Federation Forest was amazing!! I’ve been wanting to write about it since we got home, but I just haven’t been able to get to my laptop. Sometimes life gets busy, hectic even, and the wants fall to the wayside in exchange for keeping life moving forward.
The hike we had planned to take turned out a bit differently. Ok. A lot differently. The trail I had read about on the Washington Trails Association web site talked about a relatively level hike. What we found is that the Forest Service has closed many of the forest service roads leading up to the trailheads due to how dry and hot it has been this summer. Fire safety measures.
We ended up parking at the bottom of one forest service road and hiking in. Unfortunately, the one we ended up picking was a steady, uphill hike. Nothing like hopping out of the truck and finding out just how out of shape you are, and I’ll have you know I am VERY out of shape. I kept going though, with the belief that I would come to a nice trailhead that would lead me into the deeper woods where it would level out a bit. Optimistic me in full force. Unfortunately, this never happened. Up hill, though exhausting, was really not that bad. Yes, at every bend, I kept expecting to see things level out only to find that it didn’t, but I kept going.
Lance is not as out of shape as I am. He walks the dogs every morning, almost always for around an hour and a half, and a lot of times does the same in the evening. This made him much quicker on the trail than me and I spent a lot of time by myself. The dogs are used to walking with him, so that is where they were, too.
I found myself thinking I need my own dog. This hike just wasn’t the same without my Tru-dog, who always stayed by me or would go adventuring and check back in quite regularly. Enzo came and checked on me a couple of times, even walking with me for a bit one time, but when Lance would be too far out of his sight for too long, Enzo would go back to Lance.
Achilles would bring me a branch sometimes to throw for him. Not a stick, a branch. The bigger the better, in his mind. That little dog sure does believe he is 10 feet tall and stronger than anything. I love him. The second he noticed Lance would be going out of sight, he would grab his branch and run to catch up to him.
Luna…well, Luna is her own dog with Lance as her visual safety zone. She wanders here and there, will look into the woods, convinced she saw or heard something, then barrel in or run further up the trail to stop and look, again. She is the water finder and at one point found a very muddy puddle and they all looked like their legs had been dipped in chocolate for a minute. Dirt just falls off these dogs.
I thought downhill, heading back to the truck, would be easier, and in many ways it was. This is also when my right foot began to swell. The arch support went from cradling the arch of my right foot to pressing into it. I had to stop at one point to loosen my boot because it had swollen that much.
And my knees! I was not expecting that. Half way back to the truck, my knees began to ache, then hurt. When I spoke with the chiropractor, yesterday, he seemed unsurprised by this. I haven’t hiked for quite a while. The muscles that would normally make it less painful on my knees are just as out of shape as the rest of me. Fine. At least this means that they should eventually get there and it will be less painful. He also recommended custom insoles. I’ll be looking into those and figuring out how I make that happen.
When we got back to the truck, I took my boots off immediately. My right foot thanked me and I found this beauty on the back of my left foot:
I’m not sure if I am supposed to pop this or just let it do its thing. I’m letting it do its thing, at this point. Thankfully, the weather hasn’t changed so much that I can’t wear my flip-flops. I’ll be picking up some blister pads for next time.
We stopped at the ranger station as you head back into Enumclaw and picked up their trail guide. I talked with the ranger about where I’m at in my hiking level and she graciously recommended a few hikes that would match it.
The back, bottom, outside of my thighs, almost my knees, hurts a bit when I walk, now. Hey, I said I am out of shape. I’ll admit that this ache is something I had not expected, and one I can’t remember ever having before. I’m sure this will be something that doesn’t hurt as much the more hiking we do. Other than the listed aches, I’m feeling pretty good and looking forward to our next hike.
The dogs had a blast and the effects of the hike lasted through yesterday for them. They are more mellow, seem to be a little more focused, and happier. I think if I am going to have a dog of my own, I may just have to go for a few hikes by myself with one of them. Enzo seems the most likely choice to do this with but…well, I don’t know. It’s just really weird for me to not have my own dog after having Truman. I won’t be getting a puppy, though. We are down to three dogs and that seems to be plenty. If none of the three decide to be my dog, I will just have to find space to be good with that, I guess.
Here are some of the photos I took: