Thursday, April 7, 2011
Raptor Ridge loop trail
After taking a quick look at the view from the Ridge (which as you can see from the picture below was not much of one today), we went back to explore the new trail. We hiked two and a half miles to the Ridge, with our total distance today a little bit of a mystery at this point, as none of us had actually hiked the entire loop.
here, calling it "Putting the 'Lost' Back in Lost Lake." He did an out-and-back on Tuesday and suggested we consider doing the loop today, which is what we did. We called the entire hike a "lollipop" because we headed out on the trail, hiked in a loop, and then went back down on the same beginning trail.
The only real difficulty I had with the 9 1/2-mile hike is the steepness at the beginning. It was bad enough that we went UP the steep part, but my knees were not happy about having to go back DOWN the same very steep trail. Fortunately I don't forget my trekking poles when doing any of these really challenging hikes. We went up and down 2,500 feet of elevation gain and loss, and now that I am home writing this post, my knees feel almost normal again. Only a few of us don't use the poles, but it takes some getting used to in order to use them to full advantage. I am anticipating some questions in the comments, and I found this very informative piece on the REI website about trekking poles. I bought my poles there and couldn't have done this hike without them.
Another great day in the Pacific Northwest, with NO RAIN and even some sun! And great companions to hike with. I am amazed at what a difference a little time outside in the sunshiny woods does for my mood.