Friday, April 6, 2012

First Hike of 2012!

I was almost feeling like a real hiker last year.  I should have kept going through the winter--maybe bought some snow shoes or something.  I could have gone with the hiking group my friend Cindy belongs to--she's invited me enough times. (I did go the summer, of course)  But because I'm such a wimp and don't like getting cold, here it is spring and I am totally off my game.  I know... I didn't have much game to start with, but now it feels like I'm back to square one.

When I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to hike in Florida, I really was serious. That would have been a much more exciting beginning to 2012--maybe even with pictures of alligators!  But alas, Anacortes will have to do.  Did you know that Anacortes gets about 6 inches less rainfall per year than Mount Vernon? (no fair, right? It's only a half hour away) This makes it a good option for hiking though--and there are a LOT of hiking trials. Enough to make a person like me hopelessly lost; which is why I spent a whole $10 on maps...practically my largest purchase thus far on hiking gear. (unless you count my ipod)

But as I drove into Anacortes and the sun was really shining, I found I was uninspired to hike through forest mazes, and opted to head for Washington Park.  I used to take my kids here often when they were little, and I knew there was some hiking close to the water. (more sun!)

A deer greeted me as I drove into the parking lot
As I hiked along through the bushes, gazing out at the water, I noticed the trail was just paralleling the paved road, (for campers) and finally gave in and just started walking on it instead.  "Sheesh, this doesn't feel much like hiking," I thought, but at least I wasn't having to fight the spider webs.

The 'real' trail
Kids playing by the water...brings back so many memories.
When I came to where the road looped back around, there was a trail that kept going straight. Hooray, some real hiking!  I didn't have a map, and the trail signs were pretty useless in my opinion; so I figured I would just go for as long as I felt comfortable, and then turn around.

This trail was amazing!  Such great views of the water, and I even came to a nice bench to sit and eat my healthy hiking snack. (a rice krispie treat--food for champions)  I figured I should look up the person who the bench was dedicated to when I got home, so I took a picture. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any info...please get back to me if anyone reading this knows her.

This trail was pretty narrow, and in places a little sketchy if you had small kids.  But, I just couldn't stop following it--it was so orange and bright and just seemed to say, "go a little further". (I thought it amusing when I caught myself humming "follow the yellow brick road")

A little like yellow bricks?

The trail finally ended at the cutest little cove.  It seemed like a great place for an otter or mermaid or something to hang out--so I sat down and waited. "God...if there is an otter or seal nearby...could you send it over here?"  I always chuckle at myself when I make these sort of requests to God--it sort of feels like I'm ordering fries with my happy meal.  (can I have a toy too?)  But I think God has a sense of humor, and I figure it never hurts to ask. (no sea creature the answer was no)

Wait...I think I see a tail.

Getting up to head back, I noticed a sign with actual words on it. "Loop Road"...I saw this sign in the parking lot and thought it was the lame trail that was just next to the road. Humm...seems if I just follow this trail, it should lead back around to the parking lot.  My navigational history told me just to go back the same way I came...but you know how I love a loop.  So I chanced it, and found my way back without a problem. (no thanks to the useless signs) 
Ummm...and this is helpful because....

A sign with directions...what a concept.
So, there you have it...I'm back in the saddle.  Looking at the passing ferries on the way back reminded me of the many trails on the San Juan Islands--Mount Constitution, here I come!

Better save my money...these ferries aren't cheap.

The skies directly over my house.  Why do I live here again?

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