November 2006, a storm system ripped into the Pacific North West dropping a record deluge of rain. Notably the Wonderland trail around Mt Rainier got clobbered, and nothing short of a heroic effort was repaired is short order. Sadly many trails and roads that access them in other areas, that were effect by this storm are still even now just beginning to get repaired...or in a holding pattern.
Fast-forward to this weekend with some more odd ball weather, a late spring snow storm in the hills during the week, and warming temps on the weekend, conditions were ripe for avalanche hazard. Looking for a place i could put some serious miles on the legs, and no snow hazards the Suiattle was looking attractive.
I arrived at the road closure at 10:30 ish AM. I quickly ran in to a sight that i believe may be the reason it's taking so long to get the road fixed.
Yep Killer Trees!
Is this the remains of one of the Killer Trees victims
Anyway, i burned up the first three and a half miles of road in a hurry...arriving at Buck Creek camp ground.
I can report that this campground despite not having access for maintenance is in great shape. Still this not where i planned to stop. So off i went, a few miles later Green Mountain Pasture.
Still not far enough. So i kept going. Downey creek bridge. The approach washed out years ago. Last summer a pedestrian/equestrian extension was built last summer to allow trail maintenance.
I kept on going...Ten miles in is the old parking trail head parking lot. It's paved but Nature is quickly taking it back, trees saplings are pushing there way thorough the pavement
Still i was not done. So i hit the trail.
I was not 15 miles from the start of my hike. Decided it was time to set up my hammock and camp. As my pot of water finished boiling my stove went pop and burned out. Crap....i thought i packed a full canister. As i ate dinner i paced back and fourth despite just hiking 15 miles. It began to snow lightly. Weather forecast was for warming??? Faced with the unknown of it was just a snow flurry or the start of a storm, and cold breakfast. I hastily broke camp and began to hike out via head lamp.
A 30 mile day!!!