Thursday, August 11, 2011

20110811 - Lake To Lake Trail (Partial)

Before I get too far I want to spend a moment to define a couple of words. Those words are "hiking" and "walking," which are similar, but to me mean the following:

walking
Moving on foot with the goal of going from one place to another. Walking mostly involves paved sidewalks and roads. For example, last night I walked from the restaurant to R.E.I. and back.
hiking
Moving on foot with the goal of viewing the scenery and enjoying nature. Hiking mostly involves trails whether they are gravel, bark dust or bare earth. For example, tonight I hiked around Mercer Slough.

With that out of the way let's get on to tonight's adventure. I had an appointment in Bellevue tonight after work and instead of driving to Seattle and back I decided to spend the time exploring the Lake to Lake Trail, which is close to my office. So I grabbed my camera, phone and headed out to find the trail. Finding the trailhead wasn't difficult as it is located at the Winters House. The trail wanders through the Mercer Slough. Not far down the trail I found my "dream home," an old joke between me and my first wife, and had to snap a picture.

I was making good progress thanks to the well maintained trails when I spied a pedestrian bridge ahead of me. Picture time again!

From the bridge I took two pictures of downtown Bellevue. The first was a regular shot. I used the optical zoom on my camera on the second time to give a better idea of the skyline from the bridge.

I was making good time but not knowing exactly how long it would take me I started to focus more on making progress than looking at the bushes around me. It was a nice easy hike because the trails are well maintained in the slough. The only hitch was when I came upon a split in the trail with no sign indicating which way I wanted to go. I chose the sinister trail (Was that a surprise?) and continued along my merry way.

In the end I think both ways would have gotten me to my goal. In the end I made it through and back to the main road. I continued around the edge of the slough and made it back to the Bellefield Office Park with enough time to have some water and rest before my appointment. On the way to my office I came across some painted stones. They could be art or some sort of therapy. Either way I took a picture for you.

I'll have to find a way to track some statistics about my hikes but for now you just get a lot of pictures and my short descriptions. It was a good way to spend 90 minutes and I'll have to hike the slough again because there are many branches and other trails I didn't take.

Finally, I'll leave you with one last picture. Working in a slough has some disadvantages in a rainy area. The parking lots sink into the soft soil and flood often. In fact the parking lot at my office has been underwater most of the year. I noticed today that they've mounted signs warning about the deep water. After the floods have receeded and the aspalt is dry. As a note all the asphalt you see was completely submerged not long ago. I guess the signs will help next spring when the snow melts again.

The next hike I've planned is on the Iron Goat Trail this Saturday.

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