We began our hike after driving up part of the mountain road where we wanted to start. This whole area is owned by a local logging company. They have no problem with people utilizing their land, as long as they leave it the way they found it. There are wonderful logging trails that run randomly all through the woods. We had no map, and no compass, and this time, no dogs. We left our dogs home just because we weren't sure where exactly we were going to end up... next time, we will definitely bring the dogs. They would absolutely love every minute of it!
So the three words that I could use to describe our adventures today would be....
.... Just another corner!
It seemed like there were endless corners in the logging trails. At times, slogging through the snow, you think about giving up, turning around, and heading back... but then... there's just one more corner...
and you keep going!
Kind of reminds of me books I used to read when I was a kid. You would get to an exciting part in the story, and then you were given several options, and told to go to page __ to find out the next adventure in the story. You could read these books for hours, trying to navigate your way through every adventure to be found in the book. Sometimes in the storybook you would die, as you chose the wrong path. I sure hoped that this wouldn't be the case today! And sometimes you hit the jackpot... and I think we did today!
Well, so much for that trip down memory lane.
But decisions... and corners ... and bends in the road... they all make for a very interesting hike!
Especially when you have no compass, no signs, and only the sun - thankfully! - to enable us to know which direction we were headed in.
We almost felt like real explorers....
Then we found some interesting tracks. They seemed to come and go. Sometimes you'd see them, and then all of a sudden, they'd disappear... and then we'd call..."Here kitty, kitty, kitty!"
Oh yes. We had a nice warm furry friend out there with us. We never did see him, but the tracks were relatively fresh, as (I'm sure you remember) it had snowed the night before, or early that morning. So, our large kitty friend had been out early traveling. We think it was a lynx tracks, but as we are not experts, we won't say for sure.
But we did spend some time gazing into the tops of the trees ... just to be sure.
And we talked really, really loud and laughed A LOT. Swapped stories, and shared about the goodness of the Lord. We had such a good time together that we really had no need to be concerned about where "Kitty Kitty" was.
Do you what these tracks are?
Just checking up on your tracking skills.
Since I'm such an "expert" here... just thought I'd ask... ;)
Another bend in the road. More decisions.
We continued downward. I prefer to walk downhill than uphill, so that was a natural choice for me.
The logging company had done some serious logging here with a huge pile of brush, and had some really great logs just thrown on the huge trash pile. I thought it would be nice if they would let us haul some of that off for them! I would certainly volunteer for the job. But they don't ask me about these things.
Love the clouds and the pictures they paint by the millions in the skies above us. Between calling "kitty kitty" and looking at the tops of the trees, and looking at the clouds, and then climbing up the side of this hill... I was breathing so heavy, I betcha could've heard me all the way to Texas...
Or at least a plateau, ridge, or outcropping...whatever you wanna call it... but it was absolutely wonderful, amazing, spectacular... and worth every breath!
A gorgeous view of Mount Spokane over to the west.
It was great to sit and rest at this particular plateau and enjoy the view.
The logging road by this time had become rather muddy. After we rested, and drank some water, and just enjoyed our view, it was time to head back down the mountain. At this point, we had been hiking for about an hour and 15-20 minutes, or so. Not bad.
We were already making plans to come back, and explore further... because you see... there was just another corner...
But this one had to wait... until the next time. The sun was melting the snow, and it was very boggy traveling.
And because of the bogginess of the mud... we began to play hide and seek.
I didn't mention to you that I had lost a glove earlier in the hike. It had just fallen off the zipper I had it attached to. So the game began.
Then as we began to descend the boggy mountain trail, my ice tracks on my boots came off. No problem.
I found a nice rock to sit on and put them back on. My friend had lent them to me, and I think she has slightly bigger feet than mine. That's not saying much, because I have really small feet. Anyway, I think the ice tracks were having trouble staying on my feet because the sun had been out melting the snow, and it was turning to mud.
Slippery, sticky, squishy .... ploppy mud.
And my ice tracks wouldn't stay on.
But I didn't know that.
That's why we played hide and seek going down the mountain.
We happily turned downward after I "thought" I had gotten the snow tracks securely reattached to my boots. We laughed and swapped a few more stories, and stopped to look at a beautiful tree, when I stopped staring upward, and looked downward...
And my snow tracks were both gone!
So, we had to retrace our steps all..... the..... way..... back..... up..... that... hill..... Yup.
They had fallen off shortly after I had put them back on.
So, I decided after that hide and seek event, that I was just going to carry them the rest of the way. So I did.
(The snow tracks lived happily ever after. I didn't lose them again... just so you won't worry...)
More deer/animal tracks. We were close to a little creek, so I'm sure they were traveling down to the creek for some water.
In fact, speaking of water, I was getting really thirsty myself. So glad we brought along water.
You would think that with all the snow around that you could just eat snow.
Have you ever eaten snow? It's very cold and slushy...
But it just doesn't quench your thirst. Not at all. I've tried it before, and it doesn't work.
In fact, you can fill a cooler full of snow, and let it sit and melt. When you open that cooler, all that you will see at the bottom of the cooler is about an inch of water, if you are lucky enough to have a really big cooler. That's how much snow has to melt to actually return to a usable liquid form.
And I didn't feel like eating a cooler's worth of snow just for a drink or two...
So.... water is a very good thing to bring on a hike, even in the winter!
So we pulled out our water bottles and quenched our thirst.
But snow is really, really, really good for other things.... like a snow bench! We plunked ourselves down in the above pictured snowbank, and had a wonderful rest. My legs thanked me for it. I told them they were welcome.
We had a few more scenic views of the mountains before we left. What a gorgeous day it was!
And, as we were leaving, we saw a white-tailed deer watching us. By the time I turned my camera on... he had already turned too... to run away. Oh well. I wanted to get a picture of him watching us, but he wasn't interested.
And that, my friend, was the end of our adventure.
We hiked for about 2-1/2 hours, give or take some. Throw in a few hide and seek games, and maybe it could've been shorter.
But looking on the positive side of things... the fresh air, exercise, and just the beauty of the day... things couldn't get much better than this!
In closing, I would like to leave you with a poem I read not long ago.
It spoke to me, and I hope it does to you.
Take time to smell the flowers
And hear the bird's sweet song;
Take time to watch a rippling stream
And the coming of the dawn.
Take time to watch the bluebird
Flash his colors on the wing;
Take time to hear the crickets
In the evening as they sing.
Take time to see the rainbow
Stretch across the sky;
Take time to say "I Love You"
Before another day goes by.
Take time to watch the sunset
At the closing of the day;
And then take time to thank the Lord
For all His many blessings today.
Ruth M. Gilmour
May you have time today to stop to enjoy the blessings of the Lord and to think on His goodness that He shares with us each and every day!