Last night I sucked it up and bought the Hancock non-motorized permit so that this morning we could head for Sunday Lake. This trail head is located off the North Fork road and is what I considered a limited season trail. In fact I have far more failures at this hike than I have successes.
The first seasonal issue is a swamp. Which was almost dry right now thanks to our hot summer. It also has bugs and Nim was in a snit about taking a photo there. Basically we crossed it fine without me shedding boots, socks, and pants. I sank a bit, but nothing bad.
The swamp is basically a pond once the rain season comes in.
The Sunday Lake trail itself isn't particularly long and doesn't gain heavy elevation, it is however very poorly maintained (if at all) and a lot of the difficulty of the trail comes from it being overgrown, creek bed in the trail, and several fallen trees.
I think somewhere I have a photo of Odin on this same stump. I so wish I had seen our forest when trees were this big. Amazing.
Slowly the trail becomes more drainage bed.
Just before you drop in to cross the North Fork, there is this beautiful rock wall. I have never been able to photograph it with any justice. It is so dark and over grown there.
The second seasonal issue to this hike is the North Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Frequently crossing the North Fork is where I fail and head back to the car even if I did wade the swamp. And I always go into this hike knowing I may not complete it. I don't even consider it in the spring.
It isn't just getting myself across, it is crossing dogs that by breed notoriously don't do well in water.
Today it was a non-issue. I have never had the crossing be this dry. I think a couple of things happened: one, the area clearly had a serious flood come through in the past few years because the actual bed is quite different (I will actually have to get back there when the river is running high to see how much of the changed bed it is covering) and two, we are having a VERY dry summer.
Once we crossed we were off! Because I often don't get past the river this part of the trail always feels a bit more unknown.
There is one area in particular with a lot of evidence of past logging and people living back there.
After the barrels photo Nim was off running around and jumped off something that had a much farther drop than he planned. He stay closer after that.
After the logging area it was back to business. Part of the trail get much rockier and more overgrown. The rocks aren't great fun for dogs and it is slow going for both of us. He jumped a lot of fall and I climbed a lot.
Finally we reached the lake. Nim is looking down because of the large dragon flies. The lake was really low. Again, a trade off for a hot summer. I could safely cross and get to the lake, but it wasn't as pretty as other times I have got back there. Still, it was peaceful and quiet.
On the trip back Nim wanted to stay in the North Fork much longer. You can see it is not brightly sunny today, but SO muggy.
Back across the swamp...
...Nim could listen to bird noises out there all day long.