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Boulder-dash
popcorn
christopher575
I like to take office holidays as opportunities to drive further out from home for a hike. Thankfully the Washington Trails Association has a really great website with an interactive map, and people submit trip reports constantly so you can find out what the current conditions are, within a few days. I wasn't in the mood for anything too difficult, and Boulder River Trail sounded good. It's only four miles long, and people consider it to be a pretty easy hike.

I always forget how annoying the drives out to these places can be. It's not so bad for the first hour on the highways, but the last four miles on the gravel roads felt like another hour because of all the potholes. You just can't go very fast at all. It was still pretty dark when I got to the parking area, so I waited a few minutes before heading out.

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It's a pretty nice trail starting out. Nice and wide, very little mud, neat views looking down to the river.

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And waterfalls!

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I took Snapchats of the waterfalls, intending to export the videos to Instagram, but I always forget IG can't process a video that's too short. Which is unfortunate, because it's easy to make videos of waterfalls short. You don't need to see a waterfall for very long. Oh well.

This was the only bridge I saw today with handrails, but it managed to be the scariest one. Super narrow, very wet, and high up.

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Trail bagel! I had most of this at this spot next to the trail, but saved a few bites for when I got back to the car.

Trail bagel!

One of my least favorite things on a trail is a stream crossing, where your choices are to get your feet really wet, or step on wobbly rocks. Using my trekking poles, I managed to cross this spot twice without getting wet!

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I ended up only going halfway up the trail because I got tired of the terrain. I don't have anything to prove, so there's no reason not to turn back if I'm not having fun, especially on a trail like that one where there's not some spectacular lake or something at the end.

Here was a nice spot to compare the results between the regular and wide angle lenses.

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I was never really in it, but there was lots of neat fog nearby on my way down.

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I couldn't believe I didn't see anyone else the entire time I was there and my car was the only one parked at the bottom when I got back. That's ideal, but it rarely happens at places like that.

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Today's awesome walk, 3.9 miles in 1:59, 11,186 steps, 554ft gain
3.9 miles in 1:59, 11,186 steps, 554ft gain

The maps are always interesting in places like this because the GPS isn't as accurate. I followed the exact same trail both ways but it looks like I wandered around a lot. You really can't do that, because it's so steep.

The rest of the day was really nice. I came home and showered, had a cup of coffee, went out for Asian buffet, then relaxed for a while in the hot tub, sauna, and steam room at the YMCA. Some of the guys in the hot tub were talking about the new facility that'll be built pretty close to our house in the next couple of years, and the lifeguard mentioned that the sauna and steam room will be part of the pool area instead of in the locker rooms, so no more nude sauna and steam. Too bad. They haven't even started construction, though, so it'll be a while.

One of the guys said he lived at the YMCA for a year when he was in his 20s, and that it cost a dollar a day. By my estimate, that was 1970 or so, and the dollar amount translates to about $200/mo in today's dollars. That money got him a private room with a bed, desk, and closet, and everything else was shared. Now I'm curious if any YMCAs around the country still have boarding rooms, and how much they go for.

I wasn't feeling super hot when I got home, but after a nap with Sam, I feel great. And I love the way my skin feels after a steam.


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