The first spot where I thought I might gain access was a dud, but there was tons of parking and I noticed that there was a small bit of shore access by the Silver Cloud Inn, so I headed over for a quick photo.
The second spot where I looked was by the train station, and there was a path there. It was marked "temporary beach access" and the sign said that the beach was a third of a mile away. My agenda for today's walk was to start at the trailhead I mentioned yesterday, so I got back in the car and drove over to the dog park.
Immediately when I got to that trailhead, I saw the smaller print on the sign that I'd never noticed from the car. That section of trail led down to to Mukilteo Lane, and was only .25 miles long. It obviously didn't connect with the rest of the gulch, so I decided to follow it down, then go over to the beach.
The trail was lovely, and I emerged from the woods right next to where I arrived on Mukilteo Lane yesterday via the train tracks. A quick shortcut I definitely wasn't allowed to take got me to the train station parking lot. That temporary access trail was pretty cool. Big concrete walls, water views, and not a soul around.
But I was very confused when I got to the beach. I'd obviously remembered this blog post completely wrong, because there was a parking lot, a real paved entrance, and an information display about Mount Baker Terminal.
I might have read something elsewhere about the temporary access to the beach being added because the demand for this beach may increase due to the closure at Howarth Park. I dunno.
(4.92 miles in 2 hours, 10,584 steps, 507ft gain)
I doubled back and figured there'd be at least one more path into the main part of the gulch so I wouldn't have to go all the way to where I parked, and I was right. That's spot A on the map. The trail started getting pretty steep and sandy, and I didn't want to walk back down that way. That was when I decided my mission was to see just how far East I could go in the gulch. I was extremely curious to see if the trails emerged near office buildings since the area on the trail map from yesterday is labeled "Boeing Recreation Area".
It's surprising to find out that the total climb was only 507 feet, because it felt like a LOT more. I guess because so much of it was all at once. I was pretty wiped out when I finally found a road (point B on the map) but the road itself wasn't all that helpful because it went the wrong way, and following it would have been an extra three miles I didn't feel like taking. But I was pretty sure I could find a way down to the road.
Looking down the hill from where I was at point B, I saw that a lot of it had been cleared previously, so I decided to give it a shot, figuring it might be a neighborhood shortcut like the one I can use to come down to our neighborhood from the park. You can see on the map that I was wrong. At least I saw a cool slug.
That was actually not the coolest one I saw today. One on the super scary steep dusty path was an awesome shade of green with a big black diamond shape on its back. But I didn't want to fall down the trail because I bent over to get a picture of a slug.
After climbing back up, I was definitely in the mood to get to the road and just kind of float down to the car rather than having to climb down the trail. Looking at the map, I could tell I had one more shot at point C. Luckily, I was right! There's a pond there with a fence around it, and the nearest houses on the street down below have a pretty big space between them, which has a trail. What a relief. I ended up in a very nice neighborhood.
The photo really can't do it justice. The street got steeper and the views got better, while the houses got bigger and more expensive. Amazing.
I solved one apparel problem today and discovered another. I've always walked in a hoodie, running tights, and cargo shorts covering the tights. The tights prevent most of the chub rub issues, plus they're protection from all the plants along the trails. A lot of people just wear tights and nothing over them, but I like having the pockets. Back when I worked at the office, I carried a clean shirt, underwear, and socks, and just wore those with the same cargo shorts I walked down in.
The cargo shorts aren't ideal, though. In real life, I wear them on my hips, but that doesn't work for walks because it limits the range of motion a bit. So they have to be pulled all the way up for walks, which was fine back then, but I gained some weight back when I took the time off walking, and they were extremely tight across the waist. I've been rolling them down at the top for walks, and it's been awkward.
Yesterday while I was shopping for clothes on Old Navy's site, I picked up a couple of pairs of athletic shorts, figuring they'd be stretchy and would work much better for walks. But, duh, I already have a couple of pairs that I bought on clearance when K-Mart was closing to wear around the house. So today I walked in running tights under athletic shorts, and it was so much more comfortable. I'm so dumb for not trying this sooner.
Today was the second day in a row that I struggled with sweat in my eyes and foggy glasses, so I guess it's time to get some sweatbands, too. That's a look I never thought I'd rock. I'm also going to start leaving my glasses in the car. I never used to walk with them and there was really no reason to now. It's just unpleasant for a few minutes while my eyes adjust. It was never an issue before because I had designated home and office glasses, and got up and left for work without ever putting any on. So those will stay in the car now, even if it's annoying for a bit.
I'm sure that's a whole lot of information that of little interest to anyone but me, but lately I've just been in the mood for that style of blogging. Here's an oddly specific parking sign.