Down to the River

As a late teen, I had an unrealistic view of the world where I would actually ignore things that got too real. I made a fantasy place for myself to avoid emotion and the unfavorable pieces of daily life. Of course this wasn't the healthiest, and came crashing down by the time I was 21... Whenever I had a moment of tension, I would be so angry with the person I was in conflict with for bursting my perfect bubble world. But really, I see now that it was always a form of self protection. A gentle soul. I'm not a crier per se, but I do break when too many things are happening at once around me on top of being a bit reclusive.

In a relatively brief conversation yesterday, a good friend made an interesting observation. When she gets busy with life and work, she just straight up stops contacting people. Not that she doesn't want to see folks, but she wishes she would reach out more. I think everybody suffers from that, but the two of us are very similar in that we're both so guilty. Personally I thrive on alone time, but there does come a point where alone is too alone!

I've had a lot of drastic mood swings the past few months, I feel off-balance. So many ups and downs over what seems so little upon reflection. I've seen so many beautiful moments, and hours later feel absolutely devastated. Maybe these are the times that alone is too alone. I keep my thoughts to myself so as to not be a burden on others (or so I think) but maybe these are the times to ask a friend to dinner vs feeling the absolute devastation I'll roll around in my own head.

The river is a place of euphoria. Yesterday we made it out on a nearly 90° day, perfect for the cold chill of the water. Looking around our own private slice of paradise, there were no airplanes, there were no cars. It was just us, water, trees, and mountains! This spot that is so disconnected, yet completely connected to the people you're there with.

Snoqualmie Middle Fork

Melmont Ghost Town

I call this "Melmont Round 2" because it was the second time we've attempted it! A few months back Miss Sara and I found the Fairfax Bridge, but hiked down the wrong side to a dead end! We decided that we would return a different day knowing a little more about the unmarked trail.

Melmont was a coal town circa 1900 to about 1920. It was modest, and faded when Northern Pacific switched from steam engines to electric and diesel models. After the 1920s, wood from town buildings was sold and used to create other structure in the area, and the rest was destroyed in a fire. These days all you can find left is a small dynamite storage building, The foundation to the schoolhouse, and a big wall that used to be some sort of bridge. There's also a mystery car down by the river, but we didn't find it this go-round.

This is a beautiful day hike, the weather was mild, and the trail was fairly level. We walked about 9 miles! Sure, we were the bozos that walked through some poison oak, but overall this was a wonderful day!

On our way back through Wilkeson, I decided to detour down a side road. Wilkeson is also an old old town in these parts. Known for a sandstone quarry that faced the state capital, and for the ovens to process coal from sites like Melmont. On a whim we found the quarry, and the old ovens.