Trotted around Blanchard Mountain this morning, as well as last Sunday. Blanchard is probably my favorite place to run locally. Can't say I ran hard or well, but there was some running.
Department of Natural Resources has invested some time and money on Blanchard. There's a lot of new signage, the road in has seen some maintenance, and the Samish Overlook got a full makeover. Paragliders were launching as I ran by.
The biggest surprise of the day was finding a new set of switchbacks on the second climb of Kill Bill Hill, otherwise known as the Oyster Dome trail. Basically, the second vertical pitch is no more. The new trail work looks great, and probably is a good idea in light of erosion concerns. However, I've come to appreciate that straight climb over the years, where you grab a root or two to make it up to the top.
The former climb was a great part of training for some high mountain ultras, as well as a tough part of the old Blanchard Mountain Ultra and near the end of the North Face 50 miler. Those who have ran it will probably know what I'm talking about. The last climb is still there, steep as ever.
Pic above of the new switchback, and right below of the filled in Kill Bill.