Vancouver Lake Hike

Hike Distance: 5.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1788.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 247 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 232044 feet

I got out so late that I couldn’t go far from home, again.  I’ve got to get out of my funk, that’s keeping me lethargic and demotivated.  The horrible political environment and constant news of the accelerating climate change is definitely depressing and robbing me of energy and hope. 😦  I’ve already detached from most news (local, national and international), and cut Facebook out of my life, but I can’t isolate myself from everyone.  Truthfully, I’m scared for my children and grand-children, and feel powerless. 😦

Well, in spite of my feelings I know that getting out into nature is the best medicine.  So I dragged my sorry butt out of the house and drove to Vancouver Lake.  The weather was rainy and on the cool side, which resulted in people staying away from here.  Good, I wasn’t in the mood to talk with anybody!

That said, a Vancouver Policeman just pulled next to me, to use the facilities.  We talked for a short while and it was a very pleasant discussion, and actually talked about my goal of hiking 25,000 miles.  A very nice person and I’m glad he stopped to talk!

I only had time for a short hike, and did the usual North Lake trail.  At the end of the trail is another east/west trail, and I turned right to see if I could make it to the lake.  Surprisingly, the lake water level was very low, which isn’t usually the case at this time of the year.  I stopped and enjoyed the view of the lake from this vantage point, and took a few pictures.

I then headed back and continued west on this trail, and came to a nice bridge that goes over a channel.  To my dismay I saw that the bridge had been vandalized with graffiti! 😦 The amount of vandalism I’ve been seeing lately is disheartening.  I saw horrible defacement of the underside of the high arch bridge at Moulton Falls yesterday, and was angered.  The huge influx of people to this county, in recent years, has really lowered the quality of life for everyone.  I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again;  Everyone thinks they’re moving to such a beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest (which it is), until the infrastructure collapses and it’s overpopulated and overused to the point that it’s no better than where they’ve tried to escape from!  The Pacific Northwest is very quickly becoming the new California, and in fact, Californians are taking their money and causing housing and cost of living to sky-rocket.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone from California, but it just so happens that that is where the people are predominantly migrating from.  I just hate seeing what used to feel like a small town environment turn into a large sprawling suburb of Portland.  I moved away from the Chicago suburbs, in 1980, to get out of that sprawling overpopulated mess, and now I’m seeing this place turn into what I fled from.  Must be karma.  Sorry, but you can tell I’m having a rough day!

It was getting late, and dark, and I headed back to my car.  Despite what I’m writing, I still had a nice time, and saw no people on the trail! 🙂

 

Moulton Falls Trail Hike & Beyond

Hike Distance: 8.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1783.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 929 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 231797 feet

I had to take my car in for an oil change, and my mechanic is located north of Battleground.  This put me in close proximity to the Moulton Falls area, so I went there after the car was serviced.

Being a very wet day, there were very few cars parked at the lot on Lucia Falls Road.  I headed out toward Yacolt Creek Falls.  I was intending on doing a loop around that area but the bridge was moved out of position for the season. 😦   It was a bit disappointing but the hike was young.

So I headed out over arch bridge that spanned the East Fork of the Lewis River.  I didn’t see anybody and the solitude was amazing.  I guess the steady rain kept away all the fair weather hikers.  As I was walking I passed up a Clark County maintenance vehicle (only people I saw all day).  I was surprised to see a large number of trees that had been cut down.  I’m hypothesizing that these trees were removed to avoid a future issue with the railroad, that is very close by?  It looked horrible but there may be a good reason I’m not aware of?  I hope they plan on replacing these trees!

I continued to walk the entire distance of the Moulton Falls trail and was close to the Hantwick parking area.  I was near a bridge, that spanned  some small unnamed stream, when I noticed a trail going north into the woods.  I’d been here before, and expected it to terminate about 50 feet in, but it didn’t!  In fact, this is a mountain bike trail, and I suspect it is illegal?  I know it’s a mountain bike trail because of the features I found along it’s length.  I followed this trail for about a half mile, but it continued on.  This trail was in great shape and looked like it was there a long time, but I don’t remember seeing this before.  I plan on reporting it to some appropriate county or DNR person.  Unfortunately, I’ve found many places where mountain bikers destroy the forest in the name of creating a new exciting route for an Adrenalin rush.  This is what I call loving the outdoors to death.  Animals stay away from areas like this because of the noise they make when speeding down the trail.  Hikers tend to stay away from these types of trails because of the danger of getting hurt.  I deplore this kind of behavior that makes people think they can do what they want.  I’m sure nothing will be done as I’ve called before and gotten lip service. 😦

I hiked the three miles back to the car and saw nobody along the way.  I truly enjoyed this hike but was glad to get out of the rain.  Everything was soaked at the end of the hike, and I’ll need to dry them thoroughly when I get home.

 

Salmon Creek Greenway & Cougar Creek Trails Hike

Hike Distance: 5.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1775.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 311 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 230868 feet

I was so glad to get out for this short hike as I again got out late.  Not too many people on the trail.  I hiked a small loop and also visited the Cougar Creek Trail and Klineline Park!  a very large number of people fishing at Klineline Park, and I’m not sure why?

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.9 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1763.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1064 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 229358 feet

A nice hike but the big news was that we headed down a side road and noticed a truck with the door open.  Obviously a hunter, but we quickly turned around and high-tailed it out of there.  On the way back we again looked down the road where the hunter was parked, but they were gone.  What pissed us off is that these people baited the ground with white bread and packaged sandwich meat.  They left the food scattered all over the ground!  Despicable.

Other than the above, the hike was fun and we explored several side roads.  We even came upon an area where a bridge was removed, and it was now an impassable road.  No other people seen on the roads the entire day, with plenty of solitude. 🙂

 

Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 5.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1755.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 713 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 228294 feet

The usual quick hike around the park and only one significant thing happened, I fell!  Turns out a mountain biker warned me of his presence, and I turned around.  When stepping out of the way I went backward and there was a small ridge of dirt behind me.  For some reason I couldn’t get my foot above the obstruction, and I went down.  Thankfully, the ground was covered in leaves and the dirt beneath it very soft.  I felt like I went down on a soft bed!  I feel fortunate that it didn’t turn into some bigger injury. 🙂