Vegan Paleo The vegan movement has been growing rapidly. Whether it be due to environmental, animal welfare, or other issues, more and more people are gravitating toward a plant-based way of eating. This includes paleo dieters who, like me, have been inundated with messages saying …
Lake Serene Hike
This is not a hike I would recommend to someone for whom solitude is important. However, it is beautiful and worth the trip if you can venture out midweek and are ok with encountering quite a few other hikers on the way. The hike is particularly crowded early in the season because it is one of the first in the region to lose snowpack, when gaggles of cabin-fevered Northwesterners are eager to get out into the woods. So, visiting later in the summer might be helpful in avoiding some of the crowds.
All of that said, this trail is busy for a reason. It is mostly shaded, a boon on hot summer days, and is still light and open throughout. Look up to grab a view of Mount Index from the parking lot before starting out on the trail. The hike starts out on an old overgrown road bed with very little incline, surrounded by salmonberry bushes. The trail starts to climb a bit once you leave the wide road bed for a traditional hiking trail surrounded by evergreen trees. In just under 2 miles, you have the option to take a small 0.5 mile detour to Bridal Veil Falls. I have yet to make this excursion, but it is a popular and beautiful spot from what I hear.
Once you pass the offshoot to Bridal Veil Falls, you cross a somewhat large creek (depending on the season). When I visited this year, I had to pick Newton up and slowly make my way across, but during years with less snowpack I found the crossing to be easy. Upon crossing the creek, you are greeted with a more serious climb. Over the next 1.5 miles, you will gain about 1,300 feet of elevation. After this point, it feels as though the stairs are made up entirely of stairs and switchbacks. Continue reading Hike of the Month: Lake Serene
Greider Lakes Hike
I love this hike for its relative solitude. The hike itself is nice, though not stunning. And in an area full of overcrowded trails, some forest-centered quiet and privacy is incredibly valuable. This is a great early-season hike to explore when most other hikes in the region are still covered in snow. I was particularly surprised by the lack of other hikers, given the limited availability of April hikes. I visited Lake Serene a couple weeks before on a Wednesday, and it was absolutely packed. I would still avoid going on a weekend, but I found a weekday hike here to be almost completely empty. I arrived at the trailhead at about 11:00 am on a Thursday, and there was one car in the parking lot. I saw four people total on the hike, and there were 2 cars in the lot when I returned to my car. The hike is between 8.5 and 9 miles, with varying levels of difficulty.
The beginning of the trail follows a decommissioned road that is becoming increasingly forested and trail-like. This stretch is flat and easy to follow, with a number of culverts that require crossing some small streams. At the largest crossing, there is a stretch of well-placed rocks accompanied by a wooden handrail, which make an otherwise-challenging crossing pretty easy. Continue reading Hike of the Month: Greider Lakes
There is plentiful evidence supporting the ability of exercise to slow the effects of aging and improve overall health. And research is mounting that a substantial source of that anti-aging power may come in the form of telomere length maintenance. I talk about telomeres in …
Over the last five years or so, there has been huge influx of people on trails in Western Washington. The population in the Seattle area is rapidly increasing, and along with it comes a loss of solitude on popular trails nearby. Generally speaking, I?m not bothered by it. I want people to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and I just try to limit my hikes to weekdays or more remote trails whenever possible. However, I really struggle to silence my inner curmudgeon when I encounter other hikers who completely disregard common trail etiquette. I?m not referring to some of the lesser-known expectations common among seasoned hikers and backpackers, but rather general common-sense respectful behavior towards others sharing the forest. Hiking etiquette also becomes increasingly important as trails grow more and more crowded. So, here is a list of basic trail etiquette that I hope will make it into the hands of some less-seasoned hikers who want to explore the magic that is the forest. Continue reading Trail Etiquette
The study of telomeres is a growing area of research, and one that I find really fascinating. I wanted to talk a little bit about telomeres, with the goal of laying the groundwork for some future posts about telomere research. What are Telomeres? Telomeres are …