Lately I’ve been on a kick to see what my body can do since I’ve already figured out a good idea of what my mind can do. Since I don’t like running like Kev does, I decided I would fall back to walking and hiking, which I truly enjoy. Athena seems to enjoy it too, which is a positive, but she seems to enjoy anything we do that isn’t in the house. Last Saturday we decided to go for a quick day hike and I picked Crater Lake (Washington, not Oregon) as a good candidate since I hadn’t been there in 20 years and wanted to see it again. Ryan came with Athena and I as an added bonus. =)
It was a bit of a drive in the Jeep since I don’t have cruise control, but about 60 miles from home we hit Miller Creek Rd, which turns into very poorly maintained gravel roads pretty quickly. I was happy to have an excuse to turn on 4WD though.
We were supposed to be able to drive 7.3 miles to hit the trailhead but found the road closed about 4 miles short of that.
Most of the interesting things I’ve seen in the world have been behind fences and signs that say “Don’t go past this point” so we parked and decided to hike in for a bit to see what we could see. I knew we’d never hit the lake as none of us were ready for a 12 mile round trip hike, but I like adventures so we threw on our bags and walked past the sign.
About 1/3 of a mile ahead we saw why the road was closed, and what the trail report meant by “The road is washed out”; this is about as washed out as a road can get I believe. Luckily there was a fairly easy to navigate path about 10 yards to the right of this picture so we could keep going.
After moving past the washout, we proceeded down the road further to find absolutely gorgeous views. There was a good number of blown down trees across the road every hundred yards or so, but interestingly it appears someone came through with a chain saw and cut out human sized pathways.
We only got about a mile past the washout when Athena went into her There be Dragons! mode. She jumped out in front of Ryan and I, set her feet and emitted a low continual growl towards something in the bushes ahead of us. I’m fairly certain I saw something copper/light brown move in the bushes 40 yards or so ahead and to the right, and since this was supposed to be a fun adventure I decided that it was time to slowly walk backwards and find somewhere else to go.
First, we found some trails and did a little 4×4 adventuring. Ryan hadn’t ever been before, but he was a trooper and helped clear larger branches from the trail ahead of us.
Given that we had planned to actually go on a hike though, we decided to drive back to US-2 and head up random forest service roads until we found something resembling a trailhead. Since this just wasn’t my day though, we were continually foiled.
Eventually we decided that we wanted to simply head towards home and see if there was anywhere interesting along the way. We first stopped in Osprey Park in Sultan so Athena could play in the water a bit.
We eventually found Cherry Creek Falls in Duvall as a possibility and finally got some hiking in. We didn’t make it all the way to the falls as 2/3rds of our party was beat by this point, but we made it about 3.5 miles total. Cheery Creek Falls is a nice easy hike that I will be going back to finish one weekend.