Monday, August 31, 2009

The Final Miles

On Sunday, I headed out to Bridle Trails State Park over in Kirkland and hiked 1.6 miles on the Trillium Loop. They have these cute little signs with symbols on them for the trail markers. That brought my hike-a-thon mileage total up to 51 miles. On Monday I decided to go ahead and hike a few more miles to exceed my 50 mile goal for the month. I drove out to Squak Mountain State Park in Issaquah and was so pleasantly surprised to discover the Pretzel Tree Interpretive Trail.

This is a short, easy, trail meandering among the trees of Squak Mountain State Park. It is perfect for kids because of the Information boards along the trail telling the story of Field Mouse as he decides to take an adventure in the woods. He meets many different local forest creatures and discovers their importance in the forest as he searches for the Pretzel Tree. The crow picks up garbage, termites and bugs transform a tree into a nurse log and more.

Towards the end of the walk, we finally get to see the infamous Pretzel Tree! Pretty cool. I was enchanted by the whole hike which clocks in at about 3/10 of a mile. I did a few more tenths of a mile on the May Valley Loop to get in a complete mile at Squak Mountain.

The May Valley Loop Trail has had washouts and parts of the trail are closed. The trails here are maintained by volunteers from Issaquah Alps Club, Mountains to Sound Greenway and WTA.

Then I hopped back in the car and went to Soaring Eagle Park in Sammamish to do 2 miles and find a slew of letterboxes! It was a terrific day and a terrific end to hike-a-thon 2009. Thanks so much to everyone who pledged this year. We have raised $1,485 dollars and I hiked a total of 54 miles! Whoo Hoo!
They will accept donations through September 10th on the website:

Click here for any last minute donations

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just half a mile shy of 50....

A gorgeous Saturday in Seattle and the Twin Falls Trailhead of Olallie State Park was packed! The trail was crowded with families and dogs! I met up with another USAirways employee to do a quick 3 miles roundtrip to see the falls.
There is a really nice waterfall viewing platform with awesome views of the 150-foot drop of the Lower Twin Falls. We also hiked out to where a bridge crosses over top of the falls.

So my mileage total is up to 49.5 miles and the pledges total is now $1,098! I fully expect to exceed my mileage goal of 50 miles since I have already exceeded my pledge goal of $1,000. There is more than a week left for hiking and You can help by still making donations on the WTA website during the month of August, just click on this link:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bishop Peak Climb

I flew down to San Luis Obispo, CA between Seattle trips to visit with Ryan while he is visiting with his family. So while I was there I hiked another 5 miles for hike-a-thon by climbing Bishop Peak. Bishop Peak is one of the Morros in San Luis Obispo. The Morros are a chain of volcanic plug mountains from the ocean at Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo. There are either 7 or 9 peaks depending on who you talk to. They are called the Nine Sisters. Bishop Peak is the tallest of these. On a clear day we would be able to see all the way to the ocean from the top, but The La Brea fire, about 56 miles southeast in the San Rafael Wilderness was contributing to the hazy atmosphere on this day. The trail passes through grassy areas and an oak forest before you climb to the huge granite boulders at the top.

So my mileage total is up to 46.5 miles and the pledges total is now $948! only $52 dollars away from my goal of $1,000. You can still make donations on the WTA website, just click on this link: Amanda's WTA Fundraising Page

The Nine Sisters
Bishop Peak

Bishop Peak Wine

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blackberries and Blueberries

Had to take Ryan to the airport on Saturday, so I was able to stop by Des Moines Creek Trail and get in 2 more miles for hike-a-thon. I always do a mile or more on the Des Moines Creek Trail each year. It is so close to the airport and so convenient for me. During previous years I was able to pick blackberries on this trail and the blackberry brambles still run rampant along this trail, however, this year the blackberries are not quite ripe yet.

On Monday when I got home from work, I decided to go out to Mercer Slough to see if the blueberries were ripe yet. The U-Pick was open, but the girl at the front warned me that the berries were sparse. She was right. I only got about a pint of blueberries before I gave up and decided to hike around the Slough on the Heritage Trail and Lake to Lake Trail. I got in another 2 miles for hike-a-thon.

So my mileage total is up to 41.5 miles and the pledges total is up to $923! only $77 dollars away from my goal of $1,000. Thanks to my USAirways buddies who have contributed over $400 towards that total!! You can still make donations on the WTA website, just click on this link:
Amanda's WTA Fundraising Page

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Camping on the Coast

I picked my sister up in Portland on Sunday night and we decided to spend all day Monday in the Columbia River Gorge, hiking with my friend, Karen. We hiked Larch Mountain. A nice little 6 mile loop can be had by hiking Larch Mountain Trail, Multnomah Creek Way and Oneonta Trail. Along the way, we saw lots of wild blueberries, but they were still not quite ripe. A little sour. I was able to pick up a couple of letterboxes along the way too! The view from Woman's Forum looking back along the river was lovely.

