Monday, May 30, 2011

Duckabush River Trail

Duckabush: (1) Place of crooked-jawed salmon.  (2) Place where I drive by the trail head and spend too much time on Forest Service Roads. 
The Duckabush River
The first hike of the year is always the hardest.  It is when I discover that I really should have made an effort to walk more during the winter and that I should have finished that walk off with some stretching or yoga.  Yesterday, while hiking the Duckabush River Trail, I rediscovered all these things and that I have the tightest hamstrings in Western Washington.  Today I am hobbling around the house as if I spent my Sunday riding a horse.  I need to stretch more - lesson learned.

CF and I went to the Duckabush River Trail; she had been there before many years ago and I had never been.  The guide book directed us to the trail, except that it said that when you get to the horse area drive past to the trailhead.  This is a lie.  This is a lie written by lying liars who lie.  Stop at the horse area and park there.  We obeyed the guide book and continued past the parking area to the forest service roads beyond.  After a mile (maybe less) I parked the car in a clearing on the right and we decided that it wasn't wise to continue with the car, but we could walk up the road and find the trailhead and that way we would know what we were dealing with for next time.
The good part of the road.
I hate forest service roads.  I know they get us to the hiking trails, but they are usually narrow, one-lane roads with deep potholes and, in my imagination, lead us to meth labs and serial killers.

We walked about 2 miles on this road, when we encountered a Subaru that had passed us previously.  After conferring with the driver it was agreed that there was no trail head where we were heading and the group of us were in the wrong area. It was comforting that others followed the book and blew past the trailhead, and it was slightly disturbing that they thought that we knew what we were doing. At that point we turned around and started walking back so we could check out the horse unloading area and see if we could pick up the trailhead there.

View from the bridge where we ate lunch, because I was sure it was the only place where the serial killers weren't hiding.
Sure enough, the horse unloading area had no horses but plenty of parked cars and a lovely well-marked trailhead.  At this point I said some very dirty words.  After I stopped talking like Yosemite Sam, we decided to walk a couple of miles up the trailhead and see what we could see.  Bear in mind, we had already walked 4 miles.  Also bear in mind, that when CF and I say we are only going to walk a couple of miles to check things out, we mean we are going to walk a couple of miles and then say that we are so close to the end that we should finish it up.  We stopped three miles later after finally finding the Duckabush River.  It was beautiful.

View from the riverside. 

Now that I know where the trailhead is, I will return.  Curiously, the hike features something called the Big Hump which we didn't get to.  We will have to return to do that, but without the four mile detour.


  1. Beautiful photos! What do you shoot with? I'm glad you escaped the serial killers, and lived to tell your story.

  2. Beautiful scenery! Thanks for sharing :)
    Best wishes,

  3. My husband says it's only me who imagines serial killers in the bush. You have proved him wrong!lol! Love the pictures, love your story!

  4. Beautiful. Makes me want to go hiking. Right now. Ah well, holidays soon.

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