Saturday, July 05, 2014

USA 2014 - The Iron Goat Trail

On Friday we had to get back to Bellingham but also wanted to make the most of the day.  Back in the Cascades but on a more southerly road, we made for the Iron Goat Trail, an extensive trail located on the old railway crossing through the Cascades (build towards the end of WW1 but now abandoned for a crossing on the other side of the valley this trail starts in).

The trail is heavily wooded:


Which allows for some close-up encounters with the birds and the wildlife.  We did get very close to a Black Bear but I'd gathered us together before checking and when we proceeded again it had moved off.

The engineers that built the railway had constructed large concrete platforms to try and keep the snow off the line:


All around were snow melt waterfalls again:



And butterflies emerging to enjoy the mountain Spring:


Towards the end of the trail it narrows and climbs and for a while. We weren't sure if we'd missed our turning or not.  We did locate it, the trail is well signed, but hadn't appreciated we had a 700 foot descent to do in a mile.  This image is indicative.  The trail is through that gap, honest:


It's quite hard work on the legs after 6-odd miles to then have a descent like that (and we'd therefore been ascending the whole time prior to this) however it was a cracking trail and well worth doing.

From here we drove reaching I-5 and Friday afternoon traffic, which persuaded us to skip our planned visit to a coastal island and head-on back to Bellingham, where a short walk in a local park was a bit after the Lord Mayor's Show, so we called it a day and called up the pizza!

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