Late Summer Hike

Sunshine and still summer according to the calendar, but it felt like fall on this recent hike along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie.  Over the river and through the woods and under the watchful eye of the Cascades we went; a familiar river but our first time together on Trail  #1003.  The trail is open to mountain bikes (we saw none) and horses (we saw evidence) but we encountered only a few hikers like ourselves on foot.

We passed a corner of the plush forest floor

then crossed the river over the footbridge.

Bob took the lead through the tunnel of dense forest canopy

and I followed slowly, distracted as always by my camera.  Here I got a peek of the peaks through the trees,

and here a Fomitopsis Pinicola, a common type of fungus where children may carve their names onto its soft white surface (don’t ask me how I know this.)

We walked an hour or so through the forest, stopping to rest by the river and eat our snack (candy bars and water, everything tastes better in the woods), before heading back.

We got a late start today so will have to return another time to make it to the hot springs, the promised reward at the end of the trail.

Susanne

A Northwest Hike to Twin Falls

I follow the trail to Twin Falls along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, leaving Bob behind to fish. There are enough hikers on the trail for me to feel safe hiking alone and few enough to provide me with the solitude I need. I revel in having time in the woods, enjoying the nuanced shades of green, the ferns, the Doug-firs, and moss covered maples.

The river flows nearby the trailhead and I find hidden pools where some are brave enough to swim (not me.)

Half way to the falls I stop to rest and take in the view,

then continue on, following the switchbacks upward.

Up, up, up I go and as I near the falls, I’m greeted by a group of happy campers, who assure me I’m almost there and high five my efforts.  I’m cheered by the friendly youngsters.

Around the corner I arrive at the bridge and have it all to myself.  It’s high above the falls and makes me woozy looking down so I don’t linger long.  It’s the journey anyway, not the destination.

Going down is easier and I encourage the tired ones coming up.  Yes, it’s worth it, I say.  You are almost there.

At the bottom again I find out Bob has caught two trout.

We both leave content.

~ Susanne

Green over Blue in the Pacific Northwest

A Saturday and I woke up feeling kind of blue.  Needed some green for the cure and so we hit the road heading east looking for it.  After thirty minutes or so, traffic slowed and cars lined the road on the approach to Rattlesnake Lake.  Oh!  It’s a Saturday in summer and everyone is out.  Further up the road we find the Cedar River Watershed Education Center nestled on the shores of the lake.  No crowds here and we enjoy great views of Rattlesnake Ledge above, in relative quiet and safely on the ground,

rather than with the hoards of brave hikers perched precariously at the top.

A nice stop but on we go to the nearby and lesser traveled Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie where Bob knows the best places to hike and cast his fly rod into the river.

We arrive at our destination and enjoy a short walk through the woods to the footbridge.

On the other side, Bob finds a perfect spot to cast his line and has the river all to himself.

I walk the trail nearby, enjoying the beauty of the river and mountains and every green thing. Happy.

The great thing about carrying a camera is you look more closely at the world around you and see things you never noticed before; like this tiny starry plant (or is it lichen or moss?) growing everywhere on the side of the trail, so delicate yet hardy at the same time, and in various shades of green.

I must have passed it by many times over the years, but today I saw it. Touched it. Marveled at it.  A good day.

~  Susanne

Snoqualmie Close Up

We took a day trip yesterday to one of our favorite local attractions: Snoqualmie Falls.

Up the road we found the river flowing deep and wide, silently through the little town of Carnation.

We stopped at Tolt MacDonald Park where the foot bridge is the best place to watch the river flow and also frames the farmland and Cascade Mountains nearby.

~  Susanne

A Winter Drive

It was a nice day for a drive in the country to get some fresh air and to enjoy the winter landscape before the rain was scheduled to appear.  We found the Snoqualmie River moody and reflective of the cloudy skies…

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But the trees did all the talking…

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We just listened.

~ Susanne