Klickitat Trail (Wahkiacus to Swale) 07-Mar-2014

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VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Klickitat Trail (Wahkiacus to Swale) 07-Mar-2014

Post by VanMarmot » March 7th, 2014, 5:39 pm

The forecast for the weekend was questionable but a break between fronts opened up today and - work be d*mned - I chose to seize the moment! Carpe hikum! My plan was to drive E until the windshield wipers started to squeak (the Peder & Karl method for finding a dry hike in winter). That thinking, with the fact that I hadn't hiked the Klickitat Rail Trail from the W, took me to the TH outside Wahkiacus. It was pouring on the way out along I-84 but sunshine looked promising as I headed up the trail.

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There were some muddy areas on the trail/road but only in the first mile.

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The sunshine lasted until about Trestle #8 when a blanket of gray gloom covered the sky. With the sky out of commission, I turned my attention to stuff along the trail like colorful lichen,

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wet rock,

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and the junk car (almost like one of Don's hikes off Palmer Mill Road ;) ) just before Trestle #6.

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By the time Trestle #4 took me across a pretty energetic Swale Creek,

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the sun was starting to crawl out from behind the gray gloom,

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and I could once again see my feet.

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About 6.5 mi in, you come to a wide spot shown on some maps as "Swale" - possibly a siding, maintenance area, or watering stop on the old Lyle to Goldendale railroad.

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I'd come down to "Swale" from Harms Rd on a previous hike, so this was my turn-around point. Thus, after a short lunch, I headed back - in pretty much full sunshine! Even had to take off a layer! :D With the sun shining to bring out the colors, this becomes a very visual canyon.

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Just before reaching the TH, I looked back and saw that the moon was still up.

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The warm and sunny second half of the hike redeemed the gray and gloomy first half, making for a really nice day on the trail. No flowers yet - lots of Stellar jays and squirrels, one scree of a Red-tailed hawk, and a grumpy Bald eagle in a tree. No people. 13.5 mi, 600' EG.

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bobcat
Posts: 1884
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Klickitat Trail (Wahkiacus to Swale) 07-Mar-2014

Post by bobcat » March 8th, 2014, 6:20 pm

Nice to see an early report on Swale and the creek raging a little. I take it the ticks were not alive and running. I call that wide area Swale Flats in the Field Guide.

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Sean Thomas
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 11:33 pm

Re: Klickitat Trail (Wahkiacus to Swale) 07-Mar-2014

Post by Sean Thomas » March 8th, 2014, 11:46 pm

Great choice for a hike, VM! It is amazing how much the sun brings out the colors in that canyon and your pictures really do that justice. Thanks for posting.

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