Monday, August 13, 2012

Plumb Local

Because we hadn't planned where to go in advance, we woke up this morning still debating our options and not really feeling like traveling very far. We are fortunate to live very close to three state parks, and two of them became our destination today. We'd both been to the parks before, of course, but not for years and years. 

We started at Nolte State Park, which is small as state parks usually go. It's a day-use type of park that circles a pretty lake with a small beach, a playground, some picnic areas, and a lovely trail around the lake.

Obey the signs!

Very good!

Pretty painted turtle having a sun bath.

Next, we headed down the road to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. 

This park is located on the Green River (yeah, that Green River.)

Follow arrow?

This little one followed the pink arrow to the river.

Oh, look! Huge huckleberries!

I needed a nice trail snack.


Here was something neither of us had seen before. The Big Guy, with a nose for such things, followed a little spur trail toward the river that came out at the top of these rocks -

and down to the river where it skims over the rock creating this wonderful place. I'm sure almost any month but August sees this area mostly underwater, but what a treat it was today. 

Zuzu follows The Big Guy out onto the flats.

Walking on water.

You don't always have to go far to find a little wonderment. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mesatchee Creek Do-Over - 7 miles

Almost exactly one year ago, we attempted this trail but were unable to complete it due to a river crossing for which we weren't prepared. For comparison, here is last year's post:

This year we were ready! I had on my new Hike-a-Thon shirt, and we had our water sandals strapped to our packs. We were gettin' across that river come hell or hi-- well, whaddaya know?

 Big trees make The Big Guy look small. The little bridge that last year's signs warned might collapse had, indeed, collapsed at one end, but it was still passable. In fact, now that one end rests on the rocks, it seems more stable than before. Next stop, the river!

There was a log jam that we could've traversed, but the trees weren't all that wide and they were covered with broken branch spikes, and I couldn't get the image of one of us getting impaled on them out of my head, so into the water we went. The Big Guy went first so he could figure the depth. Even though it was clear and you could see the bottom, the depth can fool you! He also had to help Zuli "swim." He got wet up to his pockets, which meant that I would get wet up to my hips. Which further meant either I got my shorts soaked, or I took off all my pants. The fact that there are no pictures of me crossing the river tells you which option I chose. I wonder if that gets bonus points for the Hike-a-Thon?

Zuli used this sapling to "dry" off.

We met a little friend along the way.

There were some teeny-tiny falls.

And some very big falls!

Me and my girl. 

There were a few sprinkles on our drive there, and thunderstorms were forecast in the Cascades, but obviously they didn't materialize.

Not all views are about "the" mountain.

Crossing the river on the way back didn't require any forest streaking, thankfully, since we were able to access a different shallow area. The Big Guy almost lost a boot, though, when he first crossed and I saw it floating away behind him. Fortunately, the current wasn't too strong right there, and he was able to catch up to it. It also floated upright and didn't even get wet inside. Zuli got a lift, which she prefers to swimming.

We opted to stay in our sandals for the rest of the hike out, but it sure was nice to have a few stream crossings to wash out the pebbles and cool the tootsies.

No burgers at Whistlin' Jack's this year, but we did get the traditional after-hike milkshakes at Wapiti Woolies.