On Saturday I went hiking on Tiger Mountain. I felt like trying a new road, so I took East Lake Sammamish Parkway. It was a really fun drive. The road wound along Lake Sammamish, with the picturesque lake and mountains to my right. The road is a single lane, so I didn’t have to worry about merging or changing lanes or drivers to my side. I just blasted 90s pop and sang along over the smooth turns.
At the base of Tiger Mountain, I parked at Issaquah High School and started up the High School Path, then veered left onto Tradition Plateau. Power lines buzzed overhead. The line cut through brambles and all the other kinds of invasive species that typically grow in cleared land.
Then I doubled back and took the Poo Poo Point trail, three miles along creeks and moss-covered trees. At the end of the trail was a solar-powered lavatory. Suddenly the name of the trail made sense. I thought, surely this lavatory must be Poo Poo Point.
But thankfully it was not. I walked across a parking lot and arrived at the actual Poo Poo Point. Before me was an unobstructed view of Issaquah, Bellevue, Lake Sammamish, and the surrounding mountains. I sat down and ate a snack while watching paragliders float down the mountain.
Afterwards, I took Chirico Trail down the mountain and walked back to the high school on a road that did not have a pedestrian walkway. A. called and we caught up. And we talked about how people want the opposite of their current situation. Like how singles want to be married with children. And those that are married with children want to be single and free again (on occasion). I’ve got to be content and enjoy the perks of whatever my current situation is.
When I got back to my car, I felt like driving some more. So I drove around aimlessly next to farms and forest and fields. When I was ready to go back home, I checked Google Maps, and was told to take a gravel road that looked to be someone’s private driveway. There was a sign that said “Private Property / No Trespassing”. But I followed the directions and continued along the gravel path as it veered down a steep hill. At the end of the hill the directions said to turn right, but I could not because there was a wooden fence blocking the road. I felt really stupid, blindly following an app when I should have used common sense and looked ahead. So I put my phone away and followed the road signs to get home.
When I reflected on the day’s activities, I had this vague positive feeling. The day didn’t make me feel happy per se, like smiling-happy or funny-joke-happy, but I enjoyed myself. It’s like the feeling I got in college when I would rollerblade to the Point and stare out at Lake Michigan for a moment and feel how large the world is. I had not crossed over the fine line from solitude to loneliness; I would not have kept going out to the Point if it made me depressed. There’s just something nice about being outside, away from the crowd, without a care, thinking about big things. A solemn goodness. That is my solitude.