Along the way, deep into the forest trail

img_5892

I recently posted about my hike to Annette Lake, a serene lake high in the mountainous region of the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie forest.

The lake being serene and amazing, was enough to behold for its own posting. Now, I would like to share a bit more on its trail to and back. It’s a path as awesome as its destination.

The 7.5-mile round trip Annette Lake trail has wonderous sights, rich in the best of the Pacific Northwest nature land preservations, and another reason I love the Washington State. Here, dedicated hikers will step across towering huddled trees, fallen trees with new life taking upon, rocks of all ages, countless waterfalls, old wooden bridges, and patches of snow along the top in this late spring.

The sunlight through the blue sky intensified the green, illuminated darker pathways partially covered full-grown branches, and gave sparkles to the streams of water running down. You can also enjoy the sounds of the trail varied from noisy waterfalls, chirping birds up high, and peaceful void of preserved stillness.

Here are some choice pics along the path…

 

Overall, the Lake Annette Trail is a good hike I highly recommend for those physically able to withstand a moderate uphill exercise binge, with a worthwhile destination of the lake itself to rest for a bit.

My tips for the trail: go early, so you’ll have time to rest and enjoy some views. Bring a water bottle or two, with snacks of nuts and dried fruit. Go in a group, and maybe bring your dog (allowed on the trail). Wear good hiking shoes fit for stepping over small rocky pathways and snow patches. Don’t rush, as parts of the path are narrow, and other hikers will be frequently passing on the good days. Much of the path is upon step hillsides, with an easy fall into deadly grounds. Rest easy at the lake for a good time before heading back.

For more on the Lake Annette Trail, visit the official Washington Trails site at www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake.

– Orion T

The stunning sight of Annette Lake

img_6059

Recently, I went on a long hike in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Regional Forest with others, to Annette Lake.

The sight itself deserves my special posting as an amazing visual spot, high up in the mountainous regions of the middle Washington State. The lake is medium size, with much of its surrounding area closed off to visitors. There is no big open shore or planks, just some natural spots for viewers to appreciate it’s still serene beauty, and untouched landscape. The water is very cold and there are warnings to not proceed further in.

Here is a low-grade panoramic shot from my phone:

20180527_131131.jpg

The only way to reach Annette Lake is through a 7.5-mile round trip trail. Half the hike is uphill through a deep forest mountainside over switchbacks, small waterfalls, and a little snow up high. The elevation gain is about 1800 ft, where the lake signals the peak and destination of the trail.

I advise good hiking boots for the path, and for the current time while the snow sits up high..bring trekking poles. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, though one should take it slow with its rocky parts and slippy elevation. Dogs are welcome on the trail, as many brought their canine companions.

My friend’s dog Ruby joined our group, who enjoyed the snow part very much.

img_5961

There was a lot to visually enjoy for the hike to Annette Lake as well. I will share more on that soon.

Meanwhile, to anyone interested in checking out Lake Annette and the trail to it, visit the official site for more info, at www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/annette-lake.

– Orion T

 

 

Carkeek Park Adventures, Part 1

IMG_1976

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).

IMG_1976

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.

IMG_1977

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

IMG_1979

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

IMG_1981

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

IMG_1982

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.

IMG_1983

Half a tree..

IMG_1986

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..

IMG_1988

A variety of life, and some death.

IMG_1989

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

IMG_1990

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

IMG_1992

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.

IMG_2010

  – Orion T

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

082

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

CN19

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.

b1

Also, the occasional special tree to stare at.

b2

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

b3

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.

b4

Love the colors here.

b8

b11

Under that smaller cave, but not so small now.

b9

Moving on, and further down the ravine.

b12

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.

b13

b14

“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

CN1

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.

CN3

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

CN0.1

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.

CN12

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

CN5

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

CN6

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

CN16

Enjoy nature to the smallest parts. I always do.

CN15

Have a seat.

CN14

Love this moment.

CN10.5

O look, a squirrel!

CN24

“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.