A berry-filled day on the CCC

  • Day 12, July 26: 18.3 miles, total miles: 348.2 – trails, road crossings, residential streets
  • Parks, Trails & Places of Significance: CCC Trail, Mt. Si NRCA trails, Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Alicia & Andy’s house+hammock

Well rested, we got going in the cool of the morning to make the walking more comfortable.

Most of today was following the old CCC road now designated a trail. Back in the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built the road out the Middle Fork. Today the upper end is a mellow meandering path through second-growth forest alongside, creeks, with lovely views of the nearby peaks. It’s a good connector to gain access to peaks like Quartz, Bessaquartz, South Bessamer, Moolock, and Green. It also offers views of the Pratt Valley, dramatic Russian Butte, and Mailbox Peak. It’s the connector trail between the deep forests and alpine lands of the upper Middle Fork and the front country of logging, mines, and the Puget Sound region’s most popular day hikes.

We enjoyed a comfortable day with shade, water, and abundant berries. Snacking slowed us down. But mostly it was easy walking and a good brain break from the last few days of over-the-top gorgeous mountains, forests, and lakes. Still there were a few delights to surprise us.

On the CCC we encountered only a few day hikers and two different parties with dog walking businesses taking 10+ pups out on off leash explorations. Turns out, there aren’t a lot of places where dogs can be off leash in the Seattle area and the DNR lands on the edge of the Mt. Si NRCA and Bessamer are a dog walking business destination.

Connecting into the Mt. Si NRCA we dropped on to the Si-Teneriffe connector and started to see lots of people. A hot Thursday afternoon and a little hazy, but still LOTS of people of all ages, fitness levels, and gear styles hoofing it up and down the new Si trail. We turned off the new Si trail onto a connector trail to the old Si trail and were alone in the woods save for some very exuberant Douglas squirrels. How they managed to sprint around in the heat, is an adaptation I would love to acquire.

Taking a break in the quiet shady forest, we hydrated and snacked up before our walk down the familiar and beloved Little Si trail out to the trailhead and onto the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Not quite mid-afternoon, it was 90-some degrees in the North Bend area. Heat reflecting back off of black asphalt and open sun. Oof!

It had been 10 days since we passed through here at the start of the trip and over the series of heat wave days the grass had crisped, more haze hung in the air from wildfires, and everything looked and felt dryer.

Thankfully we weren’t going to dry out this afternoon, we were on our way back to Alicia and Andy’s house where there cold drinks, showers, tacos, shade, and a hammock awaited us. Thank you friends for being our resupply/trip transition destination. It was great to enjoy another summer evening with you!

CedarSnagLegacy

A lovely cedar snag along the CCC – these snags are important biological legacies. They provide shelter, growing surfaces, and food for other forest inhabitants. They also offer perspective on the biological potential of the landscape and how massive trees can grow if given the time and space to do so. Photo by Gabriel Deal

WoodenCulvert

Old wooden culvert – we had breakfast right above this thing and didn’t notice it until we got up and looked over the slope. Photo by Gabriel Deal

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Delicious trailing blackberries all along the CCC.

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Huckleberry snacking.

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Tart, cheery gifts of the forest!

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Thimbleberry, red huckleberry, trailing blackberry, and salmon berry along the CCC. Soon after I took this photo I found some blackcaps (black raspberries) – but I’d already enjoyed these treats.

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This stump in the Mt. Si NRCA hints at the site growing potential for this forest.

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Mukmuk didn’t have his mountain bike – but he wanted to try out this bootleg ramp in the Mt. Si NRCA.

 

DougfirTrail

Linking up with the Douglas-fir Trail! Back in January, we hiked here with Monty, Charlie, and Pam – they helped us “scout” our route. Photo by Gabriel Deal

Hammock

Hammock time in Alicia and Andy’s backyard. What’s more important when you haven’t bathed in seven days – lounging in a hammock or taking a shower? Photo by Gabriel Deal