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Pictures of some past trips before the shutdown-- February 2020

A sample of some of the trips I lead
Cross Country Ski 2/29  Cabin Creek

The trails at Cabin Creek east of Snoqualmie Pass were busy with skiers on Saturday, including dozens of young talented racers competing in the Pacific Northwest Ski Association's youth championships. It was fun to watch the kids, some as young as 6 years old, sprinting around the course. The races took up one small part of the trail system, so we had plenty of room for enjoying the fresh snow and nicely groomed trails. Our small group of five ranged from newer skiers just striving to improve their skills, to some experienced skiers exploring the challenges of one of their favorite areas.

Walk 2/27  Indian Island County Park

Indian Island is across the sound, not far from Port Townsend. Most of the island is a naval base, but just as you cross the bridge onto the island, a nice county park along the shoreline offers some scenic trails and beach walking opportunities. We had sunshine most of the day, and covered about 4 miles total. There were some nice views of portions of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier, some beautiful madrona trees, lots of ducks and other water fowl, and even a chance to dip our feet in the chilly water of a small stream that allowed easy access to the beach.

Overnighter 2/21-23  Snowshoeing at Mount Hood

Our first-ever snowshoeing adventure to Oregon's Mount Hood area was a great success. We had a full group of 11 signed up (the Hood-lums, I called them), and everyone did a great job of completing all three snowshoe tours that we did. Our first two days were in sunny and mild weather, very spring-like. We went up to the Silcox Hut, at 7000' on Mt. Hood on Day One, and did a trip to Trillium Lake on Day Two. Day Three saw a dramatic change in the weather, with blizzard conditions arriving. We were able to have a great day in spite of the challenging conditions, doing a tour to a pair of lovely waterfalls near Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. Our overnighter accommodations at the Best Western in Sandy were excellent, and our restaurant dinners turned out great also. Sorry to those who missed out on this trip, but I think there's a good chance this will be repeated in the near future. 

Hike 2/18  Deep Creek and Silent Creek Trails

This was a 6-mile loop hike connecting a series of trails in the city of Snoqualmie. We experienced a variety of different surroundings, at times skirting the edges of industrial parks and residential neighborhoods, and at other times hiking through undeveloped forest lands. There are around 20 miles of trails in Snoqualmie, and the ones we traveled were in very good condition aside from some muddy areas here and there. It was a nice discovery, exploring a route that very few hikers know about. The sunny weather was a bonus, and we got some great views in places along the route. 

Snowshoe 2/15  Wenatchee Crest (alternate for Mt. Rainier - Reflection Lake)

Our planned trip to Mount Rainier fell victim to the landslide-related closure of the main park access highway, so we headed instead for Blewett Pass on the east slopes of the Cascades. Recent rains and warm weather have reduced the snow pack in that area, but we were still able to find some reasonably good snow on which to snowshoe. We followed a forest road for a couple miles, then did an off-trail route to at point sometimes known as Cairn Hill, at a high point along the ridge crest. The overcast and sometimes breezy conditions made it difficult to linger at the highest point, but most areas were fairly comfortable, and we got in some good exercise with a few decent views along our 5.5 mile tour.

Snowshoe 2/14  White Salmon Knob

We did a slight twist on a tour near Mount Baker Ski Area that I've led numerous times. By following White Salmon Road for about 2 miles from the parking area on Mount Baker Highway, you do a slightly descending road route that eventually climbs a final 1/2 mile to an open vista point that I've dubbed "White Salmon Knob." Some maps have it labeled as Salmon Ridge Vista. Well, the snowy and foggy weather meant there was no vista on this particular day, but the snowy surroundings and beautiful trees were a nice consolation. We wound up going nearly 4 miles round trip, walking atop a snow base roughly 4-5 feet deep.

Walk 2/12  North Creek Trail

You don't have to venture far from home to find some stellar nature trails in our area. For this walk, we simply drove to Mill Creek, where we were able to fashion a 4-mile trek one way from North Creek County Park on 183rd in Mill Creek to McCollum Park on 128th in south Everett. North Creek County Park protects a fairly large wetland that sits seemingly as an oasis in the heavily-developed suburban sprawl around it. The trail corridor is a haven for plants and animals and especially for a large variety of birds found here. We connected the county park trail with the North Creek Trail, which is a paved path skirting the edge of the Mill Creek Town Center and running northward to the McCollum Park trailhead.

Snowshoe 2/9  V.E.S.T. - Very Easy Snowshoe Tour to Salmon Ridge / Lunch at Chair 9 Restaurant

This trip headed to the Mount Baker Highway, stopping at a Sno-Park along the Nooksack River in search of some easy snowshoe terrain at around the 2000-foot elevation level. Our attempt at following the River Run Snowshoe Trail right out of the sno-park was thwarted by large melt-out and standing water sections, all thanks to recent heavy rains at that elevation. A quick decision was made to re-route to a nearby forest road across the highway, and that provided the nice and easy ramble through the scenery that we were searching for. After about 90 minutes or so on the snow, we drove down the highway to the Chair 9 Restaurant outside Glacier to cap off the day with a nice lunch.

Ski 2/8  Lake Wenatchee State Park & Kahler Glen

It was a marvelous day for some cross country skiing, with some very welcome blue skies and sunshine at the Lake Wenatchee area east of Stevens Pass. We had a full van of enthusiastic skiers, and had a great selection of trails at four different areas to choose from. Rather than a typical "stay together" trip, people were encouraged to select their preferred trails and enjoy the skiing at the level of their comfort. Some stayed at the easy trails in the north part of Lake Wenatchee State Park, others skied the south part of the part, while some focused on the Kahler Glen Golf Course trails, and still others headed for Nason Ridge and some challenging hills. Fun was had by all.

Snowshoe 2/4  Clickety Clack Trail

The Clickety Clack Trail is one of the marked snowshoe trails at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center. All of them have railroad-themed names in honor of the rail history of the area. We went on a quiet mid-week day with few people around up there. Conditions were gorgeous, with snow hanging on the trees, occasional views of the hillsides above the valley, and the ice formations on Mill Creek. We covered about 3.5 miles on our tour, sometimes on the snowshoer trails, sometimes on the skier trails, and sometimes blazing our own trails. A rare sighting of a snowshoe hare was a highlight of the day.

Hike 2/2  Port Gamble Area Trails & Lunch

The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Trail system is up and running... or walking, biking, or horse riding if you prefer. There are over 3400 acres of forest lands near the town with some 60 miles of trails and roads for recreation. Recent stormy weather meant that some of the trails were in rough shape, with numerous blown down trees and limbs littering the trail, but we were able to find a decent route of around 3.5 miles for our morning hike. We then stopped at the Port Gamble General Store Cafe for lunch, followed by a narrated history walk through the town, viewing the cemetery, restored homes and businesses, and reading the story of this mill town that was established in 1853.

Snowshoe 2/1  Hurricane Ridge - Obstruction Point Road

We made our way over to Olympic National Park, heading for the mile-high snow playground at Hurricane Ridge. There's plenty of snow, and more of it was falling sideways on this blustery, stormy day. We were able to follow the road out toward Steeple Rock for about a mile and a half before heading back. The foggy conditions never allowed much for views, although there was a little lifting of the clouds when we finished up in mid-afternoon

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