Hike Distance: 7.5 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1355.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1063 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 179506 feet
It’s been tough trying to catch up with all the trip reports that haven’t been completed. By my count I’m 46 trip reports behind for this year! 😦 I’ll be trying to push out many more in the near future but can’t promise anything, as my schedule has been quite full and I’ve been exhausted from everything that’s been going on this summer. I’ve also been working on home improvement as we’ve neglected our house for decades, while raising our kids, work and other responsibilities. It will probably take years to make significant improvements to our house, and this will pull me away from some amount of hiking…at least temporarily, I hope.
I got out late for this hike, mainly due to talking with a WTA manager about all the destruction of trails caused by mountain bikers. My take away is that there is much frustration with how aggressively mountain bikers have been both modifying trails and damaging the tread during aggressive use, despite the trails being designated for multi-use (horses, hikers and mountain bikers). My own experience has left me quite angry, and frustrated, with many mountain bikers that have zoomed past me at high speed, without warning and with no apology for endangering my safety. Hikers have the right-of-way over mountain bikers but some of them (most are actually nice and considerate) clearly have no concept that others may be using the trail, and are entitled to a similarly enjoyable and safe experience. One of my main gripes is that the aggressive riding on the trails is eroding the surface and gouging them so they’re not pleasant for hikers to walk upon. The trails also take on a polished look and are more slippery for hikers. Also, the forest litter (leaves, needles, pine-cones, sticks, etc.) are scoured off the surface and there is no padding for hikers, and no way for the trail to absorb some moisture, which turns them to mud during the rainy season. Sorry for my rambling but this has been a major issue for the PNW trail systems and the organizations in charge of meeting multi-use-trail requirements are not doing their jobs, from what research I’ve done, and this is my observation and opinion after talking with some officials. Ugh.
So, I got out late, and was wearing full rain gear in preparation for the expected heavy rain. I quickly bumped into a very nice woman named Holly, that works for WA state. She’s been keeping the trail system clear, and it’s much appreciated. We had a nice long talk and then I finally set out for a nice hike.
There was no rain for the longest time, and I was overheating. I almost took off my rain gear but then the rain finally arrived about halfway through the hike. It rained, and rained and then became a real downpour! I was so glad to have my rain gear, which kept me mostly dry. haha
After talking with Holly I only saw one trail runner for the remainder of my hike. The park was fairly empty, but then it usually is when the bad weather sets in. I actually loved the rain, but didn’t like the flying debris caused by all the wind. Towards the end of the hike I saw two downed trees, and wouldn’t have been surprised if it happened earlier in the day when the wind was quite strong! At the end of my hike the lighting under the canopy was surreal, and quite spooky, but I loved it. 🙂
I took a really contorted path around the park and won’t even tray to describe it. I must have covered most of the trail system, in order to get 7.5 miles out of the hike. I was definitely dehydrated at the end of the hike as I didn’t want to stop and get out another bottle of Gatorade. I’m almost always lazy at hydrating myself and need to change this bad habit. 😦
Just before ending my hike I came out into a grassy area, near the entrance to the park, and saw a momma dear and her baby! My pictures mostly came out poor but it was exciting to see some wildlife. A great end to this blustery rainy summer day.