Oyster Dome, 02/21/10

With sunny weather predicted for both weekday and weekend, we decided that we would go out for our first “real” hike on Sunday. That was the easy decision.  Where was another story.  Call it early-season malaise.

Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands from the Oyster Dome trail.

We committed to nothing until early Sunday morning when I finally printed out a map of the Oyster Dome and vicinity.  Since we hadn’t really known where we were going, I hadn’t done my normal prep work on the route.  I recalled reading something about ~6 miles and ~2000′ of elevation gain.  Sounded like a great way to start off the year.

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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, 03/21/09

Nicole and I rolled out of bed Saturday morning and drove down near Olympia to visit Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, NNWR). I hesitate to call this a hike, as we passed several baby strollers along the 5.5 miles that make up the large loop of the main trail, but at the very least it was a nice long walk. We arrived around 10:45, after about an hour on I-5, dropped $3 in the registration receptacle, and headed off counter-clockwise on the Brown Farm Dike Trail.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

The first quarter-mile is somewhat slick boardwalk that comprises a portion of a smaller 1-mile loop. Almost immediately, there are bird sounds around you. Plenty of geese, cranes at the side of the trail, etc. The weather was cool, but comfortable, and the sky was lined with low clouds.

hikers_50

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