Friday, September 08, 2006

Overcame Some Angst

After the murders in July of two women hikers on a trail off of the Mountain Loop Highway, I have been hesitant about treks into the woods. But I really wanted to show a new resident of Mukilteo an example of one of our hiking trails. So yesterday we hiked to Lake 22 which is off the Mountain Loop Highway---two women and two dogs. This hike is great because there are old growth trees, waterfalls, and a gorgeous lake in a cirque with still visible snow. Of course, my dog is kind of terrible but it is just because he loves hiking so much.

At the trail head, we saw a poster offering a reward for any information to help solve these mysterious and unexplained murders. Usually, I hate to see other cars at a trail head, preferring to be alone in the wilderness. But yesterday, I was happy to see other hikers including women and children. I was most happy to see the Forest Service truck. They were working on the trail around the lake.

After we finished our hike and were pulling out of the parking lot, two women were just arriving. They stopped us and with a sheepish smile asked if it was safe. I responded, "So you are kind of scared, too? Nah, it's ok--the Forest Service is up there with a trail crew."

"I know what happened to those women," she proclaimed. "I target shoot with the Sherriff's Department!" At this moment, the woman patted a leather holster on her waist with her hand.

"Whoa! She is packing heat, this lady!!" I thought to myself.

"They think it was meth users--they come into the woods to cook their stuff and they kind of go crazy," the woman stated with confidence. I did not argue with her. She could be right but for some reason, I picture meth users in their trailers and run down houses instead of on a difficult hiking trail. Actually, no scenario or theory I have read about seems to make any sense to me. The two women were shot in the middle of the day, left right on the trail about two miles in and robbery wasn't involved. No suspects have been detained. It makes no sense at all which makes it scary.

Nevertheless, the hike felt good. Seeing other groups enjoying the trail made me happy. Apolo was oblivious to all of my concerns. He had the best time ever!

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Lake 22