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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Whitehorse News!

Upon reading the Herald Article about the continuing work on the Whitehorse Trail near Trafton, I wanted to ride out & see if anything had changed since our last visit.  This has been the spot that I've lobbied to get completed since the bridges were decked.
East toward Cloverdale~
 It was a truly beautiful day, warming rapidly - with enough of a breeze to keep it comfortable.  Every time we trudge out on the rock, I think of how very nice it will be once the loose rock surface is mitigated.  I'm hoping that it will end up being something similar to the surface of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
Farah halts!
 I saw the dust up ahead before Farah did!  She was moving right along - looking forward to her grazing time during our lunch break - when she realized something was up.
Punching through!
 I can't tell you how excited I was to see this happening!  Finally - after what has seemed like a very long wait - work is beginning on the Arlington end of the trail!
Excavator at work~
 With trucks coming & going, all the noise & dust, Farah was still Determined to have her lunch!  Pulling me right past the huge root balls below & over to the tall grass.
Roots of two huge Big Leaf Maples~
I let her take a few bites, but it wasn't our usual peaceful spot & our presence was slowing the trucks down, so we headed back.
Over Tin Bridge
 Once over the bridge, we stopped again - I ate my lunch & Farah was happy to graze before we started back.  I was anxious to get home & share with Butch the latest news!
At the project~
It's still pretty strange to have my husband arriving home earlier!  It hasn't even been a week & Butch is still adjusting to a 20-min. commute :-)   I wanted to see the changes at his project, he wanted to see the changes on the trail!  On the way, we stopped at Nutty's Junk Yard Grill for a hamburger & shake! 
Rock going down~
 We parked at Cloverdale & walked down to the trail.  Things were quiet & it was such a nice evening.  It's incredible how much rock it's going to take to re-build the old rail bed.
Further on~
 The hillside is being graded & all those organics have to be removed.
To 115th~
 This work goes as far as 115th, from that point on - there's another year's worth of brush to clear to get to bridge #702.
Very old signage - where the trail will continue~
 Below is how this section looked June 3rd of last year.
Trail from 115th - heading to Bridge #702
On that ride, we made it through & across Hwy 530 to the Cicero Bridge that had just been decked & was yet to open.  Post~ 
Where we went through~
The Google Earth image above shows clearly the area of construction now.  We walked on through to the end of the grading work.  Butch & I had hiked out this way from Arlington, Sept. of last year - Post - wondering how much longer it would be until we'd be able to reach the next of the bridges!  (I still remember the day Diane & I were stopped by a bridge with a rotting deck after having fought our way out from Tin Bridge.)
Looking back toward Cloverdale~
 At the Stillaquamish-Sauk Tourism All Action Team Meeting I attended this Monday in Oso, I again had the opportunity to talk with Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Tribal Council Vice Chairman  J. Kevin Lenon.  Kevin is a fellow horseman, who's working to establish a parking area at the east end of the trail.  He shared the translation of Whitehorse - so-bali-ahli.

 If all goes well, the trail will open March of 2017.  Parks has published a Whitehorse Regional Trail project page that will be updated as projects are completed & funded.  In the Herald article, there's mention of a bike event already planned.  Horsemen in the Darrington/Arlington area are also making plans for a large group ride - to celebrate the trails opening!  On the Whitehorse, unlike the Centennial Trail - Equestrians will be able to enjoy the entire 27-mile length!  Parking is still a major limiting issue, but plans are still in negotiation for a parking area big enough for trailers at Cemex in Arlington.  We hope to leave from Arlington & ride east to the Darrington Rodeo Grounds.  Stay tuned!

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