Hiking, Trail work


It’s always a little awkward to return to blogging after an unintentional hiatus. Instead of apologizing or listing a bunch of feeble excuses, I’ll just jump right back in. Since last we spoke:

We finally bought a new car, another Subaru Forester to replace our beloved Forester Gump. Our new adventure mobile is named Subie Sue (you know, like Zou Bisou Bisou) and allows us to venture beyond the Issaquah Alps again.

Subie Su!

We’ve pretty much stayed in the Issaquah Alps anyway. I’m over snow. Bring on dry tails, wildflowers, and marmots.

Papa, you forgot your parachute!

I caught a cold, which normally wouldn’t be interesting in any way, except for the fact that this was my first time being sick since Christmas 2011. That’s huge for someone who used to pick up every single bug that went around. Alas, even my newfound iron immune system was defenseless when sitting directly in the line of fire of a coughing toddler for three hours in a car.

Someone loves to hike!

Oh well, it was worth it for a hike in the sunshine with my favorite little man.

Samish Overlook

JK started instructing for the Washington Alpine Club’s climbing class again, and I joined them on their first outing, Mount Si. I brought my Kindle and a sleeping pad and spent hours reading in the sunshine. Strangely, I was not the only person to do this, I saw a man spread out on a huge blanket, reading a newspaper. Now that would be a wonderful weekend tradition.

Si being Si – crowded – I got to chat with lots of excited hiking neophytes who were amazed by “the pristine views” (of I90 and North Bend). It made me realize just how lucky (and spoiled) I am when it comes to wilderness adventures.

I forgot how pretty Si can be

A gentleman named Mike insisted on taking my photo in the rocks below the Haystack, giving me an excellent portrait of myself gazing dreamily towards the mountains (as I am wont to do).

Now stand right here, young lady

I joined my very first trail work party with the Washington Trails Association! We started building a brand new connector trail on Cougar Mountain, which involved wrestling with giant ferns, digging lots of dirt, and clearing a walkable tread through a maddening system of rocks and roots.

Happy hard hats

I was surprised by how many people showed up (on a Tuesday), and inspired by the tight-knit but very welcoming community of retirees who are both in better shape and more adventurous than I am.

My hero

We made an impressive amount of progress on the new trail, and I immediately signed up for three more work parties. I’ll definitely have to come back enough times to earn my personalized hard hat…and to work on more little sections of trail that I will forever think of as my own. Oh, and to take part in nature’s CrossFit – if I hadn’t gone for a hike to loosen up my muscles after the work party, I doubt I would be able to move at all today. All that shoveling and fern-wrestling works your core muscles like the dickens!

Coal Creek Falls

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  • Reply jill i April 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hey good for you for volunteering with WTA! I had a shoulder injury from shoveling years ago, so can’t do that. But maybe something else, went to their open house a couple months ago, good folks and intend to get more involved. Beautiful photos as usual.

  • Reply ARC April 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Wow, awesome that you like the trail maintenance. I can barely bring myself to weed at our house but then again, I’m an indoor kind of gal…

    Being around little kids will wreck the hardiest immune system. Think of it as a challenge ;)

  • Reply Ingunn April 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Jill: yikes, the injury was actually *from* shoveling? I’ve been thinking of the shovel as my kind, safe friend – I am much too clumsy to be let anywhere near a saw or pulaski. :o)

    Anandi: yesterday I realized that it’s a little silly that I willingly spend whole work days shoveling dirt on a trail, but I’m too lazy to spend an hour weeding my overgrown front yard.

  • Reply Rachel April 15, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Thats so awesome that you have been creating a new trail! I can’t wait to hike on it and see your handiwork!

    I’m just like you, I used to always get sick but lately I’ve been doing a lot better. I haven’t gotten sick sick, but have been really tired, which is almost like being sick. Hope you continue to stay healthy!

  • Reply ARC April 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    @Ingunn – weeding sucks. that is all. Maintaining a trail is just so much cooler :)

  • Reply ewb April 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Sure wish I’d have seen this post before meeting up with you tonight, I’d have known about your veggie trail work, and Sue’s name, and about you being sick, and the incredible period you went without being sick, and that JK can do a cool jump for the camera, and that he’s teaching for the WAC, and that he’s done it before. And where the heck was that beautiful last picture taken?!

    I can still hear my voice echoing in my head, so I know I got the better of our conversation tonight, but I did very much enjoy sharing the box with you guys. If you’re only gonna get up that thing once every couple of years, you can’t do much better than tonight, with perfect views under a sunny blue sky, a colorful sunset, a beautiful full moon, and a fast butt freezing glissade.

    Hope we can do it again soon!

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