The Chuckanut 50K by Alex Jeffers

This past March, I had the immense pleasure of spending six-and-a-half hours running through one of my favorite landscapes as part of the Chuckanut 50k. It takes a lot of hard work to prepare for something like this. A lot of evenings, early mornings, and weekends getting outside and running on days when you might not always feel up for it. However, running along the Chuckanut Ridge Trail from Cleator Road down to North Lost Lake below, my mind was somewhere else entirely. It would be impossible to traverse 31 miles of trail and look out over a landscape of green, pulling one’s gaze to the forested horizon framing the ever-present and snow-capped Mount Baker, without a lot of hard work by dedicated people that came before me. The Chuckanut Mountains, Lake Padden Park, Galbraith Mountain, Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve, Lake Whatcom Park, and now the Skookum Creek Corridor, combined with many other smaller conserved properties, form one of the last remaining forested corridors from the Cascades to the Salish Sea. These Interconnected, conserved landscapes contain varied habitats that are vital for our region’s flora and fauna. Last March, though, it gave me the opportunity to sink deeply into the woods by continuing to press my feet into the dirt and let my mind get lost in the elegantly simple song of Varied Thrushes singing from above. 

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