|Today's group (me behind the camera)|
|Tree stump art (taken by Melanie)|
Now the Hundred Acre Wood is not one of our usual places, and many of us had never been there before. Although the day was splendidly sunny, we also knew we would most likely be dealing with leftover ice and snow from last week's snowstorm. And we were so right. The Wood was fairly easy to navigate, but when we got to the Interurban trail, we all donned our spikes. Here's why:
|Hard packed snow and ice|
It made all the difference when we stopped to put on our spikes. It was cold enough last night to have hardened this surface into a treacherous situation. But we were undeterred, once we had the proper gear. So then we were able to continue on, feeling much more secure.
|Essential gear today|
There were many different brands of spikes used, from Yak Trax (that don't actually have spikes but help to add some metal for grip) to several different versions of MicroSpikes that drill little points right into the ice. I had both with me today, but I used the spikes and lent my other set to one person who hadn't brought anything. It made a huge difference for all of us. We continued on our merry way to the bridge over Chuckanut Creek.
|Arroyo Park bridge|
We stopped here, considering whether or not to continue up the trail to the falls, or turn around. You can still see the remnants of our big snowstorm, and there have been so many people out on the trails that they are impassable without the above gear.
|Icy bridge and trail|
This picture, taken from the bridge, shows the condition we dealt with today. The more we went upward, the more packed and icy the trail became. In fact, we realized that it would be treacherous coming back down, even with our gear, so we decided instead to return via the North Chuckanut trailhead and make our way back to our cars through the Hundred Acre Wood. But first we did make it all the way to Chuckanut Falls.
It was lovely to make it this far, and we would have had almost ten miles if we had returned the way we had come, but our trip back cut a little distance off today's hike. Nevertheless, we still covered more than nine miles, some said ten, and around 1,200 feet up and down.
Before we returned to the cars, however, we stopped at Fairhaven Park to have lunch. You can see how sunny and delightful it was. Frank took the picture, and both Al and Sue had already stopped hiking earlier. Since we didn't have anybody with a GPS, we could simply decide for ourselves how much distance we covered. It was a great day, and I expect we will return at some time to visit the Hundred Acre Wood again.