Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekly Hike #11: The Last Weekly Hike (Maybe)

Remember back in January, in my annual goals, when I said I was giving myself a pass on hiking goals? Well, the fact that I only have done eleven weekly hikes means I have made good on that promise. I am not swearing off on ever doing weekly hikes again, and in fact, I'm sure there will be more this year. But with the first day of autumn only six days away, and with rain in the forecast for the end of this week, it is not likely that I will get out on the trail much, if at all, before autumn begins. Autumn is my favorite time to hike, however, so I'm pretty sure there will be a few more hikes before the rainy season begins in earnest. So what follows is not the last weekly hike ever (far from it), but almost certainly the last weekly hike of the summer of 2014.

On August 26, Mr. D and I decided to go to one of our favorite spots to hike, Wallace Falls State Park, and to hike to the Upper Falls viewpoint, a hike destination that I vaguely remembered getting to once, several years ago. But Mr. D wanted to practice the uphills, because of what he had on his back:
Yes, that is a heavy-duty backpack, loaded with camping gear. Mr. D was going on a two-and-a-half-day backpacking trip with our friends and former neighbors over the Labor Day weekend, and he wanted to practice hauling his gear on our hike. I was happy that I didn't have to haul anything but myself up the steepest sections of that trail!

Wallace Falls State Park is a beautiful place, and hiking there is a pleasure. To start with, there is the forest, which is mostly Douglas fir, but also includes some cedar and hemlock.  I love how tall and straight the trees are here. One of my Flickr contacts described this upward view as being "as if you were in a tree tunnel". I love that description, and it is so true.
The trails at Wallace Falls also follow the water. Here is the view at one of my favorite spots, taken from the bridge over the North Fork of the Wallace River.
And then there are the falls. I have seen the Lower and Middle Falls more than once, and photographed them, too, but the Upper Falls were new to me.
I love that old, dead tree, balanced so perfectly between the rocks on either side of the falls.

I know I will return to Wallace Falls State Park many more times in the future, and I will always find something new to enjoy and photograph. I hope you will "hike" with me and my camera when I do. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekly Hike #10: A Mini-Hike on a Hot Day

On Monday, August 11, the hottest day of the summer, we took a very short hike. There were a couple reasons for this. First, it was hot; second, my sister-in-law and my nine year-old nephew were visiting, and we wanted to do a hike that would be fun for everyone. We drove up to the Denny Creek trailhead, and headed for the Denny Creek water slide, two miles up the trail. Mr. D and his sister set the pace:
This trail is pretty gradual, and crosses Denny Creek more than once.
It also goes directly under Interstate 90.
 Once we arrived at the water slide, it was apparent that there wasn't enough water to actually slide (the result of a pretty dry summer), but the nephew and sister-in-law still enjoyed playing in and around the creek. That is the two of them on the left in the photo, which was unfortunately, the only photo I got of their water activities.
While the two of them played, I sat on a large rock with Mr. D and enjoyed the beauty of the surrounding forest.

I also spent some time knitting on the second of my couplet socks. You can see a bit of Denny Creek in the background.
We were lucky that we were in the mountains for most of the day. The temperature up there was in the mid-80s. Once we headed home, we realized how hot it was down in the Seattle area. This photograph was taken about five miles from our house. It shows the temperature display in our Prius at that very moment. The official high temperature for the day was 96 degrees, but we know it was really hotter...
Fortunately, now the temperatures are cooler, and there is a hint of early morning crispness in the air, so autumn knitting season is on its way. I'll update you on my knitting projects and plans in the next post.