A Communion with Horses: Nisqually State Park

Hiked: Feb 21, 2019
Mileage: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 37 floors

 

When we want a quick jaunt and don’t want to drive too far, we go out to Nisqually State Park.

Nestled in a valley just off Mountain Highway not far from Elbe and Alder Lake, Nisqually State Park is a mix of deciduous and evergreen forest sloping down to the Nisqually river.
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It’s the newest state park, and though not home to terribly old growth in the foothills, it’s an easy getaway for solitude, especially in winter time. Although you’ll always hear the traffic on Mountain Highway and there are power lines running throughout, they’ll soon be overshadowed by the rush of the river below.

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Because the map at the trailhead is pretty generic and there are several footpaths threading through the forest, it took me until my fourth or fifth visit to finally find the path to the river. Unfortunately for the dogs, it was too high for swimming, despite Charlotte promising me she would not go floating down the current like a fluffy piece of driftwood.

I promised her we’d come back in summer.

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Since the river was not an option, Charlotte settled for this swamp.

The dogs enjoyed the mud and the general swampiness of the park, with plenty of variation between wide flat gravel trails and narrow, brushy horse paths through the undergrowth.

Guess who’s not thrilled in particular about fighting through tangles of blackberry vines?

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Which way to the mud?!?

As a dog mom, there is no amount of suffering I will not undertake for the amusement of my furry buttheads.

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Emo Aggie in Nature: Yes, there’s a beautiful river behind me, but this stick is also in my face.

Speaking of suffering, there’s one element particular to Nisqually State Park that Aggie and Charlotte are especially fond of. Being as this is a popular park for horses, there is always an abundance of horse poop.

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When I say “horse poop,” you say “roll in it!”

I’m not sure what it is about this particular brand of “eau de poo” that the dogs find so enticing, but it all but guarantees that the first order of post-hike business is that dreaded instrument of modern canine torture: the Bath.

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We are LITERALLY dying

I guess until the dogs get better at connecting actions to consequences, the horse poop will ever be rolled in.

 

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