Exploring Nature Around Seattle

When I left my last job and told my co-workers I was moving to the Seattle area, I received a gift.  One woman had lived in Seattle for a few years.  And while she was there, she bought a stack of guide books.  Hiking books, weekend trip books, city books. You name it, she had it.  She gave me her stack of guide books and maps when she heard I would be moving.  And so I brought those books with me when I drove up here.

I hadn’t thought about them much.  Until last week, when I finished the unpacking, they were sitting in a box in some closet somewhere.  But this weekend I had the chance to get out and explore a bit.  I pulled out the books.  And I’m SO glad that I did.  My weekend was phenomenal!

One thing I imagine I will love about Seattle is that it’s surrounded by trails and hiking and just about every outdoor activity you can imagine. I’m not sure how this will fare once Summer is over, when the clouds and rain come rolling in, but for now — it’s fantastic.

On Saturday, Steven and I picked a route from the book Walking Seattle by John Owen. There are 19 walks in the book, and we’ve decided to do them all while we’re here.  We picked walk 16, Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue.  It’s a two-mile nature trail that crosses paths with a blueberry farm and small market.

The walk was beautiful.  We meandered along the trail, stopping to take silly pictures, watch canoers along the slough and take in the view of downtown Bellevue from amongst the wildlife.  The trail was flat and easy to walk.  I definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.  Though I must warn you.  If you go at dusk, be sure to wear long pants, and don’t lie on the ground.  The mosquitoes will eat you otherwise!  (I know.  Where is my brain sometimes?  But seriously, peeps, I just had to get cute pictures in the grass.)

On Sunday, my friend, Christy, and I decided it was time for some adventure.  We planned a hike to Rattlesnake Mountain. A friend of Christy’s suggested the trail.  And I’m thrilled we took that suggestion.  Because the hike was beautiful.  And the view from top?  Stunning.  We loved it.

To get to the trail, we followed the directions from one of my guide books, Beyond Mount Si by John Zilly. The directions were great.  Pretty short.  Pretty clear.  We did pass the parking lot by a short distance, but we quickly realized our mistake and turned around.  The parking lot was large.  We arrived just before noon, and there were plenty of spaces (though, when we left around 3pm, the lot was overflowing).  This hike is a must-do!

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