Gazzam Lake mountain biking

At the start of the ride, getting some ground rules straight, such as yielding to walkers and runners (and horses).

At the start of the ride, getting some ground rules straight, such as yielding to walkers and runners (and horses).

Gazzam Lake is a mostly double-track trail with no technical sections. There are some roots, some single-track, and some gravely hills – the perfect spot to test out a young guy’s proficiency on his bike when riding solo. There are a lot of walkers and dogs, but that also provides an opportunity to practice trail courtesy. For older kids or an adult outing, you could tack on Peter’s trail to get down to Lynwood for yogurt, pizza and/or beer, then head back uphill (retracing your route) to the parking area at Gazzam (or shuttle back if you staged a car in Lynwood). Check out the BIParks.org website for directions.

A sweet little meadow along the wooded way. The entire ride is about 5K. We did a couple loops and spent about an hour on the trail.

A sweet little meadow along the wooded way. The entire ride is about 5K. We did a couple loops and spent about an hour on the trail.

Dave hooking up all four bikes to the carrier. I think this carrier gets high marks for usability. And it swings out of the way easily so I can get in the trunk.

Dave hooking up all four bikes to the carrier. I think this carrier (a Yakima SwingDaddy) gets high marks for usability. And it swings out of the way easily so I can get in the trunk.

Posted in Mountain biking WASHINGTON STATE by Allison Krug. No Comments

Wild yeast baking experiment

Sam’s teacher invited parents in to talk about things they are really passionate about. I offered to talk about baking with wild yeast sourdough starter, so last week I brought in my starter and showed the kids how to get dough going, let it rise, proof overnight, and then bake (and eat!) the bread. We also experimented with different sugars for the yeast to “eat” during the fermentation process. Feed The Beast!.

Testing which sugar source (complex or simple carbohydrate, sucrose or fructose) the yeast likes to "eat."

Testing which sugar source (complex or simple carbohydrate, sucrose or fructose) the yeast likes to “eat.”

The finished product met with approval!

The finished product met with approval!

Posted in Food Freeschool by Allison Krug. No Comments

Mount Walker – Mother’s Day tradition

We hiked up Mt. Walker today for Mother’s Day and had a really nice time! Mom and Richard met us up at the top and then we all went to dinner at a neat place we had not tried before – The Olympic Timberhouse. Mount Walker is a tradition for us – I remember carrying Sam in a carrier when he was a baby. Today I wore the same pants that I wore that day 9 years ago – my favorite hiking pants from Old Navy, the junior boys’ section (good cargo pants!). I remember tearing them when I wiped out on the way down Mt. Walker with Sam on my back. That was the only time I ever wiped out carrying him, so those pants have lots of memories. We were both fine – just ripped the knee of my pants.

Mount Walker is a great hike for families. The trail is well marked, there’s enough parking at the trailhead, it’s not too far away from Poulsbo/Bainbridge area, and the trail is doable for kids. It is 5.0 miles roundtrip with 2000 ft elevation gain. It’s fairly steep – you’ll get a good workout especially if you’re carrying water for everyone. Our kids carry their own water now (unless they’re under the weather as Ben was today). Still, even with a low grade fever and sore throat, Ben (just turned 6) did just fine. Add 1.0 mile (0.5 miles each way) to get to the southern lookout (great views and worth it).

Dave telling the boys a funny story on the way up. :)

Dave telling the boys a funny story on the way up. :)

We kept seeing these super cute leaf-faces! I think Ben counted 36 of them. It was so funny! Clever idea!

We kept seeing these super cute leaf-faces! I think Ben counted 36 of them. It was so funny! Clever idea!

Another family tradition - the MOSSTACHE! :) Nicely done, Dave! You look good with a handlebar!

Another family tradition – the MOSSTACHE! :) Nicely done, Dave! You look good with a handlebar!

View of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the northern lookout on Mt. Walker.

View of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the northern lookout on Mt. Walker.

Dinner afterwards - yum!!! We also ran into our neighbors here, having dinner after going on a hike, too!

Dinner afterwards – yum!!! We also ran into our neighbors here, having dinner after going on a hike, too!

Posted in trip report WASHINGTON STATE by Allison Krug. No Comments

Rolling Bay Romp!

School was out for Spring Break so a bunch of families who live walking distance from the beach went on a 4 mile walk from school, down to the beach, and back  via a little snack stop at Jiffy Mart. We had a great time! The kids loaded their packs with many pounds of beach stones :) From our vantage point we could see the Seattle shoreline and the Space Needle. Gorgeous day! Lots of fun. Thanks for coming out!

Setting up "camp" for rock cracking on our walk.

Setting up “camp” for rock cracking on our walk.

Sam was really pleased with his agate and blue sea glass.

Sam was really pleased with his agate and blue sea glass.

They loved being with their friends, and I heard a bunch of nice comments like "This was the best hike since the last one we did at Fort Ward" or "This was really worth it - let's come out again."

They loved being with their friends, and I heard a bunch of nice comments like “This was the best hike since the last one we did at Fort Ward” or “This was really worth it – let’s come out again.”

Jiffy Mart snack stop!

Jiffy Mart snack stop!

On our way back home. Notice Ben still with whistle in mouth :) We had "patrols" in the front and the back of the line to make sure cars saw us :)

On our way back home. Notice Ben still with whistle in mouth :) We had “patrols” in the front and the back of the line to make sure cars saw us :)

Posted in trip report WASHINGTON STATE by Allison Krug. 1 Comment

Gibbs Lake

This 2.6 mile hike is a great way to stretch your legs enroute to Port Townsend for lunch or dinner (or a visit to the “rock store” which is really a book store with a ton of crystals). The trail was pretty easy to follow if you pay attention to the notations in the write-up at the link provided below. Good common sense and basic land navigation will serve you well – you basically circle the lake. If you go in a clockwise route, the north-bound portion is straightforward. Once you cross over the gravel road, you have a few options to get you back to the parking lot. If you want to be expeditious, this is where you really need to pay attention to the trail notes at the link below.

All in all a good little hike. We did it in 1 hr 15 min with a few water stops and silly pictures. Enjoy!

Click for Trail information

On Jack's Track heading to the parking lot. This is a bluff overlooking the lake.

On Jack’s Track heading back to the parking lot. This is a bluff overlooking the lake.

Hard to see the lake, really, but you do catch a few glimpses through the trees. Peaceful.

Hard to see the lake, really, but you do catch a few glimpses through the trees. Peaceful.

Can you see the sun trying to peek out?

Can you see the sun trying to peek out?

The author trying to escape the crazy man behind her with the flailing hiking poles! (It's cougar country so might as well carry 'em.)

The author trying to escape the crazy man behind her with the flailing hiking poles! (It’s cougar country so might as well carry ‘em.)

A sign at the five-way intersection.

A sign at the five-way intersection.

When the guide book says bear right "on the trail, not the old road" this is what they mean - go right, but then bear left onto the trail, not the wider road. This is assuming you are going in the clockwise direction as indicated in the WTA write-up.

When the guide book says bear right “on the trail, not the old road” this is what they mean – go right, but then bear left onto the trail, not the wider road. This is assuming you are going in the clockwise direction as indicated in the WTA write-up.

This is the start of the trail at the parking lot. You can just barely see Gibbs Lake Rd to the right of the photo frame here. The trail starts to the left of the frame at the SW corner of the lot.

This is the start of the trail at the parking lot. You can see Gibbs Lake Rd to the right of the photo frame here. The trail starts to the left of the frame at the SW corner of the lot.