Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kings Lake Bog

I bought a book off Amazon called Hiking The Mountains To Sound Greenway by Harvey Manning after reading many of the trip reports from Karen Sykes of the Seattle PI. She referenced him so much and most of the hikes I do are in the I-90 corridor so I thought it would be a good purchase.

The day after a trip to Eastern Washington I was still itching to go up into the mountains. I was looking for something short, but still around 5 miles to get a nice work out. Something with not a lot of elevation gain, but still pretty stuff to look at. I opened the book and noticed the word "bog". A hike to a bog? Who knew!? So I asked Panda if he was up for it and he agreed.

We headed out off exit 31, through the town of North Bend, to the other side of Mt. Si. The Great Buttress soard over us and the Moon Wall loomed near the barns and stables of the houses we passed. I had never seen this side of the mountain before and it was a nice change from the view I was so used to gazing up at from I-90.

Taking a service road into Weyerhaeuser country, we went up about 4 miles to a service gate and parked outside. We followed the cryptic directions given to us in the book, and walked the long deserted roads. Past fishermen's footpaths and forgotten trails, we came upon the turn for the bog. You could tell no one had been out there in quite some time. The trail was not exactly overgrown, but there were quite a bit of weeds on the well worn truck path and a couple downed trees.
Finally coming to the bog was a big disappointment. In the book I read about the flowers that bloom here, in researching writing about it I read the following: "This site, totaling 309 acres, preserves sphagnum bogs and a 2 acre "eyelet" pond, which represent ecosystems that are now extremely rare in the Puget Trough (Eyelet ponds are open water areas bounded by a quaking mat of sphagnum peat). T he site protects populations of few-flowered sedge, a state Sensitive plant, Hatch's click beetle, and Beller's ground beetle, both state Threatened animal species only found in very good condition sphagnum bogs". I guess the cool thing about the bog was that it is the only place where there is a known population  the Beller's ground beetle. I didn't see any...

I believe because it was so overgrown it was very hard to see the entire thing. We had seen quite a few clearnings and I'm assuming that had we hiked up a little further we might have seen more as I think we were at the very beginning. Because I was tired from the day before and there really wasn't a lot to look at on the way to the bog, I think I was just done and wanted to go home.

The walk back was so boring and exhausting that pinky was the topic. A guy in a white truck drove by us asking if we had gone all the way to the lake. We chatted for a minute...thought the guy was a bit weird...then he headed off towards the lake, we continued on.

Coming back out to the main road we came to a quarry that Panda wanted to run up. I followed and was delighted to see a view of the entire side of Mt. Si lit by the setting sun. As he set up to take some shots of the mountain, I sat taking it all in. I saw these little saplings peaking up through the rocks and thought I should probably take a couple pictures while I was out here as the bog was a total bust for me.

Little sapling poking up through the rocks with the Moon Wall in the background

Fall colors on even the smallest of the vegetation with the Great Buttress of Mt. Si in the background.

Intentionally focusing on the rocks in this picture in an effort to mirror the mountain behind them.

We ran into the guy in the white truck again and asked him how he got a key to the gate. He told us all about the passes you can purchase and even gave us a map of all the logging roads in the area. Freakin awesome! I can't wait to get the mountain bikes up there to see the lakes we were to exhausted to reach.

It was a weird trip, but I was glad for the exercise, the company and the interesting twist that led to us receiving our first real map.

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