Normally I’d be posting my usual fare here, on topics like early retirement and investing. Instead of doing that, I decided to “take a day off” from blogging this Friday. I went hiking instead!
It’s finally summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather is absolutely beautiful right now.
A blue skies and 75F degrees (24C) kind of beautiful. There was even a slight breeze to keep things cool. Perfect for hiking.
When the weather is this nice, the thought of staying indoors is practically torture.
I missed far too many nice days like this when I was working. Usually I was stuck in an office building all-day, working on a computer for people I didn’t really like. It wasn’t a lot of fun.
So this Friday, I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather — I spent the day hiking the Tolt-Pipeline trail.
The Tolt pipeline is a water pipeline that supplies 30% of the city of Seattle’s water supply. The trail itself is an access road that’s been turned into a hiking trail. It starts up in the mountains at the Tolt River Reservoir and flows all the way into the city.
Most of the pipeline is buried, but there are several spots along the path where it’s visible.
I started out in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland (where Costco derives the name of their famous house brand). As you would expect of a pipeline trail, it makes for a very straight and easy trail.
After leaving Kirland, the trail descends into the famous Sammamish River Valley. This hill would later kick my ass on the way back.
The Sammamish River Valley is famous for wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle. Literally hundreds of small wineries, breweries, and distilleries inhabit this river valley.
The valley is also famous for the Sammamish River Trail, a highly-trafficked walking and biking path that follows the Sammamish River. (you can see the trail to the left of the river)
My path zig-zagged through Washington’s wine country until I came to the appropriately named “Heart-attack hill”, which follows the pipeline trail “up” and out of the valley. (You probably can’t tell from the photo, but it’s steep as hell.)
Thankfully I didn’t have a heart-attack, but I was pretty winded at the top.
After making my way up that beast, the trail continued to slowly rise up into the mountains. I stopped at a nice shady spot near Bear Creek to eat my lunch.
As the trail continues, things get more and more rural. Suburbs become farms. Many homes in this area keep horses.
I stopped to talk to this horse, but he was pretty rude — when I said “Hi”, he snorted at me and trotted off the other direction. What a snob!
Along the way, wild salmonberries provided a juicy snack. They come in two colors — red and yellow. Each has a slightly different flavor.
And so the trail continues up into the mountains. After a full day of hiking, I was hot and tired. Eventually, I had to turn around to head home.
I hope you don’t mind me taking a break from my usual blogging duties to bring you this little “slice of life” from the Pacific Northwest.
I happen to think this is why financial independence is so awesome — rather than being stuck in a building on this beautiful day, I can spend the entire day doing what I want. Being outside, enjoying nature, and getting some exercise.
Think back to the last time you did that. Didn’t it feel pretty awesome?