It doesn't look like too much from those two photos, but I spent an hour this afternoon picking up the branches so the lawn can be mowed this week. We use landscapers when the lawn's wet so that Garrett doesn't have to deal with repeatedly cleaning the wet grass out of the mower, and I don't know what day they'll come, so it just had to be done today. And then Garrett can put down some desperately-needed moss killer. You can see little patches of yellow peeking through, but the moss is only hidden so well because the grass is way too long.
Yard work is exponentially more annoying when a cat is relaxing and watching you do it.
I'd seen all those branches the last few days and knew Japanese Gulch would be a mess, so I set out this morning for a quick climb up to the top via the tracks and back. All the side trails were quite tempting, but I didn't bother because I wasn't in the mood to be disappointed by all the mud and fallen trees. It was still a nice walk, though.
Here's why I like to walk there in the morning.
If it was the afternoon and a train might come along, the path alongside the tracks isn't an option. It carries extra-wide loads to Boeing and there's nowhere to go if a train should come. I know from the one time I saw one that they go very slowly and are watching for people, but I'd hate to be the guy they wait for as I walk a quarter mile before the next place you can get out of the way. It just drops off until then.
3.59 miles in 1:10, 7,709 steps, 396ft gain
This is a nice walk that's mostly not affected by weather and mud and is completely inside the gulch. I wish it was a little longer, but there are options to go a little further. Being short today was fine since I got a late start since it was my first walk post-DST and I didn't know what to expect. On Thursday I might try setting out half an hour earlier and heading to the same parking spot, and if it's too dark, I can drive up to the top.
I took a moment to look at the graffiti under the bridge on the way back to the car. Most of it is crap, but I really like the effect where the moss surrounds the lower image. I'll get a closer shot next time.