Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 864.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 937 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 127376 feet

We purposely avoided hiking the last couple of days due to the threat of thunderstorms.  On occasion we have ventured out when they were forecasted, but being caught in one is quite scary, and humbling, so we opted out.  Today was another story, as it finally felt like summer was here!  Partly cloudy with highs in the low 70’s, and some nasty humidity, welcomed us on this day, and we were ready.

As you might have expected, this was yet another forest road, and we’ve been to this area many times.  One thing I should mention is that the forest road system is so extensive that we’ve almost always found new roads to explore.  It may sound boring to walk on forest roads, but it’s actually quite peaceful, and rarely are there other people, or vehicles.  The biggest benefit doesn’t usually come first in peoples minds, and it’s the ability to go to the bathroom without other folks sneaking up on you.  haha  And let me tell you, the population in the pacific northwest has literally exploded, and the trails are overcrowded with hikers, and bikers if it’s allowed.  Privacy for potty needs can really interfere with a good time when you can’t relieve yourself at regular intervals!  I rest my case. 🙂

There were no distant views on this hike, so we concentrated on what was in front of us.  Our longest stretch of road was closed to vehicles, because of damage.  The flowers, especially daisies, were in profusion.  In the open areas we walked through the tall grasses and just admired how green everything was.  Under the treed canopy the temperature dropped and there was a slight cool breeze to enjoy.  We heard water flowing in the small streams, and I watched a small mouse scamper away from me.  It’s at these times when the little things count, and in a big way!  We love nature, and today it loved us back.  What more can you ask for, and why would you need more than this when in nature?  It’s not where we hike that’s important, it’s how we feel when we’re there, and today it was very special and we spent it together.  Sure sounds like heaven to me?

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 847.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1011 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 125169 feet

A gorgeous warm day with endless amounts of sun!  I couldn’t have asked for a better day and expected some rain, but it never came.  I was alone as my wife had a busy day at home.

Not much out of the ordinary, except an attack by a Hen!  That’s right, A Hen came down a small slope, onto the road, and was aggressive, with wings flared and making as much noise as it could muster.  I was very startled and my instinct was to raise my hiking sticks and yell while stepping forward, trying to look like a large predator. haha  The Hen very quickly retreated up the hill and appeared defeated.  I stepped back, looked around, and then saw a small chick scamper through the underbrush!  Now I felt bad. 😦  This little family was going to make a nice meal for some real predator, and this was just the place for that.  I was at least 3 miles from any home or farm. where they may have escaped.

The remainder of the hike was fairly chill.  I saw some snakes warming up on the road, and one that was especially large.  I didn’t see any people or cars during the hike, and appreciated the solitude.

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 840.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 848 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 124158 feet

My wife and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary today! 🙂  Where the heck have all the years gone, and who are those people that stare back from the mirror.  But honestly, it’s been a turbulent ride for sure, with plenty of ups and downs, but our love has grown stronger and we’re in a great place, and hopefully looking forward to many more decades together (unless this pandemic gets one or both of us). 🙂  A special day for sure, and we celebrated by going for yet another hike.

Where we went hiking was of no consequence, just as long as we shared another hike together, in a beautiful place.  This area we visited was very nice, and mostly forested.  We literally just walked down the road, and it descended for the majority of the hike.  As we walked the clouds became more ominous and the winds whipped up.  I was still receiving internet on my phone and was concerned this was a building thunderstorms.  Thankfully, the clouds dissipated and it became sunny again at the end of the hike.

Along one of the side roads we spotted a game camera, and for some reason I don’t like finding them.  I know the intent isn’t to catch people but it sure feels like a violation of privacy.  It’s a good thing we didn’t stop for a potty break before spotting it!  As another point of view story, we once went on a hike on another forest road.  During the hike a couple drove up and talked with us.  They mentioned they spotted us on their wireless camera, that was hidden along the road!!!  They were a very friendly older couple, that were concerned about the area, but we were out here assuming we were alone, and away from civilization, and not being watched or spied upon!  The question is, where do you draw the line, and that my fellow hiking friends is rhetorical.  Personally, in that instance, I believe they crossed the line, and we won’t be visiting that area again.

So the ascent back up the road to our car was uneventful, but it had turned warm.  We got to our car and were glad we had seen no people.  A wonderful anniversary hike. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 808.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1208 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 119440 feet

An overcast day with a bit of a wind, and thankfully, no rain.  The forecast included rain, but we never saw any.  However, it was drizzling on the way home, so we lucked out on our hike!

I wish I could make a trip report about a forest road more exciting, but that’s a tall task.  This is a nice area near our house, and we were looking to make this a short hike.  We explored some new roads and loved the beauty and solitude.  The new roads we explored had either a lot of debris, or were overgrown with tall grasses and other vegetation.

There were some nice views of the mountains but some of the clear cuts were not pretty.  We try our best not to be bummed out by the clear cuts but aren’t always successful.  We’re in the Pacific NW, so logging is just going to happen, and we can’t change that.  That said, we still see some beautiful places, and in general there are no people seen on any hike, and today was no exception!!! 🙂

The flowers were out in profusion, and it was wonderful.  Daisies, foxglove and Lupine both lined the roads and were in every clearing.  So many wonderful scents and plenty of sinus issues. ha ha  Flowers and new growth on all the trees and bushes always brighten our day, and therefore it was a great day!

We’re actually looking forward to a time when we can venture back into National Forest and Wildernesses, but we’re also not holding our breath.  It’s been about three months since we’ve seen any people close-up (within about 20-30 feet), and only a vaccine or effective (and available) treatment will likely bring us back to a public life.  We also haven’t even been inside any store or building in those three months, and have everything delivered.  Even purchasing gas is done late at night, when the pumps are empty, and only with gloves and disinfectant.  We know this will eventually pass but it couldn’t come too soon.  We wish you all a safe journey through this mess!

We had a long vacation, to Yellowstone National Park, planned this summer, but that is being cancelled due to the current situation.  Being a bit optimistic, we have actually re-scheduled this vacation for next summer, and hope all will work out.  Yes, we’ve put our lives on temporary hold, but will continue to plan like everthing will be all right. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles       Yearly Hike Distance: 801.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1488 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 118232 feet

This out and back hike descended for the entirety of the way outbound.  Most of this day was under the forest canopy, which was great since we had a long climb back up the road.  At the end of the descent the road was covered with high grasses, which were very high.  If not for a vehicle having left tire tracks in the overgrown vegetation along the way, this portion of the hike wasn’t doable.

At the end of the descent we moved carefully through the tire tracks trying to avoid tripping on branches or getting scratched by the thorny blackberry bushes.  Normally, I would be concerned about Ticks, but we were covered in clothing treated with an Insect Shield treatment (permethrin), which worked flawlessly to keep these Lyme disease carrying parasites off of us!  I know it works as I’ve never had a Tick attached to me after wearing this clothing, and we frequent areas that have abundant Ticks.

Flowers were abundant in all of the open areas, but they did get somewhat lost in all the high grasses.  I included a photo of some beautiful Lupine that was spectacular.  We also noticed that the Salmonberry was bearing fruit.  These berries are edible but I don’t find them very tasty.  I’d rather wait for the Huckleberries and Blackberries to bear fruit, but that will be at least one month, or more, in the future.

The ascent back to the car was long, with about 1200 feet of elevation gain, but not terribly tough (we are on a road).  It was such a gorgeous day, and the breeze under the canopy cooled us off.  We were again fortunate to not see any people or vehicles. 🙂  A fantastic day.