Of late, with the fall weather, Walker (our middle son, who is now 3.5), has been asking more often to go for hikes with me. After our good hike the weekend before, I mulled over where to take him that was legal to be in. Cause you know…maybe I could hide from Ranger No-Fun at Rainier, while flouting the NP”s being closed, but knowing my loud toddler, he’d give us away – and help the ranger by telling them “Mama made me come here!”.
So in the end, Kirk and I took the boys up to Cougar Mountain, in the Issaquah Alps. Cougar belongs to King County Parks, which besides being a really nice hiking area, is fee free and open. Open is good. Only thing is….once we drove up to the top, we were in the clouds and it was barely over 40°. Oops. So I took both Walker and Alistaire out for a short hike to visit Anti-Aircraft Peak ( a nice Cold War era relic it held the radar system for the NIKE area about a mile apart on the mountain). The clouds were so thick we could barely see – but that didn’t prevent the boys from having fun.
You just have to close your eyes and imagine what it looked like behind that sign during the Cold War.
Alas, little one was cold, so he got back in the warm van with Daddy. Kirk told Walker and I to have fun, I handed him a map and he said he’d pick us up at Red Town Trailhead. In that history of use, Red Town was a mining town way back, and has left Cougar covered with pits. It is a glorious urban wildland – and one you stay on trail for!
Walker loves hikes with Mommy – and this one was great: 3 miles of forest walking, mostly downhill.
The clouds were the best. Everything green – even in October.
I realized it had been a long time since I hiked here, and that it was before I had my two youngest. I appreciate the trails more now – they are paced well for training kids. What kid doesn’t love climbing over logs with steps cut into them?
Lunch time is everything to a small one
Once we dropped low enough the sun came through. I kind of liked the clouds more….
I considered taking Walker to the coolest mine shaft out there, but thought better – no reason to give him any ideas….it is a massive pit with rebar across it. Instead, I took him by a few pits that are “safer” to visit.
I can’t wait till Walker is stronger – I probably could have pushed for 4 miles, but I decided to exhaust him, so down we went, to the waiting van.
Cool way to drill it into his head that mine pits are OK to look at, but not to get close to. The signs are great at teaching that!
If you start slow, hold their hand and let them choose a path, they can do so much. And it just keeps me picking trails for him!