This has been a tough winter; though, Lord knows, not because of the weather! Here in the Northwest, this January felt more like May. No, what's been tough in my life is feeling like I'm in a "winter" transition...things feel gloomy and dead, and sometimes I wonder if what was good is past and what sucks is here to stay. And even though it may not be that cold outside, the newness of spring is not here to comfort me. (Though, this warm weather is confusing the poor plants. They need to go back to sleep! It's not time yet!)
|The weirdest ice formations coming out of the ground at Rockport|
|A tiny moss island on the trails by Heart Lake|
So far, I've done three short hikes this year: Rockport with my daughter and dog (first hike this year, and also my first hike last year; which is when I wrote about it) Heart and Little Cranberry Lake by myself, and Guemes Mountain with my husband. There was not much to say about any of them, but I thought all three together might make a decent blog post.You can get all the information you need about Rockport from last years post (http://kellbell-whywouldanyonereadthis.blogspot.com/2014/01/first-hike-of-2014.html) but I want to add that there is a trail I've never noticed before called the "Skagit Sauk-Reach Trail" directly across the hwy from Rockport that looks promising. (maybe next year's first hike?) I will also include this bit of wisdom I learned that day: no matter how bummed, stressed, or frustrated you may feel, if you go take your dog to the woods, you'll feel better. A dog is NEVER any of those things while romping through the trees and splashing in every mud puddle, and it will be impossible not to be affected by their utter joy in just living.
If you want to hike in the Heart Lake/Mount Erie area, I highly suggest getting a map. The trails are really well marked, but there are TONS of them; weaving in and out and everywhere. I'm not the best with maps, but it was actually fun experimenting with navigating that maze.
Most of these trails are meant for bikers, and they can be pretty tore up and muddy, but this time of year you pretty much have the place to yourself. (at least I did) The day I spent wandering here alone with my thoughts reminded me again just how much I love hiking. It's not because I'm so in love with being alone with my thoughts (most the time I'm wishing my thoughts would just SHUT UP for a minute) but because when I'm hiking, my thoughts tend to be so much more quieted and peaceful. It's that comfort I long for; a feeling of belonging that is hard to find anywhere else.
|A snag in the middle of Little Cranberry. |
Hard to tell where the tree begins and the water ends
|The view on top Guemes Mountain|
It's cheap, it's easy, it's a good day. The trail is new, easy to find, and only 2.3 miles. The only thing I would complain about is the sign on the TOP that says "Hikers Only". (a little late to be mentioning that in my opinion...what are you supposed to do with your horse or bike at that point?) I think this would make a great family trip with kids, as long as you don't expect too much out of poor Guemes Island. It is NOT a tourist town, trust me. If you want to make this trip a romantic date like we did, downtown Anacortes on the other hand has some great bars and restaurants. I give a big thumbs up to staying and making a night of it. (Anchors Bar has a really fun shuffle board table that is a nice change from pool)
We found Bigfoot!Winter is winding down, and I know that the things in my life that are making things seem "sucky" are only the downs in the "ups and downs" that is life. I will keep my chin up, and know that the ups are coming, including the fact that spring and summer are on their way. See you then.