Sunday, July 9, 2017

Climbing Enumclaw's Remnant of an Old Volcanic Cone

      On my exploratory bike ride yesterday, I passed the trailhead parking lot to Pinnacle Peak (click here for description). It was a busy unusually large trailhead parking lot.

Figured it was a popular good local trail, so I decided to do that trail first thing next morning.

     This morning, when I biked through the expo center (the campground is in a quiet back corner, out of the mainstream), there were horses in an arena (photo above). And behind the arena (see all those tents?), there was a reggae concert going on all weekend.

      The county 4-H clubs were holding a competitive event. At least 50 horses had their individual stalls.

      Surprisingly, there were a lot of Belgian cross-breed horses. Perhaps for their big feet (see above little horse) and easy disposition?

Miniature horses (above) make good lawn mowers. Does anyone ride them?

     This horse (above) is "Olive" and she's a sweetie. She's a Belgian and quarter horse cross-breed.  As a horse owner, I can assure you each horse has its own personality. They all have similar mannerisms, such as resting on three legs and eating grass in a semi-circular pattern and hanging their heads low when they're sleepy. But each horse has its own take on the world around it, including their take on "humans". Olive loves humans. Not all horses love humans. I'm reminded of Buffalo Bill's explanation when he shot a horse (dead) who hated him.

     See how Olive has her nose resting on her teenage owner's arm who's getting ready to "present" her horse in the arena? Horses do that when they respect and love their owner. They need to be close and to smell, especially when they're feeling a bit out of sorts (like at an expo center with 50 other horses and a loud reggae concert next door).

     Pretty amazing how accommodating these completely different groups of people were in such close proximity at the Expo Center. In photo above, see the little mountain? That's Pinnacle Peak, my destination.

     The Pinnacle Peak Trail starts on the north or south side of this old volcanic cone. I was on the south side which disappointedly enough, is a gravel mostly shade-less trail. These guys (above photo) were carrying heavy military-type backpacks on a sunny gravel trail. Exercise in misery?

But fortunately, there were tiny dirt trails off the gravel road. 

Switchback trail made steep climbs easy-enough.

     Shady, cool, perfect weather (click here for Enumclaw's weather). And I encountered less than six fellow walkers.

     Very large old trees with many trunks supporting a host of other plants and mossy type plants.

     I love big old weathered looking trees with barks (above photo) that look wrinkled and creviced like old people's skin.

     Fallen tree trunks and live tree trunks were covered with a thick layer of different kinds of moss.
     Just prior to the top of the cone was the best view according to folks whom I passed on their way down this trail. Today, the "big one" was visible.

When I do this trail again, I'll take the northern trail.


  1. Relative to dogs, generally, how intelligent are horses?

    1. There's no comparison, dogs are smart, horses are dumb. That's why horses stick with their herd. They depend on the group for clues on what to do. Or if they trust their rider alone somewhere without their comfort herd, they'll depend on their rider. Some horses never depend on or trust their rider; could be bad training or not training enough. But the joy of riding a dumb horse is similar to a really great dancing partner that bends, moves, twirls, hops, skips and molds to your body with your every pressure point and guidance. That dance with a 1000-plus pound animal at 15 mph on a forested trail (or an arena, or a race track, or a steeple-chase) can be magical for both the horse and rider!