Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge

2017:

I have already done this hike before, but this time it seemed there was something different this time around. It might have been due to hiking in a small group of students at Northwest U, or I just knew the outcome of this hike. Either way, it was a better view this time. Last time I went it was in the middle of summer (the hottest on record), the lake was almost non-existent, and there were people doing stupid stuff up on the ledge. This time, there was none of this!

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The hike started out around 10am in the morning, and ended around 1:30pm. It took us two hours total to go up and down the trail; and hanging out on the ledge taking Instagram worthy pictures (most of the others are out-of-state people who never been, and so worth being a part of this for them).

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Then a few minutes hanging by the lake to cool off before heading back home.

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2015:

What to do when you don’t have a reason to be at Sea Fair? Beat the Interstate 90 bridge closure and go hike Rattlesnake Ledge trail with a friend. Early on Saturday morning a friend and I went on an adventure up Rattlesnake Ledge on a hot summer day (90 degrees!) to experience the view everyone talks about.

Boy was we in for a great view, just look at this view!

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The Ledge View
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Mt. Si View

We started our adventure with a forty-five-minute drive from Seattle towards the outskirts of North Bend. After a few minutes going around in circles in the small town of Tanner looking for the road leading up to the trail with a GPS that was having dumb movement, we finally got to the parking lot of the trailhead around 9am.

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Dry Lake Bed

Since the whole state is in a state of drought, there was a section of the lake bed that had dried up and you could trek across the lake bed to the head of the trail without going all around the lake. Starting up the trail at 9am is a good time because there was not a lot of people going up or down at this time. There were a lot of pauses along the trail for some water after the heat of the day started to come through the canopy of trees. The trail going up had switchbacks, steep inclines in areas, rocky and tree roots on the trail. There were times when my friend had to help me up with the steps made out of tree roots. Overall I made it up the trail without any incident.

I reached the ledge after an hour of hiking two miles up the trail. The view did not disappoint at all, and the sun made the perfect reason to bask on the rocks looking out over the valley below. The lake below was a beautiful bluish- green color with the banks very visible from the ledge showing how dry the summer has been. From the ledge, you could see Mt Si, North Bend, Tanner/Riverbend, Chester Morse Lake, Christmas Lake and Iron Horse State Park Trail.

11145235_10207759989504698_4474455020043415380_oAfter spending an hour on the ledge people watching and resting for the trip back down, I started to see groups of people starting to get crowded the ledge. We decided to start back down the trail after a few people started to push others out-of-the-way on the ledge. While coming down there were a lot of people starting up the trail to the ledge and a few people who were struggling with the heat as they hiked upward. I am so glad the both of us decided to go earlier because marching up the trail with people crowding behind you would not be a fun experience and the weather was getting warmer the longer I was on the trail. When we drove out of the area there were a lot of cars parked on the shoulder of the road and lots of people on or by Rattlesnake Lake.

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I hiked All The Way Up There!

After finishing the hike we stopped in North Bend to refuel ourselves and then head back home to cool off from the Ninety-degree weather.  Now I can check this one hike off my bucket list and try next time to hike up to Upper Ledge which is another 3.8 miles past the lower ledge.

 

Volcano + Roman City = Pompeii Exhibition

Just imagine what would happen if Mt. Rainier ever decided to wake up one day and take out Tacoma. Even to this day after Mt St. Helen’s erupted back in the 1980s, we in Seattle live within the shadow of a four deadly volcanoes in the in the Pacific. This past weekend I visited the Pompeii Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center and looked at all the traveling artifacts from the site.

IMG_1264[1]The morning started off with a Seattle monsoon downpour. By the time I arrived at will call at the Pacific Science Center I was soaked to the bone! Getting to the exhibit was a challenge since I forgot that the Seattle St. Paddy’s Day Dash/Run was going on early that morning ( now looking at how much fun the runners where having, I wished I had signed up for it. Oh well I can always run it next year!). There was not that many people starting at the 10:30am time slot for the exhibit which was great since large crowds make it more difficult to see the displays.

Majority of the exhibit was devoted to how the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum came to be a famous thriving city in the Roman Empire. Most of displays were done up to show how life was like leading up to the mass eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.The exhibit opens into a room with a large marble statue ( the statue I later found out, was naked just like Michelangelo’s David with out the leaf!) and walked you through the daily life of Pompeii.

After the eruption, artifacts were the plaster casts of the bodies they had found when the city was excavated. I was disappointing about this since I was expecting much more from what happen after the disaster, how the city was discovered, and what it took to raise the city from the ashes. The casts on displayed were found together in the same area with a very tragic story like most of the bodies found in Pompeii.

After walking through the gift shop to the other side, there was an exhibit about the volcanoes in the northwest and how their eruptions would impact the locals and the cities in the area. There were maps of where each of the volcanoes are located, and the evacuation routes that would need to be taken in case ever one of them blew. One of the maps was missing. The map where Seattle and the surrounding communities. One man said the possibility into why it was missing is the map was causing people to become very scared so they took it away. I can tell you, if Mt Rainer went, parts of Seattle would be effected, but majority of it would have the massive ash clouds rain down on it. Glacier Peak and Mt Baker are the ones I need to worry about more since those two are closer to home for me.

I guess I will have to travel to Italy to see the real Pompeii and all the real artifacts that come out of the excavation, and get a real sense of what it was like to walk the streets of Roman city. I should see it soon before Mt Vesuvius erupts again.