Sunday, March 29, 2015

Little Mountain

I went up into Little Mountain Park in Mount Vernon today. This park has all sorts of new trails, due in large part to the work of Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation and the Mount Vernon Trail Builders.  The view this month includes Skagit Valley's tulip fields, which don't look as big from on top of the mountain. The fields can be made out in the picture above, if you squint.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Turtleback Mountain

I went up and over Turtleback Mountain on Orcas Island today. Nice to finally check this box, and get such great weather. The Turtleback Mountain Preserve is the product of conservation efforts by a number of preservation and land trust groups. It offers sometimes amazing views of all the San Juan Islands and Canada.

I did the point to point hike/run, which took me up and over the mountain. It wasn't too long--maybe six miles with detours, with over a 1000 feet of climb. There are various lookouts along the way, including a Waldron Island Overlook, Ship Peak, and others. Very runnable, with some steady climbing. I didn't make it to the Turtlehead, which reputedly has great views--save that for next time, I guess.

All the good things you'd expect on Orcas- expansive views, gnarled trees, paths of moss. Much of the trail is abandoned dirt roads. I only saw a couple people along the way, midday, on a Saturday. Very nice. Thanks to Deb for helping me manage the point to point. Thanks to Craig for his great description in his book Dayhiking the San Juans and Gulf Islands.

Breakfast at the New Leaf Cafe at the Outlook Inn. A late lunch at the Madrona. Home by evening. A very nice and needed day on Orcas.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blanchard Mountain

I found my way on to Blanchard Mountain on Saturday. So out of shape. The weather was perfect--it felt like May up there.  There is new signage.  It seems like every year the trails get a bit more civilized. I noticed white blazes, probably for the Pacific NW Trail. The roads are improved, as the logging companies are doing their business up there right now. It seemed like some of the woods were thinned here and there too.

Sunday found us out in the Skagit valley, checking out the daffodils. Some tulips are even coming up.