Photo Friday: a few local hikes & walks

In the last few weeks, in addition to walks in my local park to see the beavers (and to get my exercise), I've done a couple of trips into the actual mountains. Since I haven't been spending the night I don't have any stunning sunrise/sunset photos, but here are a few nice bits, anyway.

My local park is a lovely second-growth PNW lowland forest, with a stream. Apparently there are a lot of beavers in the Seattle area who are happy to move into such streams, even with less than pristine water (this stuff includes runoff from the local streets and neighborhoods and signs suggest keeping kids out of even the clean-looking parts). 

I'm bemused that the beavers seem to have abandoned the dam in the main stream and have moved into the algae-covered backwater, which they have somehow managed to fill with more water than usual, as well as more algae.

Train tracks separate the park from the beach, but with a pedestrian bridge over the tracks it's been converted from a bug to a feature.

Lowland forests in western Washington drip with moss even during an insanely dry summer.


A few weeks ago a friend and I hiked to Talapus and Ollalie Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This was my first hike of more than 6 miles since breaking my foot, and also my first venture out onto "real" trails (which, to be honest, were smoother than some of the ones I hike in my local park). I was really happy to be in the mountains and extra happy to find my foot strong and able.

Most of the hike is through lush forests--this wasn't a hike with long views.

We reached the lake to find everything covered in a mist.

Talapus Lake

Talapus Lake

After a break we hiked another mile-and-a-bit to Ollalie Lake, where the clouds were lifting. Listening to our stomachs rather than the clock, we had lunch by the lake.

Lunching on the log jam at the outlet.

This little fellow was very interested in our food.

Lichen gave the trees a fur coat.

By the time we returned to Talapus Lake on the way out, the clouds were gone.

By Jove, there are mountains there!


On another day, I did a much shorter hike up Heybrook Ridge with other friends. It yielded a few views--and some good snacking on huckleberries.

The trail up Heybrook Ridge switchbacks easily up for about 1.5 miles through second-growth timber. Large stumps reveal what was there before the loggers came through a century ago.

Butterfly on fireweed

The ridge is a powerline trail, so the aesthetics are compromised, but without that there wouldn't be views at all.

Mt. Index

On the way back to the car we detoured onto a short nature trail that runs through some wetlands. This was the only place we found mosquitoes, and even there they were at most a minor nuisance.

Devil's Club. Not edible, and while you're at it, keep a safe distance from the extremely thorny leaves, stems, and everything else about them.
One nice feature of hikes of US 2 as opposed to I90 is the abundance of fruit stands (with fruit from Eastern WA) and old-school drive-ins, always worth a post-hike stop.

This trail was easy and worked well (in part because it's not hugely popular so our late Saturday morning start didn't see us shut out of the parking lot), but I probably won't do it again. There are lots of more spectacular trails.

Meanwhile, when I'm not hiking, I'm working on the final bits and pieces for A Coastal Corpse. As soon as I have something definite from my cover artist I'll be announcing a release date and setting up a blog tour! 

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023
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