Squak Mountain/Debbie’s View 4/18/2018

Looking South
Looking South

Nice Margaret’s Way hike today with Ken and Greg.  This is a nice hike, about 1,800 feet of elevation gain, much of it in the first mile (it does get your blood pumping right out of the gate), 6.6 miles round trip.

We are getting into a better weather pattern, after near-record rainfall totals for April.  Was able to look out on the metropolitan area:

Looking West
Looking West

As always, retirement rocks, this sure beats sitting in a meeting room listening to programmers and software architects argue about how to implement the latest tech fad.

Looking forward to another Tolt hike tomorrow.

Tolt Pipeline Trail 4/17/2018

Cool Bridge
Cool Bridge

Carl has been talking about the Tolt Pipeline Trail and we are scheduled to do it this Thursday.  I am meeting Ken and Greg tomorrow to do a Squak Mountain hike but today was nice so I thought I would get an early check on the Tolt Trail.

And I am glad I did.  This is my new go-to conditioning hike.  It is a wonderful trail – actually a road you could easily drive on, except all reasonable access is blocked by gates – that runs more than 20 miles between Bothell and – well, I am not sure how far it goes.  To Sammamish?  Carnation?

Anyway, you can get to this trail from any of the numerous roads the trail crosses.  That sounds intimidating, but almost all of them are little neighborhood streets with little traffic.  There is one fairly busy street but it has a stoplight with a walk signal so crossing is not an issue.

I parked in Woodinville just off 202, near some ball fields, just down the road from Ste. Michelle Winery and Willows Lodge.  Who knew a really nice trail went through that area?

Turns out more than one trail goes through there.  You leave the parking lot and immediately hit the Sammamish River Trail.  The pedestrian bridge there has a couple of beautiful monuments (or whatever they are called) as you can see above.

A short walk on this trail and the Pipeline trail intersects.  As soon as you turn onto the trail you can see the famous Heart Attack Hill in the near distance:

Heart Attack Hill
Heart Attack Hill

The trail goes up and down through beautiful semi-rural country, with numerous beautiful houses, horse farms and stands of trees lining the trail.

Nice Backyards
Nice Backyards

I cannot count the number of people with dogs and/or kids I encountered.  And one horse:

Horse on the Trail
Horse on the Trail

Of course, a trail with the word ‘pipeline’ in the name has to show you a pipeline at some point, no?

The Actual Pipeline
The Actual Pipeline

All in all a really nice trail and best of all, not all that far – don’t have to drive south on I-405 through Bothell, Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue traffic then east in I-90 (then reverse the route going back).

Many thanks to Carl for telling me about this great trail.  I would add that at the trail head just outside the parking lot is a map of the major trails in and around King County – whoa!  Lots of trails, most of them family-friendly and no doubt fun.  There is a lot to explore.

The track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/tolt-pipeline-trail-04-17-2018#.WtZA6X8h2po

About 7 miles, 1K elevation gain – fun!

UPDATE – 4/19/2018 – Did this again with Carl, we went just a bit farther.  Saw this interesting tree – note the holes.

Interesting Tree
Interesting Tree

 

Rattlesnake Mountain/Stan’s Overlook 4/15/2018

At Stan's
At Stan’s

Drizzly day – we are already over the normal rainfall total for April – but not a downpour so not bad.

Did Stan’s Overlook with Ken, Mark, and Carl.  Good workout, coffee afterwards, it’s all good.

Looking to get out three times next week as well.  My goal is to be fit for the summer when the avalanche danger is gone and the tougher hikes are options again.

Two Hikes – 4/9/2018 and 4/11/2018

Looking Southeast
Looking Southeast from Upper Ledge

I have done two hikes this week.  Solo, I did Rattlesnake Mountain/Stan’s Overlook on Monday:

Stan's Overlook
Stan’s Overlook

Today, 4/11, I went up the other end of Rattlesnake Mountain with Ken.  We started up the Old Trail and went to the third (upper) ledge.  We expected a downpour and were dressed appropriately but it turned out to be beautiful:

Looking Northwest
Looking Northwest
Rattlesnake Lake
Rattlesnake Lake

This retirement gig is sweet!

Babysitting duty on Friday, they may have a sleepover that night, if so I will try to get out on Sunday.

Margaret’s Way/Debbie’s View 4/3/2018

The Martins 31 Oak Dr
The Martins 31 Oak Dr

I solo-hiked on Squak Mountain – took the Margaret’s Way trail to Debbie’s View.

It is obvious that Squak used to have a number of people living there, including the locally famous Bullock heir, whose former fireplace still stands.

There are a few street signs still hanging, and the remnants of old roads.  Today, I noticed a sign clearly designed to help people looking for a family called the Martins.  I think I will see if there is any local history about this time – when was this?  Not all that long ago, I presume.

