Bay View State Park, Skagit Island, and the SVT

Another break in on-call duties allowed me to run off into the lovely resources of Washington.

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First off was Bay View State Park- this was primarily found as we wanted a staging area for the launch to Skagit Island for the second night. I was happy that it turned out to be so nice looking! The campground is a very short walk away from the beach (which has a good view of the sunset). If you want to go but are unsure if you can live in a tent- they have some fantastic cabins available for rent and are fairly reasonably priced too!

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The following day we woke up early so that we could get some coffee before paddling to Skagit Island for a night.

After a previous expedition to this small island that turned into a verbal fight between myself and people who miss-understood the concept of the CMT guidelines of no powerboats for CMT campsites- I was on edge as I really didn’t want that to happen again. Luckily we were the first islanders for the day and got the best site.

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The whole island had exploded in flowers- something that I had never seen before here as I normally visit in Later Summer/fall time. It was fairly obvious that the island has not had many visitors yet this year.

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The beaches look white from all of the sun bleached shells that litter it. Makes it seem more like a tropical island.

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The mossy landscape was quite pretty as well- this trail goes all the way around the island and this is one of my favorite sections:

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After some further exploring- we waited for the sun to set the rest of the way by eating dinner with a fantastic view looking towards Deception Pass.

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Once the sun set the rest of the way- we headed out and kayaked with the bio-luminescence (primarily noctiluca). The glow lit our paddle strokes up quite well but the light pollution from the nearby cities still hid the best show. Most places in Puget Sound have a bad problem with light pollution- Hood Canal has been one exception so far in my random night kayaking adventures.

The following morning- we got an early start to try to avoid the worst of the tidal currents (they can get to be incredibly strong out here!)

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The waters were exceptionally calm, we had some issues in a couple places with some strong currents but nothing we couldn’t take on!

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A Selfie with Skagit- my kayaking buddy was kicking my butt and was in front of me by a bit at this time.

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Hope Island- another place that boaters can camp on but I find it is too big to feel like a remote island to me. There is an awesome rope swing which can provide some entertainment if you get the chance to stop there. The trails on this island are nice also- but I find Skagit to be a lot more of what I look for.

After making it home- I decided to see if my sister wanted to do some more leg torture and bike up the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. I partially regretted asking her but I was able to drink enough caffeine to keep me awake and we had a good time- It was nice to be able to work out my legs a little bit.

Then finally, some life news- I found a nice place that I am moving to that will be much closer to work than I live currently. My hope is to cancel my parking spot and either walk or ride my bike to work every day. I need more exercise given my current job- and my tendons are complaining about my recent adventures.

Hope everyone is well!

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One year ago today…

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One year ago at 10:00am, I began my journey on the Pacific Crest Trail from the US/Mexico border. I had no idea what was in store for me, and I experiences more rewarding friendships and learned more about life than I had ever dreamed of. I have never regretted leaving the trail since doing so and I look forward to coming back in the upcoming years to continue knocking out sections.

This is how much I have done so far:

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And these are my stats:

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I can’t wait to see what the upcoming sections hold in terms of views, experiences, and more amazing people!

Umtanum Ridge

After making many plans and finding points of failure in each- we decided to try for the Durr Road/Yakima loop starting from Umtanum. We had all gone on this trail before partially but had never continued to the ridge line so we set forth to do a potential overnight. The overnight plan was trashed when large storm clouds came in and we just took a long break to enjoy snacks and each others company.

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Umtanum has been one of my favorite spring hikes for a long time as the valley is full of flowers, butterflies, fruit, animals, ticks, and rattlesnakes. The full beauty is on the verge of erupting but has not happened yet unfortunately. The flowers have just started to show off.

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Further up the trail- you start to see interesting geologic formations. This is Chukar Amphitheater which looks very much like an asteroid hit it. This is the aerial image: https://goo.gl/maps/YtjLF I wasn’t able to find more information on it however.

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The trail is fairly unforgiving and you just keep on climbing. The views along the way were nice, so it was quite enjoyable.

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I set up my tent at the top to fulfill my tent-monster tendencies and become one with the dirt again. After 3-4 hours of sleep- I had issues not taking a nap. The view was quite nice!

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The Ridge has a long road that follows near the top and can be seen going off into the distance. The clouds were threatening us quite well but it did provide quite the scenery!

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This is a compilation of about 20 pictures- the full size is a little over 300MP. I might upload it later so it is browse-able but I do not have enough time to figure out that process again.

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We hiked down as the sun was setting and enjoyed the contrasting colors. The shade made for some chilly hiking conditions but it was a lot of fun! I had hoped to find a rattlesnake on this trip, but we were not very lucky in finding them. I had a lot of fun on this trip and got some good exercise too!

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