We left the warmth of Loreto only to encounter a very cold snap in the Seattle area just before Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving our daughter, Jessica, her husband, Joshua and, their six month old baby boy, Atticus treated us to a fabulous gourmet feast----duck pate, duck salad with a pomegranate sauce, duck brioche pudding topped with seared foie gras, sliced duck with a braised skin, scalloped potatoes, pasta with braised brussels.
Joshua is torching the top of Tani's pumpkin-ginger cheesecake---yummy
On December 3rd we met up and decided to hike the Cougar Mountain Park area near where we use to live. We have hiked all of the trails so we picked our favorite one which ended up being about 6 miles. From the Red Town parking lot we hiked to join the Wildside Trail which led us to the Shy Bear Trail which has a very long puncheon across a big swampy area. After that we headed down to the Coal Creek Falls.
The following week we added Leeloo, their long-haired whippet, to our entourage now that Jessica got a screen for keepig the dog contained in the rear of the car. Lots of logistics when moving babies and dogs around. This time we headed to scale Little Mt. Si, which is just outside North Bend. With several cars in the parking lot, we knew that we would encounter other hikers along the way so we needed to leash Leeloo.
The trail is well maintained, steep at the beginning and top, but pleasantly level midway where we crossed a small stream that fits into a culvert that some trail crew made for us. I checked it out carefully and compared it to the one I worked on with the Washington Trails Association at Deep Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013. This culvert work probably took three or four people about a week to do using hand tools. If you just use the trails, most people have no idea on how much work it is to maintain such a trail. It requires cutting back the undergrowth, eliminating erosion from the weather and foot traffic, waste removal, and removing fallen trees.
It was a very windy day to be hiking there and we only realized it as we approached the summit. The winds were gusting up to 50 mph so we had trouble standing still. Even bracing ourselves for pictures we still got buffetted about.
Here Jessica is bracing herself as her hair flies about and we have a view of North Bend below us. By now Leeloo is tiring out and when we take her off leash, she now stays right by Jessica instead of charging about.
I am trying to stand still, but the wind gusts are pushing me every which way. Time to get off the mountain and back to the safety of "The Commons".