If you live in the Northwest, chances are you have at least once in your life visited Fort Casey. It is quintessential Washington state; the perfect place to bring the kids to picnic, fly a kite, and explore. Though, if you are looking to hike...not so perfect. And who would expect it to be? The idea of a military fort does not exactly invoke imaginations of forested strolls. I'm guessing this is why I got such a skeptical reaction when I invited my co-workers to come with me to hike at nearby Fort Ebey; what I would describe as Fort Casey's less known and less loved step brother.
Fort Ebey may not have the notoriety that Fort Casey has, but it has it's charms. Even if you are only interested in the WWII history, the remains of the gun stations and especially the long dark bunkers are pretty cool. But of course, we are talking about hiking here, and I had seen several trip reports touting Ebey as having a spectacular 6 mile loop. So, even though I am mostly over my obsession with loop trails, this one has been on my list for some time.
Because I had convinced my newbie hiker friends from work to come with me, I read as much as I could about his hike so that MAYBE for once I could pull off the "expert hiker" image I've been working at for so long. I really need to just let that go; confusion is obviously my true expertise.
I want to say in my defense that the trail description on the WTA website is stupid. (in my very humble opinion, that is) So, for anyone thinking of doing this hike (and I highly recommend you do) let me try to make things a little more obvious. (in case you are also a pro at perplexity)
|Wildflowers and wild woman!|
Here is the huge sign announcing "Bluff Trail--.8"
Okay...usually a sign like this is letting you know how long the trail is; but in this case we had to assume that we were go to .8 miles to get to the start of the Bluff Trail. So we go on the strange garden type path and end up in another parking lot. No Bluff Trail. We see a sign directing us down a gravel road towards some weird history house thingy that the trail description said absolutely nothing about. Okay, I guess we'll go check it out; but I fully expected to have to double back and search for the trail we actually wanted. Thankfully we were curious enough about the house to not keep searching the perimeters of the lot for some sort of "clearly marked sign" to the Bluff Trail.
|Does my body language say "Where the hell are we going?"|
(another copy and paste; ugh, I'm sorry!!)
|Our album cover shot...time to learn to play an instrument ;)|
|Thomas' pictures of me taking pictures destroy my actual pictures|
|Me instructing Kimberly on how to skip a rock.|
I'm proud to say she did it for her first time!!
A much less burn is had when you finish up the hike on the rickety old stairs (yes Kimberly, we know how awesome Colorado's "Incline" is in comparison) then a bit more uphill and you are back to the start of the loop. There is a beautiful bathroom you can use back at the house, though better to do so on the way in than out because it closes early.
|Guess who took this photo? I made one exception|
to show you the difference. Maybe I need to start
hiring a photographer for every hike?
|Our pretend engagement photo...almost makes me want to propose!|
But Thomas can get you an even better one if you're getting married!
CALL HIM!!! :)