Battleground Lake State Park Hike

Hike Distance: 4.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1809.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 561 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 203978 feet

Well, it appears this was the last hike of the year for us!  It’s been quite the roller-coaster with so many health issues, and a couple of procedures.  My ankle giving out, and taking  about 7 months to fully heal, made the biggest impact on my stats.  I’m actually quite pleased with all the accomplishments, considering the circumstances. 🙂  The final tally for this year is as follows:

2017 Total Hikes:  259

2017 Hike Distance:  1809.6 miles  (average 6.99 miles/hike)

2017 Total Elevation Gain:  203,978 feet  (average 788 feet/hike)

Lifetime Hikes:  1532  (since 2008)

Lifetime Hike Distance:  11,465.10  (since 2008)

Lifetime Elevation Gain:  1,785,608 feet  (since 2008)

% of Lifetime Distance Goal:  45.86%  (This will obviously change after 25,000 miles is reached!)

The chart below shows how this year stacks up against previous years, and there’s no complaints here!

Hiking Stats Chart

 

On to today’s hike.  My son opted to join us on this hike so we kept the distance to a manageable length.  There were plenty of people fishing in Battleground Lake but the trail system was fairly empty ( a couple runners with dogs).  It was definitely warmer, and we were overdressed and sweating.  The trail system had plenty of muddy spots but they were mostly avoidable.

We had a great leisurely hike and it was a great way to finish up the year.  I’m very glad our son could join us on this hike!

A happy New Year to everyone and wishing you a great year with plenty of time enjoying the outdoors! 🙂

Lewisville Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 3.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1805.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 261 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 203417 feet

Heavy rain and warmer temperatures was the weather for the day, and it was great to hike in these conditions. 🙂  My son joined us for the hike and his ankle did well, which is encouraging.

The Lewis River was swollen with water, and it was raging.  You don’t often see water levels this high and it was a bit unnerving to be so close.

We made a simple loop around the park, and there were other people enjoying the wet weather.  A very nice hike in a beautiful park!

 

Moulton Falls Area & Murphy Grade Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 6.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1802.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 621 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 203156 feet

A truly interesting day and we had to change our hiking location at the last moment.  We were within a mile of our trailhead and an accident blocked both lanes.  The road was covered with ice and our Subaru didn’t give us much confidence in this area.  After seeing there were enough people to help, we turned around and headed back to the nearest trail at Moulton Falls.

I got out of the car, in the parking lot, and was greeted with a sheet of ice!  Not to worry as my wife and I had our trusty Kahtoola microspikes. 🙂 We had to wear these for the entirety of our hike, but this gave us confidence to go where we wanted.  The bridges were coated with ice, and the traction on them is superior with these mounted to our hiking boots.  We saw a large number of people, and they all seemed to have traction issues.  A pity that people just don’t think about this issue and put themselves at risk of slipping.

We ascended east on the trail, and crossed the bridge over Big Tree Creek.  We then headed up the trail and over the high bridge over the East Fork Lewis River.  As mentioned, both were covered in ice!  We then hiked the Murphy Grade Trail up to a bridge over the creek just east of the Hantwick TH.   There were plenty of views of rapids on the Lewis River as well as Moulton Falls.  It was difficult to take pictures of the Lewis River water features due to the angle and obstructions.  There were some ponds along the way that were both eerie and beautiful.  One of the ponds was still mostly frozen and looked like the water was smoky.  There were also some water features next to the trail that gave photo opportunities.  The entire length of the trail was both slush and ice covered, and it was a beautiful winter wonderland.

After our return from the Murphy Grade Trail we headed out to see Yacolt Falls.  Such a stunning place, and my wife took a picture of me standing in front of it.  She didn’t join me as she was concerned about falling down the steps.

Quite the exceptional hike and we were so grateful we were steered to this area. 🙂  It was also nice to exceed my 1800 mile goal and finish the year strong.

Vancouver Lake & Frenchmen’s Bar Trails Hike

Hike Distance: 7.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1795.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 419 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 202535 feet

A cold and overcast day in the Vancouver Lake and Frenchmen’s Bar Trail area.  We were chilled by the cold air, and slight breeze, at the beginning of the hike, but warmed up after hiking a bit.

From the Vancouver Lake parking area we headed towards the North Trail and bumped into a gentleman that was watching a juvenile bald eagle!  The bald eagle wasn’t deterred by his dogs and proudly posed for a picture.  Such a majestic and beautiful bird of prey!  This forested area had a coating of what looked like snow but had turned into a white frozen landscape.  I love the look of winter in the forest.

At the end of the North Trail we turned west and headed towards a bridge that spans a channel.  We didn’t cross, since it was icy, but took pictures of the reflections in the water.  The sun peeked out and created a nice reflection in the water, and I was glad to be there for this photo. 🙂

We headed back toward the Vancouver Lake parking area and then turned toward the shoreline.  We could vaguely see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood.  Mt. St. Helens had been illuminated by a break in the clouds, for a short time, and I snapped the photo.  The muted pink horizon was spectacular for pictures!

We next headed out on the Frenchmen’s Bar trail.   The Frenchmen’s Bar trail gave us great photo opportunities for the large flocks of geese!  It was so noisy as thousands of birds routinely come here for the winter.  We stopped midway through this trail, at a viewpoint of the Columbia River.  There was a spectacular view here, and we took pictures with our phone and camera.  We even saw a kayak er head out on the Columbia.

My last goal this year is trying to surpass 1800 miles for the calendar year and I’m excited about getting close today.  If everything works out then tomorrow will be the day this can be accomplished.  I’ll probably throttle back for the remainder of the year since my son is at home for the holiday’s and is still having ankle issues.  I’m trying to convince him to go on a couple of very short walks but he’s just not sure.  I definitely won’t push him but want to get him outside, if even to look at some waterfalls or sit near a river and gaze out at nature.

Such a wonderful day to be out in an awesome area!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1788.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1006 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 202116 feet

The roads to this hike were very dangerous and slippery.  Our Subaru did fine but it was the other vehicles I was concerned about, and thankfully no issues occurred. 🙂  We decided to go hiking on this day as the forecast was looking like snow for tomorrow.  This turned out to come true as our home, in Vancouver Washington, was blanketed in snow, and still is, on Christmas day (this is the only time I remember a white Christmas).

The roads we hiked were snow covered over its entirety but not slippery.  The air was crisp and refreshing.   The fog cleared up and the sun melted all the snow where the road was exposed.  Such a beautiful sunny day!