into the woods, and back out again

Archive for May, 2014

Shady grove, my little love…

Until I started working at Starbucks, I managed to hike about once a month… sometimes more.  That eighteen months at Starbucks deprived me of a lot of hiking time, since I worked weekends and hiking weekdays was frequently impossible or too problematic to consider.  While a regular work week produces its own issues, at least it means I’m free on weekends.

Today Ms. K and I found out that Duvall has TWO roads named Cherry Creek Road, although one has a crucial “NE” at the beginning.  Both roads happen to take a steep turn off the highway, but the main differences are that one is poorly signed and leads to nothing, while the other has several clearly marked crossroads and takes one directly to a very nice trail that heads out to a very pretty waterfall.  The correct Cherry Creek Road was also the route for some kind of bicycle marathon.  Lots of bicyclists out in Duvall today.

The salmonberries are getting ripe.

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I had hoped we would see more wildflowers, and we might have been at too low an altitude and too early in the season for a lot of variety, but we did see buttercups and vergissmeinnicht:

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Buttercups are a kind of ranunculus, but I’ve only met one person who found that information as interesting as I do, or rather, who even knew what I was talking about.

The theme of the day seemed to be misdirection, because after nearly getting lost when trying to find the trail, the trail itself was primarily an old logging road which forked off several times.  In fact, toward the end (and after paying not enough attention to our directions) we almost missed the turn-off to the falls.  If only we’d noticed this:

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Well, okay, maybe that was placed after we passed the spot.  We headed right, then left, then went back, and found ourselves in a loop before figuring out which direction would take us where we wanted to go, which was here:

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Well, I thought that picture wasn’t so blurry when I took it.  The waterfall spills into a small pool, and it was possible to get down to the banks of that pool by heading to the right, but we decided to head to the left and do a little balancing on fallen trees to make it to a flat rock at the top of the falls.  We considered having lunch there, but decided that other hikers might want pictures of the waterfall, and we shouldn’t spoil the view.

K and I are both of the opinion that there is no such thing as “hiking season”.  It’s all hiking, all the time.  The important thing is to have the right clothes.  Layers are important, as are a water-proof jacket and wool socks.  As much as I enjoy the challenge of winter hiking, it was awfully nice to be out in the sunshine.  I think I got a tan.  Or maybe I just got some more freckles.

The entire walk today was about 5 miles over relatively level ground, so it wasn’t too strenuous, which is also nice sometimes.

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 Okay… also thought that picture wasn’t so blurry.  I’m still leaving it.

On the way home, I was torn between finding coffee and finding bubble tea.  However, I was completely distracted from a quest for beverages when we saw a sign advertising raw milk.  I’ve been wanting to try raw milk for ages now, so we stopped, bought a lovely half gallon of whole milk and a quart of raw blackberry honey.  SCORE.

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