Very nice, cool day, the hike was about 6.8 miles out and back.  I love the stand of birch trees about 1/3 way into the hike:

Squak Mountain Birches
Squak Mountain Birches

At Debbie’s View, there was a nice view of Rainier:

Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier

As of now the plan is to hike with Derek (rain forecasts) on Thursday.  Should be fun.

Hall Creek/Zig Zag Trails 3/30/2018

Derek on the "bridge"
Derek on the “bridge”

Derek and I did a great hike today.  We went up Zig Zag to where the Hall Creek trail splits and, having never explored that trail, decided to take the plunge.

Along the way we met up with three mountain goats, a euwe and two kids.  Derek was able to capture some video, if I can figure out how to upload it I will.  Very cool, they were right there in front of us on the trail, not more than 25 or 30 yards away, and they did not disappear for almost a minute.  In fact, at one point we were fumbling around like Abbott and Costello, pulling out the bear spray, because we thought the adult was charging us.  (she wasn’t).

This trail is great, even if unofficial, but with all the snow we had to rely upon clipped branches and pink flagging tape to follow along.  And at about 2,500 feet we definitely needed the snow shoes:

Time for the Snow Shoes
Time for the Snow Shoes

Our track was basically a big loop and towards the end of the western portion, where we needed to go sharply uphill to intersect the service road (NF9021/Hall Creek Road) we were able to follow the flagging tape up the ridge.

Last Ridge Before the Service
Last Ridge Before the Service

We were way out there, didn’t see anyone (except two hikers right at the beginning) the entire way.  We were able to get some of our landmarks into context, such as Greenway Mountain, which was above and west of us when we hit the service road:

Greenway Mountain
Greenway Mountain

We also got a great view of Hall’s Point and the Olallie View Point we scrambled to a couple of weeks ago (Hall’s Point is the prominence on the left, that is, south of Olallie View Point):

Hall's Point and Olallie View Point
Hall’s Point and Olallie View Point

Snow shoes are de rigeur up there:

Snow Shoes
Snow Shoes

The Garmin hosed up again, the track shows the drive from home to the trail head but here is a close-up from Google Earth of our track:

Our Track on Google Earth
Our Track on Google Earth

Great hike, we learned a new trail and added another piece of the puzzle of the complex topography between Mt. Washington and McClellan Butte.

Rattlesnake Mountain/Stan’s Overlook 3/24/2018

The Crew at Stan's
The Crew at Stan’s

Nice, snowy hike today with Greg, Ken, Mike, Mark and David.  We measured about 7″ of snow at Stan’s Overlook.

Snowy Trail
Snowy Trail

The trail was snowy but not icy so no spikes needed.  We all had gaiters so fairly dry gear at the end.

On the way down we even got a little break in the clouds:

Decent View on the Way Down
Decent View on the Way Down

Fun day and we are re-convening tonight (with Carl as well) for a retirement party – I retired in January, Greg a week later.  Should be fun.

Change Creek Trail to J’s Landing St. Patrick’s Day 2018

Looking Down on Meteor Viewing Spots
Looking Down on Meteor Viewing Spots

We found an awesome spot to view the meteor showers on a little side trail that juts to the north, a bit below the ‘Change Creek Vista’ sign.  It requires just a bit of rocky scrambling but once you get there it is a nice, safe, wide spot with a terrific view:

Good Place for Meteor Shower
Good Place for Meteor Shower

As usual on this trail, the views (and the workout) are excellent:

McClellan Butte
McClellan Butte
Cool Rock
Cool Rock

It was great to get out with Derek again, he had a rare confluence of multiple schedules that allowed him to do a really fun hike.  The discovery of this potential meteor shower viewing spot was a highlight.

We wound up not going quite as far as we had planned because, once we started going down the J’s Landing connector trail, we started post-holing, sometimes up to the waist, and that is mighty tough going.  So we just headed back down.

Track:

https://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/change-creek-to-js-landing-3-17-2018#.Wq2ThX8h2po

 

 

Cedar Butte/Christmas Lake 3/11/2018

North from Cedar Butte
North from Cedar Butte

Nice solo hike today (kids stayed with us Friday into Saturday morning, so no hike yesterday) up Cedar Butte, back via the Christmas Lake trail.

Beautiful day, about 50-ish and sunny.  Great fun.  And I had forgotten that this trail actually has some challenge and some decent views.

Rattlesnake Lake
Rattlesnake Lake
SE from Christmas Lake
SE from Christmas Lake

Looking straight at Mt. Washington and its neighbors.  Nice!

UPDATE 3/16/2018 – Did this same hike again today, this time with Carl.  Fun hike, beautiful day.  We met Ken afterward for coffee (Ken has been having problems with his legs – bummer).

 

Twin Falls 3/1/2018

No camera today – doh! – but the falls look about the same as they did the last time we did this one.

Met Ken at the Park n Ride just after 8:30 and we were on the trail by 9, back at the car by 11.  Nice workout, weather decent, just a short patch of ice near the IHT.

This retirement business is sweet!