Bus In The Woods

One Monday in February 2009, David and I hit the trails.

We did it mainly to get out and away from the Wii. Our park of choice: Tiger Mountain State Forest. While heavily used during the other three seasons, winter is quieter. There are plenty of service roads for bicycles and, from what we discovered, a few surprises as well.

There are lots of power lines and subsequent roads to support them; this is the domain of the mountain bike, where cyclists can cruise at the speed of their equipment and feel the wind and the sun without having to inhale exhaust from a Lexus. As we stood near the crossroads of the Puget Power Road and the Bonneville Power Lines, I asked David “Do you hear that?”

“What?”

“Exactly.” It was almost entirely quiet. No sirens, video games, computer hard drive sounds, or shopping networks. Just the wind, a faraway jet overhead and the muffled sound of Interstate 90 over the hill. I could get seriously addicted to this place.

Just off the Bonneville power line road, I was able to show David a wetland and explain how it holds onto water so the lands below it don’t get flooded. This was along the well-named “Wetland Trail,” and Round Lake. As we were coming off the trail, David said “Look…an Owl.” Sure enough, he had eyeballed a huge white owl sitting on a low branch off the trail. I explained that owls were predators that ate things like mice and even cats, and that their wings were shaped like hawk wings. This owl just watched us without much fear, even when we moved to the other side of his perch to get a better look. Sadly the Owl picture I took ended up looking like a white blob on a tree branch. No value there at all. From a distance it looked magnificent.

After we headed back towards the truck, David decided to take a detour down what was called “Bus Trail.” Didn’t have a clue what it meant…until we passed by an overturned Greyhound bus from the 1940s or 50s sitting just off Bus Trail. Hmmmm…I’ve been here almost my entire life and never knew about the bus!

Turns out very little is known about it.

There are no identifying marks or serial numbers.  Experts have figured it got stolen and driven into the woods back in the day, which would be likely because this trail would have been fairly close to the Sunset Highway.  Or, it was a mining camp transportation bus that broke and was abandoned.  We will never know, and to date it simply rots along the trail.

We’ve been back along this trail system a few times since.  I want to get out there again to do more walking, because most of the trails are pedestrian only. Check out the map I created; if you click on the little icons you’ll see some pictures taken at the location!

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