Sound today, threading our way around a lighthouse, even. 4 years ago
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www.adventuresbydisney.com/ Exciting Trips for the Whole Family View the e-Brochure for More Info.
It’s been awhile since our last expedition. I figured that, while it’s barely September, it’s also been cold and twice as wet as a “normal” August, so they should be out there. And they were.
The forest has changed again since the last time we were in the ancestral hunting grounds. Many new doug firs are coming up. Additional houses have been put up, limiting the habitat even further. Still, we got enough for dinner tonight, and for my parents. 4 years ago
It’s funny – the girls really wanted me to change this goal from 6 family hikes to outdoor excursions, because they didn’t want to go hiking today, they wanted to go paddling. And I guess they care enough about my goals on 43things it mattered to them.
So, we went paddling. We do this about as often as most people go cycling – maybe once or twice a year. For the Mercer Slough, we rent boats from Enetai Beach Park. This time, we got a single canoe. It’s not like the olden days, when I’d do 85% of the work. Now, they mostly paddle and I paddle and steer.
We went around the Bellefields Office Park, and then up to where the slough goes through the pipe under the freeway, then turned around. (route) There was a certain amount of loafing. We ate a ton of blackberries from the boat.
We saw the usual collection of wildlife: turtles, herons, ducks. No otters or mink this time.
When we were done, we went to 31 Flavors. I was pretty indulgent, and paid for double cones for everyone. 4 years ago
David and I did this hike Before Kids. David remembered it as rough and rooty – I remembered it as having magnificent views.
We drove out to Darrington. David was dubious that we had found the right road, and when we got to the trailhead, he was dubious that this was the trailhead to the right trail.
There was only one other car at the trailhead. The trailhead sign was up, but it was blank and nothing was posted on it. Someone had written on it in black marker that the creek had washed the trail out 1/2 mile in.
We started out the hike on an old logging road. True to the black marker, the road came to an abrupt halt, and we wandered down to the riverside (it’s really much more than a creek), and followed a trail of sorts until it seemed to just fade into nothing. Finally, we found the continuation, and after a very rough climb, made it back on the logging road.
The logging road portion of the hike was easy walking, even if it was grown in with alders and undergrowth to a single narrow track.
Once we left the logging road, though, the trail became increasingly difficult. Each stream crossing – and there were many – was dicey. The trail clearly hasn’t been maintained in years, and the trail was blocked with many fallen trees that had to be negotiated – up and over, down and under, or around. The trail was washed out repeatedly.
Finally, the trail evolved into a running creek. Maybe at one time, the trail was actually there, but it had turned into water falling on rocks in a deep rut. At this point, our legs were covered in mud and scratches, our boots soaked, our butts dirty – and we still hadn’t made it to the part where you come out of the forest and the views go from peek-a-boo to extensive.
While I tend to get focused on goal-achievement (heh), my family’s pleas to give up this madness finally penetrated my thick skull, and we turned around.
On the way back, I was amazed at how much we had battled to get as far as we did – all those fallen trees, all those forded creeks, all those frightening footfalls.
By the time we made it to the logging road portion of the trail, the sun had gone down over the ridge. We barreled through the undergrowth, found the trail markers through the initial washed-out portion of the trail, and finally back to the car at 6:00.
We were pretty tired, all of us. David’s shorts completely ripped from hem to waistband. If we were dirty and scratched at the half-way point, we were now completely filthy, sweaty, and disreputable.
We piled into a Mexican restaurant in Arlington. David wore Emma’s sweatshirt around his waist to hide the fact that you could see his underpants (at least they were demure solid dark color, not some jolly print). We hoovered up our enormous plates of heavy food, and made it home just before it was completely dark.
Another trip report on the web from the ‘90s4 years ago
She wanted our snowshoe expedition today to Lanham Lake to count as the first one. I’m OK with this. I will count as a “family hike” any hike with any other member of my immediate family – I don’t require all four of us to make this goal. Snowshoeing is also good enough for me.
It was a gorgeous day for snowshoeing. Cold – maybe 10 F to start, up to about 17 in the afternoon, but brilliantly sunny. There’s probably 7 or 8 feet of base snow pack, and then, all that rain we had on Saturday meant a dump of snow up in the mountains, so lots of fluffy white snow for us to snowshoe through.
It was also pretty quiet. There was a couple hiking out after a weekend winter wilderness backpack (that takes a certain sort) and then someone else just coming off of the lake when we arrived. We sat in a little snow shelter that someone had made – on a bench of snow to eat our lunch. It was snug and cozy in there, and it was set so you didn’t have the glare of the sun in your eyes while you were in it. On the way back we encountered a couple of other groups coming up to the lake. I didn’t envy them – it was nice to be done and off of the trail by 3:30, so we could have a chai at the nordic center and hit the highway before things got dark and re-iced over on the road. 5 years ago