Carkeek Park Adventures, Part 1

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A weekend adventure outside the concrete jungle life..

This time at Carkeek Park, a small 220 acre woodland to the north of the Ballard district of Seattle. The area has much greatness hidden through its joggable trails; wetlands, orchards, grass picnic areas, and a beach with so much more. But for me it had a lot of peace and quiet, which I needed for much of this weekend.

I also took pictures (below)

I stayed on mostly two trails, The Piper Trail to my destination, and the South Ridge on my return trip. Most of these trails are easy and friendly for the casual hiker or jogger. The signs aren’t always at all the fork splits, so it might be good to have a printed map. This is not so much for getting lost, but to make sure you reach the right destination point, or to leave where you walked in (I took the bus here).

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Soon on the Piper Trail, the Piper Orchard. A series of fruit and nut trees planted over 100 years ago by the Piper Family. There are bags tied around the fruits, with signs kindly asking people not to take.

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Lots of moss here in the late summer. I love seeing moss on trees.

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A creek where salmon are known to travel, in the past at least. The running water keeps me calm.

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My favorite thing about woodland hikes, the odd tree formations and collapses. One could just let their imaginations run wild with this.

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I also love to see some crazy root action when on the upper trails. This was on the South Ridge trail after an upward crawl.

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Half a tree..

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I wanted to capture some pics of birds here. I can hear them all about up high. But here I think, the birds are shy and keep their distance from the constant humans passing through. I can hear many, see nothing. But, I enjoyed what I had anyway..

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A variety of life, and some death.

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Still no birds, and not much in sects either. But I had plenty for the imagination..

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Not a medium park trail unless someone leaves a visible message somewhere..

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The end, or beginning of things. This was my destination and rest area, the beach area of Carkeek Park. I am immediately reminded from the sky of the wildfires throughout the Pacific Northwest, causing this hazy sky. More on that, as I will post pics and notes of that in Part 2, coming soon.

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  – Orion T

Pictures of Today 4/19/15, Trailing through Discovery Park

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A hike through Discovery Park..yes.

That was the best remedy to a rough last week; as I needed fresh air, time away from the screens and sirens. Discovery Park has 534 square miles, of peace and nature for one to enjoy. There are open meadows, dense forestation, rocky cliffs, old historical buildings, and a beach. For anyone living in Seattle, it’s easily accessible by bus, car, and probably even a bike. Sunday, was my day of escape. To there, I went.

While hiking through, I took pictures. Here are some unedited raws, featuring the best of the today’s afternoon adventure..

072High above the upper meadow trails of Discovery Park. Downtown Seattle is somewhere behind the hills to the left.

060Today was a nice blue day, sunny at 70 degrees.

063Yet, there was a constant wind chill. Those bushes with the small yellow petals were in constant sway.

068Though much of the cherry blossoms and magnolias have vanished through the city, some were late bloomers and still showing some of that early Spring pride.

069No words, just cool shadow play.

082There is a beach down below. I just follow the trail and watch my step. But take time, because each view is fantastic.

083Some moss there. I like moss.

079Lots of birds chirping, as I walk more between the trees. I wish I was good at spotting them. There are some bird tours coming up, here in Discovery Park. I may join in on one.

037Okay, I found this one. Not sure if it’s a crow. I like this shot.

096The beach, with lots of dried wood and visitors.

090The West Point Lighthouse. A shot without anyone walking around it or taking selfies in front of it was pretty much impossible today. Still, worth the capture.

010Another group of local visitors, enjoying some off-shore strolling.

088Tides were picking up. The calming was over, and the wind also increased. The time to go back was now. Also, I am hungry and forgot to bring efficient snacks.

104On my way back, a nice small meadow to stare at. Argh, I forget what those puffy things are called..

006Okay then..

058Not Discovery Park, but my last minute visit to the Sculpture Park before heading home. I caught this awesome sunset, just in the nick of time.

That’s all for now. I will be back to Discovery Park again, soon. Hopefully then, I will see more birds.

– Orion T

More Northwest Adventuring

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Continued from our recent adventure in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, state of Washington in the Northwest US

The Boulder Cave, about five miles down the nearby road our campground at Little Naches (25 miles from Mt. Rainier).

Our camp group headed there by car, with a small uphill hike (2 miles round trip). Incredible place, with the deep ravine between forest covered rocky hills more amazing than the cave itself.

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Also, the occasional special tree to stare at.

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Further in, the more I loved of this deeper forest withing itself.

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More further down, a small cave to the side of one cliff..not the Boulder Cave promised at the end of the trail, but worth checking out a bit later.

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Love the colors here.

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Under that smaller cave, but not so small now.

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Moving on, and further down the ravine.

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And finally, the Boulder Cave. Open on both ends, and a small, steady water stream from Devil’s Creek from the other side. At times, bats are said to hang inside.

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“The frame of the cave leads to the frame of man.”

– Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I

For more on Boulder Cave and its surroundings, click here.

Northwest Adventuring

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Love a spontaneous adventure, especially around the Northern Cascades of Washington state, US Northwest area.

I enjoyed two half days to and through the Okanogan National Forest, camping with friends at the Little Naches campground. All, very close with the camp about 25 miles to the Mount Rainier. Just the cheer with a little hiking and night drinking was enough. The simple pleasures of camping and hiking were renewed, as such was long overdue with the extraneous stresses of city life.

There are pictures, with some note below:

Stepping outside the 410 freeway. Here, a vista view of some mountains and glaciers, I am unsure of on name. The funny thing here, are several views adjacent to each other on the road, divided by some nearby trees. The three views are different yet so close to each other of the same area. This one is best.

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This is from the scenic route on the 410 freeway, heading east and further up.

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When reaching your destination, look up and let it sink in. On a fast cloudy day like this, look up often. No two views over time were the same. The clouds move fast in the Northwest.

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Get to know your surroundings. Also, have good sturdy shoes.

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The Naches River is peaceful. The ambiance of running water, free of honking cars, is a better thing.

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The light dryness of the rocks resting above the busy water.

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Enjoy nature to the smallest parts. I always do.

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Have a seat.

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Love this moment.

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O look, a squirrel!

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“A squirrels teeth grow continuously. Their incisor’s will grow six inches per year, but stay short due to the constant wear they receive. “

– fact from squirrels.org

(More from this trip is coming soon, in another post)

The wonderful Trees of Mystery

Far north within California’s great redwood lands, you may encounter a wonderful, unique collection of strange trees.

The Trees of Mystery.

These are redwoods, collectively located on a hiking path off the 101 freeway in Klamath, California. The path is guarded by a massive 49-foot color statue of Paul Bunyan and his possible anatomically incorrect ox, Babe. More on that big guy, in a future post.

The Trees of Mystery is a packaged tourist destination; all accompanied by a Native American museum, a sky lift leading to a large platform high above, a collection of sculpted folk tale statues, and more.

For my visit, I found these odd trees in highest interest. How this strange lot grew together over the many years, is an interesting coincidence. The trail itself was short, but revealing. I took some pictures. Below are the most popular of the bunch. You will also find some added notes, visible below when you individually click on each.

For more information on the Trees of Mystery, click here.