Sunday, June 8, 2008

Walker Valley Run

I have a friend who always used to go looking for fossils in Walker Valley. Plants too, I think, possibly illegal. Then, this past week, while walking around Bellingham, I heard some people talking about a rock that someone found there. The rock was a geode crystal type of thing--it looked cool. I decided it was time to check out Walker Valley, which is only 15 minutes or so from where I live, and so this Sunday I ran and goofed off there for an hour and half.
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Walker Valley is behind Big Lake, which is behind Mount Vernon, in the hills you can see from the freeway. This may be in the "Cultus Mountain" range, which is really not a mountain range, but it is hills with trees, and logging roads. I have it in mind that I'm going to explore these hills more during the next year. I'm sure there's all kinds of interesting things out there.
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The Valley has an Off-Road Vehicle area for quads and dirt bikes, designated by the DNR, and it is a regular motocross nirvana back there, with lots of trails, lots of grandmas on quads risking their coccyxs, and not too many trail runners--only one today. Beautiful country, lots of trails, and not too safe on a summer Sunday.
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I saw a deer. I found a snake, while trying to get back into some cattail swamp country. (I wasn't running much at that point.) I might've found a fossil too, but if it was one, it was pretty lame.
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The Walker Valley is Department of Natural Resources land, and is logged and replanted in various places, with signs pointing to timber sale areas, and other signs announcing when an area was logged and replanted. DNR logging sales support public school education, at least in part, as per the Washington State Constitution. This sometimes ends up in creating interesting tensions between environmentalists, educators, and logging interests. I found it sort of cool to see how well liked the trails were for the quad crowd. Conservationists come in many stripes.
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Because weather was predicted to be bad this weekend, I bagged on my Blanchard plans--also, nobody was organizing the Blanchard Ultra this weekend which I've done the last few years. I had planned on doing the distance, but it was supposed to be ugly weather, still, again, etc.
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Instead, with the sun sneaking out Friday night, I took off into the Chuckanuts, after class (the final session!), for an awesome four hours. Caught the setting sun from the ridge. Red skies over water. Friday night runs are the best. I went Fairhaven to Raptor Ridge, connector trail, C-nut ridge trail in reverse, down Chinscraper, Fragrance Lake, 2 Dollar Bill to Cleator, and home, with a few brief side trails. Three water bottles were just enough, but it was tight.
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The Mount Vernon Farm Market opened last weekend. I'm hitting it. I was going to sign up for a consumer supported agriculture subscription ("CSA") for the summer, but this nice farmer lady talked me out of it, saying it would be too much for me alone. So, instead, I dropped $20 this weekend on leekscapes, chard, kale, spinach, radishes, bok choy, tat sui, and a bunch of other things. (I still have fritos and skittles.) Hopefully I'll eat it all, and cook it well. Although I'm not a vegetarian, I'm having a lot of fun cooking out of Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. If I had one book in the kitchen...
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Last week I learned it costs $175 to get a tow from the Baker Lake Road to Mount Vernon. Also, you can coast the last two miles of Baker Lake Road to Highway 20. As my tow truck driver Carl said, I was ready to run, but my truck wasn't. Special thanks to Larry and Alyssa of the Forest Service. Larry's a C-nut veteran--they were a great help as I was a sad guy, sitting on the side of the road. Truck's all better now. Oh well--the time off was probably good for the feets, after NB2V. Baker Lake trail is open. Looking forward to running around Lake Youngs in Renton next weekend.
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Find the deer picture



And here's another snake...

1 comment:

Rockhounder Mike said...

I always go out there looking for those Walker Valley Geodes.