christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,

Japanese Gulch

It's no secret that I hate summer. I grew up in the desert and moved here to get away from the sun. But there are some benefits for walking in the summer, as long as you're an early riser. It's much less creepy since it's actually light out instead of pitch black, for one thing. I get up at 4am, and sunrise is already starting! I got to thinking this morning how little rain there's been lately, and remembered the Tails and Trails Park. I'd been there before and tried to check out the trails, which wind their way through the Japanese Gulch, but they were too muddy. I knew today would be a perfect day to head back there.

Japanese Gulch

This place is amazing. There's a huge dog park, and trails into the gulch start right behind it. I chose the upper route today, and as I climbed higher and higher, all I could see was trees and sky. We're fortunate in Washington to have lots of parks with these steep trails. They're a more intense workout, and the sweeping views just take everything to a higher level. It's hard to explain how great it is.

Of course, there are drawbacks.

Today's awesome walk, 1.15 miles in 35 minutes, 2465 steps, 179ft gain
(1.15 miles in 35 minutes. 2,465 steps, 179 ft gain, but it felt like 3x as much because that's how hiking feels)

Somewhere close to where I marked with that dark spot, I encountered a sign which said DOG PARK, with an arrow facing the direction I'd come from. I thought I was actually close to where I started and thought there was an entrance to the trails I hadn't noticed. That was incorrect. It wouldn't have been that big a deal to turn back, but I've always preferred loop routes to there-and-back ones. No worries, though, the trail was obviously going somewhere, and even if I left the park completely, I could just walk back to the entrance. That's exactly what happened, but that neighborhood's shortcut to the park trail isn't being maintained the way the rest of the park is, so I spent a lot of time climbing over fallen trees and working my way through thorny vines. Nothing insurmountable, but I got a few scratches.

Pretty satellite version

Look at that climb! I think I'll designate a day to come back here every week this summer. The trail branches off in tons of different directions, and they aren't on Google maps, so I could spend quite a bit of time here exploring. It's so interesting while being there to realize that one of the world's largest buildings is just a mile or so away. You'd never know judging by all the vegetation and silence.

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