Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Riding the Cascade Trail~

Farah waits~
We had planned a ride from Sedro Woolley to Concrete on the Cascade Trail!  I've called this trail the "Skagit Valley Trail" but from what I've been reading  - it's actually listed most places as the "Cascade Trail".  I've ridden it several times before, usually cutting up to the horse camp & trails at Les Hilde for more riding or a lunch break - before going back to the trail & back to where we usually park off Helmick Rd.
On the Trail~
This day, the goal was to ride all the way to Concrete, with Lynn - who had done the ride with the local Backcountry Horsemen chapter in May.  The weatherman had said sunshine - but what we found was a high haze type of late morning.  After all the rain - the surface of the trail had softened a bit which was very nice.
Signage on the Trail
It was a perfect Fall day - cool most of the time, the high clouds, thin sunshine & beautiful views.  There are Many bridges on the trail!  Most are all wood plank that's covered down the middle with tar paper for traction.  The few that are not covered - were slippery!  Very!  I got off I walked the longest.  (Having had a horse slip & fall over backward on me years ago - was one time too many!)
We were crossing one of these bridges, when there was a Loud splashing sound!  Farah jumped straight up!  I looked back & didn't see Lynn!  I hailed & she replied from down by the creek, where she'd taken Sophie for a drink.  I turned back & went down to the water, which was full of Salmon!  They were so exhausted that  we could have easily caught one by hand!  I took my stick & rubbed the belly of one - who didn't even evade the unwelcome attention.  Really fun to see!
Beautiful lake
Further up the trail, there was a section where we had to by-pass out to a road to go around the edge of this beautiful lake!  Picture postcard perfect!  We passed many interesting sights - especially to Farah!  The black Lama male that came charging across his pasture hissing at us for one!  That had me riding the biggest Farah spook to date!  :-)  Then... there were the pigs, goats, sheep, Beefalo, etc.
Winery with hitching post!
Lynn was right - the end of the trail closer to Concrete was beautiful!  A little noisy - as in some places we were closer to Hwy 20, but it was also later in the afternoon & traffic had picked up.  The winery above was just perfect!  So tempting to stop for a nice glass of wine!  Since Jack was kind enough to make this point-to-point ride possible - by driving a trailer up to Concrete to pick us up, we were all looking forward to a meal at the Brewery.
Informational Signage
Sorry I didn't get the entire sign, but the sun was so bright that I couldn't see the screen of the smartphone!  Anyway - it was really fun to reach town!
The towers!
I'm sure the concrete from this factory was the main ingredient in the huge Baker Lake Dam!  Nice that they've stood the test of time - as a monument to a hard working mountain town!
Just a mile or so further, the end of the trail was in sight!  So was Jack!  With the trailer in tow!  He took our end of the trail photos!
Happy Riders!
Our travel time for the almost 22-miles was respectable at four-hours & an average moving speed of 6.4.  A "no sweat" ride for both mares.  :-)
Our route on the trail~
We loaded the horses then headed back down the road to the Birdsview Brewery for a late lunch!  Yum!  Satisfied, Jack & Lynn dropped Farah & I off at our rig in the parking area that was now jam packed with the cars - a track meet was going on.  The drive south seemed quick - we were home before dark!


  1. Fall is here, what gorgeous pictures! You rode right near our place, across the highway from the beeffalo :)

    We rode from Sedro to home earlier in the summer and that territorial llama gave our horses quite a spook too! And the bridges closer to Lyman with the steel sides on them made our horses snort and high step because of the strange echoing sounds.

    We'll probably run into each other on the trail some time and the only way I'd maybe recognize you is from your horse pictures LOL :-) Happy riding!

  2. Thanks to the story. I'll email for more detail. Have yet to touch bases with the park ranger up the road regarding the Baker Lake Road trailhead.


Always Welcome~