After the Storm

We heard the wind howling in the night but woke to overcast skies and promising sunbreaks.  We thought we could beat the storm’s next wave and so headed out to Coulon Park for a morning walk.  We found everything windswept, clean and fresh, and eagles soaring overhead.

Golden Larch trees were clustered together and at their peak color.

This tree stood alone, uncovered, desolate and beautiful against mostly blue skies.

Sailboats were safely moored and undeterred as always.

But skies grew grayer over the boat launch.

We made it back without wind or rain. We love this walk.

~  Susanne

Temporary Morning Brilliance

“Susanne, are you awake? You’ve got to see this.”

My husband the early riser had been out for his morning walk when the sun was starting to rise.

I was awake and jumped out of bed hoping to capture that temporary morning glow before it disappeared.

A few minutes later the sky returned to an ordinary pale grey.

Temporary

A Walk on the Cedar River Trail

What a difference a day makes!  This morning brought brief snow flurries to the region (the earliest I can remember) but yesterday was mild with only light rain. I’m happy we took our walk on the Cedar River Trail yesterday. The Trail follows the river 17 miles beginning from the Cedar River watershed in the south, through Maple Valley and Renton in the north, to where the river flows into Lake Washington.  We often walk the northern portion of the trail where it passes by the Renton Boeing Plant but found yesterday’s walk further south even better.

We accessed the trail at the Cedar River Park on the Maple Valley Highway and found it quieter and less traveled as it weaved through park and forest.  Fall colors were brilliant and leaves still abundant on the trees and the ground. The fragrance brought up childhood memories of when we’d pile up the fallen leaves and jump into them with abandon.

We saw spawning salmon making their way slowly up the river home, and some who’d already completed their mission.

And we found this part of the trail had gone to the dogs.

Yes, these dogs have their own park and were happily running and chasing newfound friends.

As I am writing this tiny snowflakes are still falling.  Perhaps yesterday was fall’s last hurrah.

~ Susanne

Icicle Creek and Wenatchee

Day 2 of our road trip to Leavenworth and we awoke to another sunny day and headed to nearby Icicle Creek.  (You can see the story and pictures from Day 1 here if you missed it.)

Icicle Creek originates near the crest of the Cascades and flows into the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth.  This wilderness area draws hikers, campers, and rock climbers.

.

It also draws serious backpackers to one of the most popular hikes in the country:  The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

According to the Washington Trails Association website:  “In the Enchantments, nature has carved one of the magnificent places of this world–an alpine paradise of granite worn smooth by glaciers, larches manicured by wind and cold, and crystal blue lakes strung together by a creek that tumbles and thunders between them. Seemingly everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by. Superlatives simply don’t suffice, and you quickly find yourself resorting to otherworldly comparisons, just like the early visitors who bestowed place names like Aasgard, Sprite and Leprechaun on the fairytale surroundings.”

We stopped by the trail head to check it out.

No we did not take the hike. It’s challenging for even the strongest hiker and requires a minimum of two days (and that assumes you have the coveted permits, determined months in advance by lottery.)  It’s a hike that every backpacker in the state dreams about doing.  Bob did it once and we have the pictures to prove it.

Enchanting, yes, but not for me.  I never did take to backpacking. I had one failed attempt in high school and never tried again. (But that’s another story.)

After our fill of Icicle Creek we moved on to Wenatchee where we stopped for lunch at the Pybus Public Market and took a walk along the Columbia River.

The paved Apple Capital Loop Trail follows the river and has boat ramps, playgrounds, a railway, and sculptures. My favorite is PED.

Amazing that in just two days time we had covered so much ground, enjoyed sunshine and forests and mountains and flowing rivers all adorned in fall color.  A wonderful time for sure but it’s always good to be back home.

~Susanne