Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike #:  149

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1146.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1080 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 170044 feet

I’m sitting here writing this trip report and wondering when the Shingrix vaccine side effects will wear off.  Yeah, I know that this has nothing to do directly with my hiking, but the Shingles vaccine has already kept me from hiking for three days!  The side effects for this vaccine can be brutal, and I’ve experienced a high fever of 103.2 degF, violent shaking, headaches, body aches and now to fairly bad pins and needles pain all over my body. 😦  Mind you, I’ve had the Shingles (and thus had Chicken Pox as a child), and it was a full MONTH of severe pain, at the infection area on my chest.  My personal experience is that you most definitely don’t want to get Shingles, and for all the side effects of the Shingrix Vaccine, it is well worth this three day experience, at least for me, but, don’t just listen to me and go talk with your doctor if you’re concerned and thinking about it!  I’ll get off my complaining and high horse now.

Given that all of our hikes are now strictly on forest roads, there really is no need to spend, or waste, anyone’s time on what the experience was like.  Suffice it to say that the roads are in various stages of being used for logging (and have a fresh layer of gravel) or in phases of being reclaimed (since it takes from 25-40 years before an area is logged again).  Most of my future trip reports will focus on unique experiences on a particular hike, which is more exciting to read, and write about, anyway. 🙂

I also have decided to include, in the hike distance and elevation gain info, above, how many hikes I’ve done since the start of the year.  The reason I’m including this isn’t to try and impress anyone, but to let you know why I just don’t have the time to write a trip report for every hike.  This additional information also gives anyone following the blog an indication of how many hikes it takes to accrue the kind of mileage needed to attempt to achieve the goal of 25,000 miles, at least in my case.  If you’re somebody that goes longer or shorter distances, then you can obviously adjust your timeline to complete any personal goals you have.  And let me say this once again, my goal is only meaningful to me, and isn’t meant to be competitive.  I’m an engineer, and numbers have always been a part of my life.  I’m motivated by numbers, but realize everyone is motivated by different things.  The numbers keep me moving forward, give me an objective, and get me out the door, even when I feel like doing nothing.  Again I digress.

Today’s hike was like many others we’ve had.  It was hot, but the occasional breeze cooled us down.  We came upon a spur road and turned to investigate and experience what it had to offer.  Looking down I saw a small puddle with something moving in the waters.  To our amazement it was filled with hundreds of tadpoles.  The tadpoles had overpopulated this pool and the sun was directly radiating upon it.  This puddle wasn’t going to be around very long, under the beating sun and warm temperatures.  My wife and I looked at each other and she decided to empty most of her water into this puddle!  We then went about cutting ferns, and small cottonwood branches, and placing them over the puddle.  When we left, this small pool of life was now a shaded oasis, and we hoped it would give some of these tadpoles a chance to survive? 🙂

The second, and last, major event of this hike was noticing the ripening of the Blackberries that were growing along the side of the road.  It’s getting close to that time when the availability of Blackberries will be insane. 🙂  If you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest it would be impossible to imagine just how prolific blackberries are here.  They are basically very thorny weeds with the best tasting fruit.  Unfortunately, most of the blackberries we see are the invasive Himalayan variety, which are very abundant in fruit.  My wife and I picked the blackberries and popped them in our mouths.  We can’t eat too many or we feel sick.  We’ll be bringing containers with us, on subsequent hikes, so we can collect them in larger quantities.  Why pay for them when we can get any amount free? 🙂

A very nice hike with some nice memories!