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Slavin Pond Loop — Friday, Aug. 2, 2013

Eastern Washington
The wetlands.
This was my second trailrun of the day. I started in the Dishman Hills, then ran some errands in Spokane, and then headed out to Slavin Conservation Area. I was ready to go for a hike, but decided to just go for a run since it was so rainy. Running is so much easier than hiking on rainy days! This was my second visit ever to Slavin CA; my first visit was years ago, right after the county acquired the property. I was part of the first trailwork was so long ago that I don't even remember which year. Today, it was hard for me to recognize the parts of the trail I worked on all those years ago. In fact, it was hard for me to find the proper trail in several places. There are no trail signs once one leaves the parking area. One trail came to dead-end at private property. At other intersections it was difficult to figure out which way I should go, and in a couple places I nearly lost the trail in overgrown vegetation. The grass is past waist deep near the wetlands. My issues may be a runner's problem: when I run, I don't carry anything with me. Today I took my camera and that was it. For hikers visiting this property, print the map off the county website first and carry it with you to avoid the confusion I experienced ( Not that a map would have helped much today--it would have been a soggy mess! Note that the "seasonal trail closure" indicated on the map seems to actually be quite permanent. I assumed that the closure due to flooding would be fine (the county posted the message in February; today was the first time it rained in over a month). Instead, I found myself standing on a trail that faced the wetland and had barbed wire to the side. I can't imagine that the wetlands will dry up enough to reveal the loop--so this is actually an out-and-back for the time being.
Another view of the wetlands. The land was pretty wet today, too.
It's a little hard to see them in this picture, but the swallows (100s of them!) were swooping over the water--catching bugs, perhaps?
So I got a little muddy...I guess I could have checked water on trail and mud holes for this hike, but really it's just that today it rained for the first time since June! It actually felt pretty nice to go play in it!