I’d initially planned to hike the West Tiger 3 Trail in nearby Tiger Mountain State Park. The choice was made easier since I couldn’t round up “you know who” from his mound of Doritos and empty Code Red cans. I had some warning that this was a popular trail but the temptation of all those elevation/contour lines so close together was too much to resist. What I found was a horde of trail runners, dog walkers and generally loud, tightly packed groups of people. I turned around after attempting to stay between groups for a frustrating half an hour.
Returning to the low land trails of Tiger Mountain though, I found a pleasant surprise.; several interlocking trails that were practically empty. These included the Swamp Trail, Bus Trail, Around the Lake Trail, Bus Trail, Traditional Trail, Big Tree Trail, Brink Trail and others. I just sort of meandered to my hearts content for 8 miles or so and didn’t see another soul until I returned to the trail head.
While it wasn’t the strenuous hike I’d wanted it was some beautiful country. I’m totally in the dark out here. I barely recognize any of the plants except in the most general sense. I should pick up the National Audubon Society Regional Guide to the Pacific Northwest not to mention some of the more detailed guides (all mine old ones are for the Eastern and Southeastern US, frown). I snapped more than a few pictures which you can view in the Tiger Mountain 20090131 photo gallery. There is also a short video of a Hairy Woodpecker foraging.[flv:http://www.arcane.org/media/Hairy_Woodpecker.flv 480 360]