christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,

A perfectly suitable alternative

I've been meaning to go to Big Gulch and see if it holds up better in bad weather than Japanese Gulch does. I should have done this sooner, because it's doing pretty well. Since I haven't been in a gulch in a while, the climb was pretty difficult. I need to keep at it so I don't lose my climbing strength, for sure. And what's great about that place is that I walk down via a regular street, so even if it'd been crappy, I could have just climbed back up the way I came.

Today's awesome walk, 2.8 miles in 1:04, 6,028 steps, 319ft gain
2.8 miles in 1:04, 6,028 steps, 319ft gain

I know I've talked a lot about thick, crazy fog here lately, but today was something else entirely. It was the first frost of the year, much colder than it's been lately, and that plus the fog I encountered as I left my neighborhood was a strange combo. Everything felt heavy and sinister, and I could tell I wasn't the only one who thought so. Everyone was driving very cautiously and nobody was in their usual hurry to head into Boeing.

One cool treat was finally getting a glimpse at what's at the end of the access road that leads to the bottom of the gulch trail. I knew it had something to do with sewers because there are signs saying as much, but I always figured it was just some kind of fenced off area. I had no idea it was a big treatment facility, but enough leaves (and whole trees) have fallen that you get a pretty good view of it. It'd also never occurred to me to look at a satellite view. I've circled in yellow on the map above.


The trail was in great shape. A few wet spots, but nothing like the huge mud disaster at the other gulch. A couple of trees have fallen across the trail, but nothing insurmountable.


I don't really recommend Big Gulch if you're afraid of heights. But then again, there are tons of equally scary drops at Japanese Gulch, and the trails there aren't held up with little retaining walls or anything.


It was cold enough today that the lawn at the park almost looked like snow, and the puddles there had a layer of ice.


The main reason I've always liked Japanese Gulch more than Big Gulch is the extensive trail system, which provides lots of options. When you go up Big Gulch, there's one trail. It makes me sad, because there's a lot of space for more trails, they just haven't been created yet. When you get to the top, you can either leave via the park, or walk the loop, and there are a couple of places on the loop where you can exit. Totally different experience when you're used to exploring. But still, a climb's a climb, and I definitely need to spend more time in my second favorite gulch.

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