Search This Blog

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lime Kiln Trail and Visit with Maura

Hi Blog!

We needed to have our RV serviced before we take off into Canada and beyond. We located an authorized DRV service center in Everett, Washington. On Monday, April 18, 2016, we packed up the rig, dropped it off and moved into a nearby hotel. It would take a couple days to finish the repair work, so we needed to keep ourselves busy. Staying cooped up in the hotel room watching soap operas with Flip and Baxter was not an option. Lucky for us, Washington has a great trails association website. We were able to locate a really cool hiking trail only a few miles from Everett - Lime Kiln Trail at Robe Canyon Historic Park.

On Tuesday morning, we woke up and went in search of a latte. They are really easy to find in the Pacific Northwest. There are coffee kiosks on every corner. With all this competition, the coffee purveyors try to differentiate themselves. We just didn't know how far they would go to set themselves apart until we walked into a Foxy Lady Coffee kiosk. We now know what strippers do for their day job. They don't even have to change their pasties!

After getting fueled up, it was off to the trailhead. We had about a mile hike through the woods before coming to the entrance of the Robe Canyon Historic Park. Dave is keeping an eye out for all the historic stuff.

Robe Canyon was chosen as a part of the railway to transport gold and silver ore mined at Monte Cristo located in the Cascade Mountains to Everett. In 1892, the Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad was built. Although, the canyon section of the railway had six tunnels, since much of the route was constructed on wooden frameworks at the edge of the bubbling stream, the structures were often swept away in floods, requiring constant repair. As we hiked along the old rail bed, we soon came to the first of many missing wooden bridges. Hey Kathy, how did you get all the way over there without a bridge?

Further on, we encountered a downed tree whose spreading roots look just like a spooky, evil tree spirit with spreading fingers and legs!

Artifacts of various kinds appear near the trail. Some are easily identified, including remnants of a cast iron stove, broken pieces of rotary saw blades, old bricks, and a bent length of steel rail. Many of these items are quite photogenic. Say cheese!

Soon, an old lime kiln loomed up rather abruptly on the right. It's about 20 feet tall, with considerable moss and ferns adorning the sides. The overall form of the kiln and the shape of the arch on the side, combined with the very green mossy surroundings, invite comparisons to a Mayan jungle ruin.

The kiln was built in the 1890's and used until the early 1930's to convert local limestone into "lime," i.e. calcium oxide. The product was transported by the adjoining railroad, mostly for use as a "flux" to promote melting of ores in smelters in the Everett area. The limestone apparently was loaded into the open top of the kiln from carts that approached from the uphill side. Unfortunately, none of the loading structure remains. The kiln has stoking ports on three sides where fires would have been tended.  Gathering sufficient dry wood as fuel in this very moist area must have presented a challenge!

Beyond the kiln, the trail follows the railroad grade upstream where a sign directs hikers to the "Railroad Bridge Site and End of Trail." We soon reached the site of the former bridge that once crossed the Stillaguamish River. The End. 

We backtracked to reach a loop trail that took us down to the bank of the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River. With the warm sunny weather melting the snow higher up, the river was flowing swiftly. If you want to see for yourself, just click the following link to a video of the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River.

We found a comfy rock and settled in for lunch. While we took in all the beauty around us, we couldn't help but notice all the cool rocks on the beach. Here are the two that Kathy took home with her, surrounded by others that came close to making the cut:

In the Pacific Northwest, stuff just grows everywhere!

We are constantly amazed by all the shades of green.

We enjoyed a leisurely hike back to the trailhead. 

While staying in Everett, we learned that a friend of ours from our hiking days with the Appalachian Mountain Club is now living in Edmonds, just a short drive away. Maura and her husband were kind enough to invite us for dinner. We had a great time catching up and playing with their two adorable children. Thanks, guys, for a great night!

And so ends another day in the life of Dave and Kathy. Looking forward to more adventures.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.