Journeys Around Seattle, #45: Squak Mountain State Park

November 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This was my first photoblog entry after coming back from Asia-- it's good to be back.

Last weekend Lisa and I made a spontaneous drive to go see Snoqualmie Falls, despite the overcast weather. As we made our way up I-90, we drove past some beautiful fall colors, large swaths of yellow and red maples standing out among the evergreens.

But as we rose in altitude, it was as though winter descended on us in minutes. The autumn colors turned to barrenness, and the overcast skies turned to mist and rain, and by the time we reached Snoqualmie Falls, the visibility had dropped to almost nothing. You can see the one picture I got of the falls; afterward, the rain and mist got even thicker, and it wasn't possible to see the falls at all.

So we meandered our way back down the mountain, avoiding I-90, and mostly just looking for places that looked interesting. We drove past Tiger Mountain, and eventually found ourselves at Squak Mountain State Park. Neither of us had ever been here, so we parked and headed down the trail leading from the parking lot.

We found ourselves in a lush, damp forest, with thick undergrowth and full of moss and fungus, as you can see from the picture. We walked a fairly short trail-- perhaps a quarter of a mile-- but we stopped so often to take pictures of the interesting molds and mushrooms, it took us quite a while to make the circuit. At the end of it was the Pretzel tree, in which two parallel branches of the tree trunk managed to wrap themselves around each other like some sort of long skinny pretzel stick.

All in all, though, the pretzel tree wasn't nearly as interesting as the plants and critters we found underfoot, or the few bright yellow trees that stood out amidst an otherwise green pine forest. So while the trip may not have been what we originally planned, it was still a fun little journey, and a good re-introduction to the Pacific Northwest outdoors.


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