Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Loop: Upper Bob's and Lower Bob's via Pipeline, Karma

Distance: 3.8 miles
Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

After our long hike on Monday, Raney and I took yesterday off. This morning we're back at it, and the weather is cooperating with beautiful Bellingham blue skies. We head out on a loop route to one of our favorite sets of trails: Upper Bob's and Lower Bob's. 

Raney walks along Upper Bob's trail.

Today's hike is a 3-3/4 mile loop, easily accessed from Yew Street or Alvarado Drive.
We start from home on Yew Street, and head up Lopez right-of-way. This western access into Galbraith is marked by the squared-off power pole on the side of Yew Street. An alternative way into Pipeline is to go access it from Alvarado Drive.

Entrance to Lopez right-of-way on Yew Street.

Passing through the Lopez gate into Galbraith.
Major puddles on Lopez right-of-way.

Raney on Lopez right-of-way.

More mud on Lopez.
We head up Pipeline trail. This trail heads southward right across Galbraith Mountain. On the way up, we pass by the point where Lower Bob's meets Pipeline. (Distance: 0.9 miles, 21 minutes.) Today, we continue on Pipeline.

Looking south on Pipeline. Lower Bob's trail intersects off to the left.

Looking north on Pipeline. On this clear day, Bellingham is visible in the distance.

Raney crosses the roadblock on Pipeline. (Distance: 1.3 miles, 31 minutes.)
We turn left at the unmarked logging road on the left. (Distance: 1.43 miles, 34 minutes.) Pipeline trail has a rock/gravel cover from the recent logging activity in this area.

Pipeline trail, looking south. A logging road intersects to the left and leads to the north kiosk.
Almost immediately on the left side of the road is the trail known as Bob's Road. This connecting trail goes to Upper and Lower Bob's trail.

Entrance to connector trail to Bob's Trail.
At this point, piles of logging debris are visible to the south.

Hulking piles of logging debris appear on this section of Pipeline.

Buttercups add a splash of yellow to the greenery as we near the kiosk.
The road takes us to the north kiosk, which we reach at 1.8 miles, and 44 minutes from the starting point.

North kiosk (aka Checkpoint Kilo).
Just west of the kiosk is the beginning of Upper Bob's Trail.

Looking west from the kiosk. Upper Bob's drops away to the right.

Views of Upper Bob's trail.

Mountain bike stunts on Upper Bob's.

Much of Upper Bob's lies under a shady canopy of fir bows.
After a half mile of switchbacks, the singletrack of Upper Bob's reaches the flat and smooth surface of Bob's Road. A few moments on this takes us to the turnoff for Lower Bob's. (2.3 miles, 1 hour.)

Upper Bob's meets Lower Bob's. Raney knows the way.

More shots of Lower Bob's trail.

Time for a water break, and a lick from Raney.

Sunlight peeks through on Lower Bob's.

Lower Bob's drops rapidly down towards Pipeline.

Every now and then a beam of sunlight will break through the canopy. Not often, though.

More shots of Lower Bob's trail.

Behind Raney, Lower Bob's ends at Pipeline trail.
Lower Bob's drops down steeply under picturesque canopies of birch and fir. The trail ends back at Pipeline. (2.9 miles, 1 hr 17 min.) Raney and I follow Pipeline north to Karma.

A canine encounter as we head home on Karma.
Karma connects with Lopez right-of-way and gets us home. (3.8 miles, 1 hr 37 min.)

Back at home, Raney endures her spray bath.

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