#14 in the Northwest book, September 12th, 2009; Easy – 2.7 miles loop, 20 feet of elevation gain
Cloudy days are nice too. On this hike: Becky, Ben, Meg, Lucy, Will, and Mike.
This hike starts by crossing a high, arched footbridge over railroad tracks to a replica cedar plank longhouse. The longhouse has its own interesting history, but it was unfortunately closed on the Saturday we were there, so we could only pose for snapshots by the door.
Yes, both children are wearing Crocs. This was before we realized what proper hiking footwear could do for us. We were so young then.
Past the longhouse, we hiked the mile or so to Boot Lake and picknicked. Here you can see more examples of our excellent taste in footwear.
The adventure portion of this hike started just before dinner, though we didn’t know it at the time. Shortly after dinner, we ran into another group of hikers, and they asked us if we had misplaced some sunglasses. Note to self: sunglasses don’t stay on the top of your head while you’re putting a child on your shoulders. After some searching (more adventure!), we found our way back to our own steps, and backtracked to find the glasses (whew), and the way we had come in. (To be honest, we aren’t even sure we hiked the trail as laid out in the book…there were a few times we really weren’t sure of our location on the map.)
On our way back to the car, we heard the faint sounds of a train. Will on my shoulders, I sprinted to the pedestrian bridge —
— and we watched as the train rolled underneath. It’s unfortunate that you can’t see the look on Will’s face in this picture.
Notes: Open year-round, dogs not allowed. Leave time to do the nearby 4.2 mile auto loop in the Wildlife Refuge (the 1.5 mile trail found along the auto loop is only open from May 1 to Sept 30). Bug spray is a must!