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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Point-to-Point

10:02 a.m.Linnea on Bizy, Connie & Farah
Here we were, at Taylor Landing in Duvall, ready to start the ride that Lynn had planned for us.  Having done different sections of the STV trail at different times, both of us were motivated to do the entire length.  I was up early, scraping ice off the windows of the Bronco - 30 degrees felt Cold!  The inside of the horse trailer was frosty & Farah had her rump rug on for the trip to Monroe.  We had both horses loaded & Jack again kindly agreed to be our point man for this journey! 
Heading south outside Duvall, WA
It was Cold & brisk, with just enough of a breeze to send the leaves cascading down from the trees in front of us.   There were more people than I'd expected out enjoying an absolutely stellar fall day.  We were dressed in layers & it wasn't long before our jackets came off! Once out of town, we started making time, knowing with the shorter days we'd have none to waste.
11:48 a.m. Bridge over the Tolt River
Bridges are us!  At least that felt like it should be our slogan for this ride!  I have no idea how many we crossed - but I'd love to know!  We slowed to a walk for each - to err on the side of caution & it was a very good thing we did!
Going over The Tolt River~
As we were walking along a bridge close to the Remlinger Farms - Farah - in the lead, made one of the strangest moves I'd ever ridden, while at the same time, turned her head & acted like she was listening at something beneath us!  Again - she made the same move?  Strange & a little scary when you're up there.  In the next instant, just feet from the end of the bridge I caught something PINK out the corner of my eye, below the level of the bridge deck & off below the side of the bridge support where it met the bank.  A pink hard hat!  I warned Lynn that someone was doing SOMETHING - I knew not what - as a second head appeared next to the first!  I yelled - & said;  "Say HI!"  "Let the horses know you're there!"  They spoke, then told us that they had pounded on the bottom of the bridge to "Let us know they were there!"  THAT was what Farah had felt & heard under the bridge!  Probably NOT the best way to let a horse know that somethings going on!
Tokul Bridge
Lynn  & Bizy make it look like a walk in the park!
Some of these bridges are WAY high up!
Our first ten-miles we did in under two-hours & I hoped to continue that pace throughout the day's ride.  The second ten-miles was just beautiful with the wooded trail & the low sun making the light golden.
Maples along the trail~
 The plan was to meet-up with Jack at a parking area above Snoqualmie Falls.  This was the point where the trail ends at a tunnel at Tokul Rd.  After a  couple turn-back attempts to find the little path through the ferns & forest out to the logging road - we found the gate & came out right where we should be!
A welcome site!  1:53 p.m.
Lynn had hiked this section the day before to see how we could get the horses through.  The SVT trail, ends at that spot, but does continue on as a trail once you're on the far side of Snoqualmie.  To get there would be the challenge. 
Getting around the Snoqualmie
There were a couple gnarly spots, riding along the side of a two-way road on a narrow strip of green on the far side of the fog line is never fun.  We didn't dally - Farah kept up her trot, I wanted to get through!
Another of Snoqualmie
We did stay ON the bridge :-)
Once through town, next was the Mt. Si Golf Course, where we were almost run down by a little ole lady in a hurry!  Our close call of the day!  The rest of the way through, we just had to avoid the whizzing golf carts!
Lynn's beautiful shot of the river & Mt. Si
 It was a relief to get out the far side & back into the semi-country side of North Bend.  We passed schools, playgrounds, beautiful homes, barking dogs, all the usual on an urban trail.
3:48 p.m. & we're heading under I-90!
This was noisy!  You could hear & see all the traffic whizzing by over head.  Again though - with some relief, we ended up riding on another beautiful wooded section of the trail.   Of course there were more bridges here.
3:54 p.m. Crossing the river
It was getting late in the day, the temperature that had warmed earlier, was now dropping down as the sun was moving lower in the sky.  I'd stopped earlier in the day & removed my warm pants & replaced them with cotton.  Now - I was wishing for the warm ones I'd left in Lynn's rig :-)  We started seeing mileage markers!  The one below was exactly one-mile more than what my GPS had recorded, so we knew we were close!
4:19 & 32 miles
We figured we had maybe 3-4 miles to go & the grade had increased to a good up-hill climb.   I always like to finish strong, so moved Farah up into a faster trot & Bizy started galloping (A very smooth gallop!)  along side.   It was almost abrupt when we started hearing cars on a road & suddenly found ourselves next to the parking area!
Rattlesnake Lake!  Here we Are!  4:30 p.m.
 We'd arrived!  There were so many parking areas, that Lynn called Jack to see where he was!  Not to worry - he told us to "stay put" & he would come find us!  What a guy!
Bizy, Linnea, Farah & Connie
The end of the trail!  We'd made it!  Six-hours from our start to the finish!  If I do say so myself, it was really a pretty amazing ride.  Not for the faint-of-heart - at least if you don't like heights :-)  My GPS recorded 32 miles & it was every bit of that!  Both of us have asked everyone we know & no one knows of any rider that's done the entire trail.  So - we're going to say we're the first until someone proves differently!  :-)

Jack drove us back to Monroe, I unloaded Farah from Lynn's trailer, she loaded right back up into mine & we made the hour drive home!  It was Great to find Butch & the dogs waiting for us!  Lights on in the barn & a bring-home dinner in the oven!


  1. Those look like some HIGH bridges!

  2. Great ride Connie! I've done most of the sections you rode... but never have been brave enough to do the road work around Snoqualmie! Glad you figured it out.
    Lisa Hayes

  3. When will you be doing the Iron Horse/John Wayne Trail? Or the Columbia Plateau Trail?

  4. Nice! Good thing you guys got a long ride in, I have the feeling our nice weather is coming to an end.

  5. WOW! What an amazing ride! You ladies racked up some miles.


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