Thursday, October 18, 2012

West Tiger #3, Poo Poo Point The Very Long Way

With the predicted poor weather on Monday I wanted a day just on trail. I had planned on heading East but when I heard that I-90 was going to be shut down to one lane each way at Snoqualmie Pass I decided another destination was in order. When I got up the kids begged me to stay home so I decided to instead include them in a hike. Thankfully the wife joined as well. Last week I had done some more exploring of Tiger Mt. using the trailhead that starts at the bottom of Highlands drive. In my wanderings last week I found a "big tree" trail. which I didn't explore. I thought this would be perfect for a family hike. I enjoyed having the family enjoy the threatening weather. Thankfully it did stay dry. The trail wanders through some beautiful forest and finally we were treated to a 24' diameter tree. I ended up making a loop out of the trip. When we returned to the car the family bid me adieu and I retraced my steps to the junction with the Adventure Trail and started South. I followed this to the Section Line trail which I used to summit West Tiger #3. I only saw one person on my ascent so I was shocked to see a solo hiker just ahead of me. We ended up reaching the summit at the same time. I found the odds of two hikers summitting at the same time on a rainy October day from 2 different routes to be extremely low. The wind and rain was very stout on the summit. I had planned on continuing on to West Tiger #2 but the weather made me change my mind. I had a long way to go and I thought it best to continue South.

   I retraced my steps until I reached the County Line Trail. Despite my wishes for a brush free trail day I was dismayed to find that the trail was vastly overgrown. With the leafy brush and the growing rain I was soon soaked. I pushed on the endless ups and downs of the County Line trail. The trail follows an old railroad grade which is mostly flat. However it crosses many creeks that one must drop 50' and then re climb once across the creek. My next stop was Poo Poo Point. I stopped for a short time to check in with my wife. I feared with so far to go yet that I would have to walk the last 4 miles of busy roads in the dark. I joined the road to Poo Poo Point to connect with the spur that branches off Tiger Mt Road. Despite some options that would have let me descend earlier I continued heading South. I really wanted a coffee and I hoped that I would be able to reach the coffee shop at the Tiger Mt. Store before it closed for the night. I finally reached the Tiger Mt. road and leashed the dog. I wasn't thrilled to use this road because there isn't much of a shoulder and the sight lines are short and traffic seems to move at a faster than needed clip. Finally I reached the bottom of the hill and was able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee while I waited for my family to pick me up. A fine way to spend a very wet afternoon.

Approx 15 miles 4000' of climb 3:45 walking.

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