An Urban Walk on the Green River

Today I went to the big warehouse store in Tukwila and noticed for the first time that it was directly next to the Green River Trail. (Costco, you heard of it?  And no, I really don’t shop here much, too crowded.)  Anyway, back to the Trail.

Hmmm, I said.  I need a walk today and this will have to do.

Of course I much prefer the Green River where it flows wild nearer its source further east as seen at the Green River Gorge earlier this year.

But I was here not there and so after my shopping I decided to block out the industrial noise and walk along the river like I meant it.

There were many colorful wildflowers in bloom and I especially loved the bright yellow yarrow,

and the sweet peas, which for some reason grow more happily here than at home.

Around the bend it was quieter and I found some shade and a lovely pond.

I even enjoyed the dry grass where lived this little blue flower.

Beauty is where you find it. The Green River Trail right next to the Costco store.  It will have to do for today.

~ 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

Sunrise at Mt Rainier

Sunrise at Mt. Rainier but no need to get up early for I speak of the Sunrise side of the Mountain and not the time of day!  I hope you are not tired of Mt Rainier but the 4th of July proved a perfect time to visit again while others swarmed more local parks below for firework displays. This may have been one of our best trips ever, as we covered more of the Park in a single day, enjoying 3 short but amazing hikes and incredible views of the mountain from all sides.

Normally we take the southwest entrance at Longmire into the National Park as it’s open year round. But this time we entered on the northeast side at the White River entrance headed for Sunrise, and it turns out, many new vistas!

We got our first surprise at an overlook where we had great views of the lesser known, but equally beautiful Mt. Adams.  The poor thing came up short as the second highest mountain in the state at 12,281 feet and so lives in the shadow of its more famous neighbor. It’s not easy being number 2.  Still isn’t it a beauty?

Sunrise

We arrived at the Sunrise Visitor Center at 6,400 feet, the highest point in the Park reachable by car. Here we found close up views of Emmons Glacier, the largest American glacier outside of Alaska, and source of the White River.

Of the many hikes available in the area we chose the 2 mile Silver Forest Trail, with continuous views of the mountain and meadows full of wildflowers, all under brilliant sunshine.  It didn’t seem fair to get so much for so little effort!

After lunch we headed down towards Stevens Canyon and the Grove of the Patriarchs for an easy hike through old growth forest.   The trail took us along the Ohanapecosh River and across a suspension bridge (one at a time, according to the sign.)

After a short walk on the other side, we were in an island of ancient Western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, and Western hemlock, some of them, a thousand years old.  We walked quietly among these giants, marveling at their size and beauty.

After leaving the trail, we continued on Stevens Canyon Road, stopping by Box Canyon and beautiful Reflection Lakes.  But this is running long so I will save that for Part 2 of my 4th of July Rainier adventures.

See you soon.

~  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

Happy Monday from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cats

After waking up all groggy and sleepy-eyed I ended up in my office with my morning coffee for a quiet time.  Tiger joined me and appreciated having the prime real estate to himself since Benji was outside.  He asked for nothing more than a little love and attention which I gladly gave.

Soon contented, he sprawled out among his toys for a morning nap without fear of  the little one’s harassment.

Trails

After I was revived Bob and I went for a morning walk at our favorite local park where all was cool yet sunny, vibrant, and clear.

Garden

After our walk, I visit the garden.  It’s early but the herbs are already cheerful and bright and loads of strawberries have set on and should ripen soon.

Cats Revisited

As I write this it’s now Benji’s turn in the office but he prefers sleeping in the chair and that puts a big smile on my face..

and his too.

Happy Monday from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales!

~  Susanne