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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Duvall to Snoqualmine - Point-to-Point

New Signage
The sign above greeted us as Lynn & I started down along the SVT.  We both knew the exact spot, it's been washing away for a while now.  But to close the trail during the busiest time of year & for so many months?  We were lucky to get in our ride today!  (Our first point-to-point ride.)
A Long Straight Stretch~
It was kind of an unappealing morning - overcast, but warm & humid - the bank in Monroe said 70 when I drove by.  The trail had been recently graded, widened out with the brush cut back & a new layer of gravel in places.
Snoqualmie River - Low!
 The Snoqualmie too, is low - the lowest I've seen it - especially for so early in the year!  For the day after a three-day weekend, it was a busy day!  Lots of people on the trail, a brush cutter out, another crew working on the power lines etc.  (They stopped work & turned off the equipment as we rode by.)
More new signage~
Since I'd spoken to King County about this highway 203 trail crossing, new bright signage has been installed, traffic to slow to 40 heading into Carnation, already moving up to 50 toward Duvall.  As we were waiting for a break in the traffic, a truck came by - doing at least 60+.    Amazing - since we have to go under 530 for the Whitehorse trail - here - everyone just dodges the speeding cars!  (The little new sign - is a warning to trail users that the traffic "Does Not Stop!" 
Lynn & Sophie crossing the Tolt
The Tolt was less than half it's usual flow.  I can almost imagine this going dry by Summer...  With Jack's help, we were riding all the way to Snoqualmie Falls, where Jack would be waiting in the upper parking area.
The pretty part of the trail~
Once we were outside of Carnation & heading toward Fall City, the trail becomes more "rural" except that we both noticed the heavy tracks of bikes.  By "heavy" - I mean solid bike tire marks from one side of the trail to the other!  Also - the trail was as hard as concrete!  The most compacted ever, I was glad that Farah still has her pads on!  Then - suddenly - Boom!  Gun fire!  Lots of Heavy Gun fire!  Enough that both Lynn & I jumped in the saddles!  Enough - that anyone riding less experienced horses would have probably been thrown.  The several times we've been here - this was a first & lasted for a couple miles.
Over Toluk Creek - The Big Bridge :-)
Crossing this bridge is always so fun!  :-)  The gun fire had temporarily stopped as we rode across, but started up again as we cleared the far side.  Going this direction - of course, it's a gradual climb & we had the mares trotting for a few miles.
We arrive at the tunnel
I'm going to have to look back to see if this tunnel has been improved - as I think it has, since our last visit.  We didn't go on up to the Kiosk - since we were running late to meet-up with Jack.  We found the little trail through the woods, then the old roads & finally the other small hiking trail that took us to the parking.
Our ride awaits!
For whatever reason, I didn't feel myself this entire ride.  I was using my electrolyte tablets, Farah was being nasty with Sophie & the feelings are mutual...  But Sophie just moved down the trail ignoring Farah - which I wish I could have!  But when she's tossing her head & lifting her front off the ground at every other stride - it's hard to ignore!

Heading home, we got behind a piece of farm equipment that caused miles of backup...  With heavy traffic in the traffic circle just before you get to Duvall - one driver in a hurry almost caused an accident right in front of us.  By the time we were dropped off  at Taylor Landing - I hoped that the line of cars would be gone...  not...  We followed it most of the way back to Monroe.  I was late getting home, happy that Butch was already there.

Both Lynn & I enjoyed what's become a rare day of riding together!  With the busy schedules we both have this summer - we're still going to try to get in a few more!

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