I parked on the street because that water main project is still going, and took a couple of pictures before heading out. The sunrise off in the distance, and its glow on the clouds the other direction.
Today's mission: hike up to the Western side and have another look at that weird clearing I saw recently. Just to try to figure out what the deal was. So, up the OG trail I went. It always has the best views.
This little bridge over a spot that's always muddy has never been in great shape, but it wasn't trashed like this. I suspect someone fell through, got frustrated, and stomped all over it.
I turned toward the middle of the woods a little too early trying to find the clearing, and found myself in what may or may not be a preservation area. There were signs, but they were on the ground, so I couldn't tell if someone knocked them over in that spot or moved them from somewhere else. Off in the distance, I saw a blue tarp, and as I approached, it appeared it was a makeshift tent, and that I'd stumbled upon someone's campsite. So I turned around and snuck away. It was early and I suspect if someone was actually there, they were either sleeping very deeply, or they heard me and were trying to just be as quiet as possible.
Camping isn't allowed there, but let's be real. If someone's got no place to go, I don't think way off the trail in a place like that is a bad choice for them. As long as they leave people alone and clean up after themselves, and don't plan on making it permanent, what's the harm? If they'd emerged and yelled at me or something, you'd bet I'd call the police and show them where they were. Of course.
A little further South, I found the clearing, and my answer. What I thought was mowed-down vegetation last time was actually hay from bales.
And I found the reason for it.
Guess the hay helps the vegetation gain a foothold? I'm very impressed either way. There's no way to get a vehicle to that area and there's a ton of hay. I'd love to know how they brought it in.
That morning light made for great pictures! Very happy with those.
I love the view of the sky from the center trail.
And I'm happy to report that the creek is finally low enough that I could walk right across at this spot. Normally that branch would just float away.
I've been wanting to go across there because I spotted an old, overgrown trail on the other side months ago and have wanted to check it out ever since. Today, I was able to for the first time. A new trail for me! It doesn't go very far, and ends at those two old bridges, one of which I fell through when I tried to access the trail from the other end.
Someone dumped this back by where I parked, which is weird. The bottom of the gulch is quite pristine, it's the top where there's tons of junk and garbage.
3.72 miles in 2:07, 11,505 steps, 401ft gain
No video for the drive home. I took it, but made a stop at Harborview Park to get another selfie for the Honey Bucket contest. I actually stopped by there the other day for it, but it was gone that day. It's back, though, and when I turned on my camera app to get the photo, it made the dashcam app stop rolling. Which is too bad, because I thought the hyperlapse with the side mission would be cute.
Hoo boy, my beard looks rough in that. Have you ever seen a portapotty with such a great view? It's no wonder this park is always packed with people sitting in their cars staring off in the distance.