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Popping in for a visit in the dark
Press Your Luck
After so much swimming, I was really in the mood for a little time in Japanese Gulch. It's still so dark in the morning, and likely to be quite muddy at the bottom, so I parked at at the business park near Paine Field and headed in. I hadn't really thought about how challenging the very first part would be, though. It's not really a walking path, even though there's plenty of room to walk next to the highway. The issue is that a trench has been eroded and you really have to watch your step, but you can't if it's dark, because there are no streetlights. Compounding the issue are car headlights coming at you constantly. It's worth it, though, once you get to the Gulch's center trail and forget you ever saw any cars in your life.

I'm sure there are people who hit the trails when it's still dark, but I'm not one of them. The center trail is nice and wide, without any real hazards, so if the sun's not quite up yet, that's where I feel most comfortable.

There was a lot of mud there today, but I think there's been even more water flowing through there lately, because there are now some streams forming in the trail.


Bad news for bikers, maybe, but good news for me. Instead of mud all the way across, I'd much rather have to step over a foot-wide stream. It's great. I imagine when they overhaul the area, a lot of drainage issues will be addressed on a larger scale, too.

I briefly toyed with the idea of hiking up to the Western side and leaving from the Southwesternmost entrance. The BBA trail was really muddy, though, and by the time I got up to Rusty Car, I didn't feel like losing the altitude I'd gained. I also figured there'd be plenty of muddy spots there, too. So I just headed out the way I came.

Today's awesome walk, 3.72 miles in 1:14, 8,002 steps, 364ft gain

It was a nice visit, and I think I'll try starting at the bottom again soon. That's the best way because I like getting the climb done first.