Hike Distance: 7.4 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1826.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 686 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 235475 feet
Today I hiked the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail from NW Fruit Valley Road to NE 15th Avenue. This is an eight mile (mostly) urban trail that goes through Vancouver, WA. It was such a beautiful sunny day and it was cold enough to see some ice on the edges of some ponds. I couldn’t have asked for better weather.
That said, I have mixed feelings about this hike in that there were some questionable situations/people seen along the way. At the beginning of the hike I was walking east through a forested area. As I ascended a side trail in this area I notices a tent with presumably homeless people camped in the area. Also in this forested area there was a bike laying down next to a person-made covered area (made of branches) from which the smell of weed was coming. I have nothing personal against what I saw (and smelled) but am very hypersensitive to my surroundings when alone, and I wasn’t feeling completely safe, although that’s really my problem. In addition, I was walking past an area, past the I5 overpass bridge, where a small group of people, that were sitting, stared me down as I walked by, and it made me feel a bit uncomfortable (especially when nobody else was around). I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of a city person and tend to be suspicious, especially when alone. I just don’t want to be another statistic on the news. 😦
I feel much safer out in the forest and the middle of nowhere. I know this can also be a dangerous situation but for some reason it doesn’t bother me. Even the thought of animals doesn’t bother me much, but I’m still very aware of my surroundings and try to be prepared. My rule of thumb is if I don’t feel comfortable then I turn back and live to hike another day. I didn’t feel my life was threatened today, on the Burnt Bridge Creek trail, but urban trails can make me a bit more cautious depending on who is around me. I actually prefer being with other people on these trails, when possible.
I did meet a very nice woman, named Natalya, further on down the side trail where it meets Bernie Drive (I believe). We had a wonderful conversation that lasted 20 minutes!
I ended up turning around within Leverich Park and returning to my car. There were no issues on my return hike and I made it back quickly. A very nice day.