On Tuesday, we left Portland and headed for Fort Stevens on the Oregon Coast. We stopped at Camp 18 on Highway 26. They have a little trail there called the Humbug Creek Trail, so I hiked it for a measy little 3/4 of a mile. We stopped at McMenamins Sand Trap in Seaside, OR for some of their terrific beer and pub grub. By the time we got to the Campground at Fort Stevens and had the tent up, it was almost sunset. We thought we could knock out the 1 mile trail around Coffenbury Lake before it got totally dark. So we are hiking and hiking around the lake and it gets darker and darker and I am thinking that this is more than one mile!! It turns out the lake is one mile long. The trail around the lake is actually 2.4 miles! So we got in more miles than I had planned for Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we visited Fort Clatsop and I hiked the Netul River Trail for 1 mile. We spent most of the day in the galleries and shops at Cannon Beach. It was raining most of the day and we didn't feel like slogging along the trails. We also visited the Astoria Column and saw the Goonies house!

Thursday, we got up bright and early to return to Seattle. Took some photos of the Wreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach at Fort Stevens and then headed back to Washington State and Cape Disappointment State Park. We hiked the Cape Disappointment Trail to see the lighthouse and also the McKenzie Head Trail for more views. (and letterboxes) On the drive home, we also cruised through Raymond, WA to enjoy their sculpture trail. And we were able to make another stop at Burgerville in Centralia this time, for their Walla Walla Sweet Onions Onion Rings! With the Garlic Aioli sauce they are awesome! My sister has already posted some of her photos from the trip on Facebook!

So I have a total of 37.5 miles and $783 for WTA Hike-a-thon. Many thanks to my letterboxing friends who have contributed so generously. You Guys ROCK! or is it SPOR? Don't forget if you are mailing a check to me to have it in the mail by September 3rd. Checks should be made out to WTA or Washington Trails Association. And my Fundraising Page is set up to take credit card donations.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I-5 Road Trip

Last Sunday, I packed up the car for a road trip south to Portland. I would be picking up my sister at PDX and we were headed for the Oregon Coast and camping. "No need to check the weather report!" Check out this link for the Pemco Insurance Blue Tarp Campers commercial. "We'll bring our blue sky with us!"

If you have driven I-5 south to Portland, you might have noticed that almost every couple of miles there is a sign saying "State Park next exit" I decided to check out some of those State Parks for a little hiking for hike-a-thon. I figured I could do a mile or so hike at each park.
My first stop on the ride south was Rainbow Falls State Park. I hiked along the Deer Trail and the Hemlock Trail and actually hiked 2 miles because I was hunting for letterboxes along the way.

Back to I-5 and Lewis and Clark State Park, (not to be confused with the Lewis and Clark Trail State Park near Waitsburg, WA) was my next stop. I hiked the Trail of the Deer (do ya see a pattern forming?) And the Old Growth Trail for a total of 2 miles.

Seaquest State Park was really nice, but the trails did not have actual names. So I crossed the highway to the Mount Saint Helens Interpretive Center and hiked theWetland Haven Trail for 1 mile. And I might have made a stop at Burgerville in Woodland for a Raspberry Shake (the last of the season, they switched to Blackberry this week!)

I also stopped at Paradise Point State Park, but I could not find any named trails to hike. This park is right on the highway. I have photos of the big rigs thundering by overhead.
My sister was due in to Portland in a couple of hours, so I skipped Battleground State Park and went directly to Beacon Rock State Park. I hiked the 1 mile trail to the top of the rock and then headed back to PDX to collect my sister.
That brings my hiking mileage to 26 miles and $733 raised for WTA!
Amanda's WTA Fundraising Page
Be sure to visit my WTA Fundraising page to see my progress towards $1,000!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Not Quite 10,000 Steps

On Friday, I spent most of the day canning soup and only had a couple of hours to get in 2 miles on the Longfellow Creek Trail in West Seattle. My Granny used to can this soup every summer and so I worked with her recipe and worked on vegetable soup most of the day. I was able to use the last couple of tomatoes from our tomato plant!

Longfellow Creek Trail has some terrific public art. Practical Art, like a pavilion that is a dragonfly and a bridge that is salmon bones.

Saturday I arrived home from work and only had the energy to hike 1 mile at Dash Point State Park along the Beach Trail up to the campground and back. Pictures of these tall stumps show evidence of old logging in the area. That cut in the side of the stump was where the men would put a board so that they could stand on it when they cut down the tree.
Loggers found that they could save themselves labor by cutting the trees ten or twelve feet above the ground. The bolls of large fir trees are covered with a tough bark from 8 to 12 inches thick at the bottom and the wood of the bottom part of the tree is also thoroughly impregnated with gum so that it is very heavy and very hard to cut. The loggers found that by standing on short springboards that were inserted in notches cut in the stump, they could get above this gummy wood and tough bark and it made cutting down the tree that much easier.

I also got in 1 mile at Saltwater State Park, on the McSorley Creek Trail and the Bluff Loop. Saltwater State Park is very popular for its underwater marine park. There is a sunken barge and tires about 50 feet offshore forming a reef that is a favorite spot for scuba-diving.

There is also a cute story about Saltwater State Park. When the park was created in the 1920's a hatchet was symbolically buried under a rock somewhere in the park. It was meant as a peace effort to stop the bad feelings between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle.

So far I have hiked a total of 20 miles and we have raised $733 dollars for WTA. I will need to collect all money from my pledges by September 3, 2009. If you do not want to make a pledge by credit card to the website, checks can be made out to WTA (Washington Trails Association) and mailed to me and cash is always welcome. Just click on this link to go to My WTA Fundraising Page

Thanks so much