Mud Mountain Explorers

How could you not want to go to Mud Mountain?  With elementary aged boys this had all the elements necessary for a great outing: mud, mountain, and a dam guarded by the army.  Technically Mud Mountain is managed by the US Army Corp of Engineers, but there was no explaining that to my two.

Would I make this trip back to just past Enumclaw again?  Probably not.  The dam is interesting, but you see it from far away.  All the photos I’d seen ahead of time (here, here, and here) were taken from a vantage point that we could not get to while at the dam. It looks like in Spring 2015 the short 1/2 mile path that runs from the lookout to the lower dam viewing location is closed about 1/2 way down.

That left us with the woodland trail, that walks along the rim of the valley.  It was a beautiful walk.

Gorgeous spring flowers were out in early April.
Gorgeous spring flowers were out in early April.

We walked for about 5km along the trail.  It was flat, meandering and peaceful. If I lived in the neighborhood, it would be my go to walking spot for walking the dog, but as a day trip from Seattle, there are many other paths and trails before getting all the way to Mud Mountain.

Easy walking trail, long, flat, perfect for walking the dog.  But there are lots more, closer trails to Seattle.
Easy walking trail, long, flat, perfect for walking the dog. But there are lots more, closer trails to Seattle.

If you do visit Mud Mountain – as always the 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Seattle guide proves indispensable.  The main trailhead for walking the rim is outside the park gates.  Easy to find once you know, but not intuitive for the first time visitor.

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Books for boys

We are all avid readers in our house.  Our boys always go to bed with 2-3 bedtime stories and they try to negotiate for more.  At times we find it hard to pick-out great books for our sons, as we find that there are often stories in which the dad characters are a bit goofy (or just plain stupid), or characters where the girls are well behaved and the boys are the trouble makers.

Last year, I was using the Canadian Toy Testing Council as a guide for books.  Their suggestions were great, but limited in selection. I found a site with suggestions specific to boys, appropriately called: Guys Read. The site has a great list of books for young boys, including some Richard Scary, the Frog and Toad books and many others with which I’m not familiar.

Meanwhile, we’ve just finished Charlotte’s Web and I’m going to try and find something that won’t make me cry.