The trail starts off innocently enough.
This is just before it joins up with the railroad tracks, and also just before it becomes a steady climb for quite a ways. That's good, though. I didn't necessarily want to climb as steeply as yesterday, but I also didn't want it to be too easy. The trail's a little confusing though. As you're walking that direction, the tracks are on the left, a creek's on the right. That runs between where I went yesterday, and where I went today. But what's weird is that every once in a while, there's a trail leading across the creek, followed by a "no trespassing" sign. Are the little pockets of overground land between the trails off limits? Are the trails themselves off limits? Who can say? It's not residential or anything, so I think I'll follow the spirit of this vandalism.
Here's what I could see of Boeing once I got to the end of the trail. I was hoping for something more like an airport. :)
It's stated very clearly on signs that walking along the paved road isn't allowed, which is a bummer because that could be a cool way to make one giant loop. I also saw a couple of dirt roads that appear to be owned by the railroad. I'll have to investigate later and see if those are clearly marked. I've previously enjoyed going down one road with a locked gate at the top because its signs only banned cars and overnight camping, but didn't mention anything about walking. If the dirt roads aren't explicitly banning jogging and walking, they might be fun to check out.
At that point, I was getting ready to double back, because there was a truck nearby and I figured it'd be best to investigate those roads if I didn't see anyone around. I got about 50 steps back when I guy I'd noticed running with his dog off in the distance behind me earlier ran past me and said hi. His passing me there meant that he'd taken one of the paths I'd looked at on the other side of the tracks and it connected, so I could head back that way.
That was an extremely cool series of winding paths, and a nice test of my sense of direction. I was trying to end up on the original trail, and at one point I could see that one of the path options was highly unlikely to go there, based on the way the land was sloping. In a huge area like that where no maps are available, it's good to feel comfortable trusting you'll make the right choice.
Got a pic of some cool mushrooms for suxdonut.
I made my way to where I got on the trail, by the parking lot, but wanted to emerge from the gulch at the pedestrian trailhead on the opposite side of the road, a bit east from there. However, I was unable to find a way to get there! I suspect that trailhead has several paths which lead to the area where I'd been earlier, up above the tracks, but nothing near where I was.
I did see an impressive feat of vandalism under the bridge, though.
Every one of those holes is a smashed brick. These people are assholes, but they're definitely not lazy assholes.
Since I wasn't able to emerge where I wanted, I decided to keep going, figuring I might finally see the entrance to the beach that was recently opened, but no big deal if I didn't. That brought me to the Mukilteo train station.
I could have made my way over to the beach entrance from there, but as you can see, it was getting pretty sunny, and I knew it would be a bit of a climb to get back up to the car, so I just headed back. Along the way, I found another tiny little park. Stopping to take pictures was a nice little break in the shade. I wanted to sit for a bit, but they'd just watered and everything was soaked.
Barbara Brennen Dobro, what a great name. Today's route:
(4.51 miles in 1:42, 9705 steps, 515ft gain)
Back when I worked in the office Monday-Thursday and at home on Friday, I had a pretty good routine. Walks that were part of my commute Monday-Thursday, a longer walk on Friday, Saturday off, and a ridiculously long walk Sunday. I've decided it's time to bring back Sundays. It's been ages. I think I've rehabbed my back enough that I can probably do walks on three weekdays plus Sunday, along with yoga and swimming two weekdays. But who knows? There's really no reason to limit myself. Working from home gives me back something like 2.5 hours on work days that I didn't have when I had to commute, so I could do yoga every day if I'm up for it. We'll see.
There's really no comparing the walking options that were available to me in Seattle, plus the transit options which allowed me to go twice as far instead of doubling back, but I'd say comparing the size of Everett and Seattle, Everett's the better place to be. Proportionally, it works out.
I'm going to set an alarm for 5am tomorrow and head back out to the gulch. This time, I'll enter via that pedestrian trailhead I tried to find earlier and see where it goes. I'm really looking forward to exploring every inch of the trails on both sides. Especially if I can find shortcuts going into other neighborhoods like I did yesterday. I wouldn't be shocked if every street on either side of the gulch had its own way in. That's the kind of amenity people expect in such areas.
I also want to check into the bus schedule for the route that comes back from there. I'd love to walk all the way there and take the bus back. I used to do that sort of thing all the time.
EDIT: Ermagehr, there is a map! It's not super useful during walks since you can't follow along on it on the phone, but it's nice to be able to see what all's there. The blue side is the side I stayed on yesterday, and they grey side is where I ventured into today. Lots to explore!