SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Once again, I had to work half day on one of my off days! And again, I was faced with the dilemma of finding a trail for an afternoon run/hike while making sure I'm home by dinner time.

Since my current job is close to downtown Redmond, the most obvious answer is the awesome semi-new trail just two miles up the Fall City highway and one mile up Sahalee Way: Evans Creek Preserve.

I discovered it last summer when I was looking for a new running trail close to Redmond. I felt like I had exhausted every inch of Marymoor Park, both the Sammamish River Trail and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

I pulled into the small parking area on a Friday afternoon to find it surprisingly full. It's spring break for most school districts; I have not been on the school schedule since my kids graduated from high school more than a decade ago.

"Oh yeah!" I thought to myself.

The KING 5 weather report shouted "RAIN!" Although the sky looked ominous, It was not currently splashing on my windshield. So, I set my MapMyRun iPhone app and took off down the steep decline, from what is called the 'Upper Parking' to the valley below.

Once you arrive in the valley, you encounter well-maintained trails that take you through amazingly preserved natural wetlands, mossy trees, huge ferns and my favorite: nurse trees.

I always notice nurse trees, or old tree stumps that have become the 'soil' for new trees to sprout, due to the pang of the sweet memory of nursing my own children. The sight always brings a feeling of connection to the cycles of Earth.

I ran my planned three-mile loop and hiked the steep incline back to my car. As soon as I turned the key, there was a splat on my windshield, followed by another and then a deluge. Whew!

The meteorologists were about that rain, but not before I got a run done and a few photos along the way.

Follow Karen on Instagram to see more of her adventures.

Resources: Evans Creek Preserve - Washington Trails Association guide

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