Local Walks Fill The Soul

It’s January. Let’s be honest here: Driving to the mountains, while I am close and all, blows in winter. Daylight at like nearly 8 am and by 4:30 it’s headlights on. If you are in the forest, it’s getting dark at 3 pm, if the daylight even touched the woods at all…..brrrrrr.

Local walks have a lot to offer till at least April. They are close in, so no driving sketchy mountain roads in the dark both ways, and you can fit both a hike AND a honey do list in one day. Whatta bonus! (This past weekend’s list included raking up what felt like 100,000 pinecones from the county side of our back fence. Thanks. I was able to con the two younger boys into picking them up for me, although it cost me dearly in candy cash.)

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Who needs a long drive when you can walk out of your house to this view of Mount Rainier? I know I am lucky. I miss her on cloudy days. January is often sunny and clear and calls to get out! This is from the trail we live on, my house is to the right of the mountain (it is blocked by the trees).

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On a cold and sunny day, every winter, I get the idea it’ll be fun if Kirk drops me off at the terminus of one of the local rail to trails and I walk home. I made the oldest son join me this time. The Cedar River Trail is a pretty one in the farthest sections.

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Trestle bridges, river views and very few people leads one to enjoy the 10 miles it took to get home. It also cost me a visit to Starbucks once we turned onto the Green To Cedar River Trail and the 18-year-old was “dying”. Although the side trip to Starbucks is why it was 10, instead of 9 miles 😉

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Lake Wilderness Park, in the middle of town (Maple Valley, Wa) takes up much of lake. It frames Rainier gorgeously. The Green To Cedar River Trail follows along the lake as well (to the left side of this picture).

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I’ve many routes, that are a mix of walking and hiking, that bounce across town, needing no car, just legs, or even a bike, if one wanted. It’s there to take, and once you do it a lot, you start recognizing faces. I might be the youngest one 😉

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Although Alistaire loves to come along, usually in his jogger stroller. Sometimes he walks. It depends on how far and fast I am going.

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On a recent trip, I showed Ford a back way he didn’t know about, then we looped around the lake….

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Lake Wilderness is one of the reasons I love this town. It’s a huge treasure.

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Mostly because a huge chunk of the lake is protected, and the houses that are built on one end, it is an old school enclave, not mansions.

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If it is really windy or cold, Alistaire likes his bike trailer, as it blocks the wind more than his jogger stroller. Ford and Alistaire came along for this walk. It’s crazy seeing him at 18, thinking about how not so long ago he was sitting in a stroller…as I backed him up stairs and roots on trails. He took over for me in this section, bouncing Lord Chubbington up and over.

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I mean….who wouldn’t want to ride in comfort instead of walking? Cozy back warmer? Lap blanket? Juice box? Nintendo DS? Check! And onward….

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