In the 20-plus years I have climbed Mount Peak, people have been working to save it for public use. The last attempt produced a King County purchase, which made it a park and therefore safe from development. Hats off to all who had a part in this; now it is time to save Mount Peak from ourselves.
In the last five or so years, attendance on Mount Peak has increased dramatically; this is not news to anyone who frequents her. And, for the most part people take good care and are respectful of where they are. I’m addressing the few who aren’t; I’m also asking the majority to let your voice be heard when you see disrespectful behavior from those who don’t get it – educate them.
There is a sign at the trailhead, “No Bicycles” – today I saw three! One came by so fast it was slinging rocks and would not have been able to stop if need be. I heard a guy talking about how he was going to build benches at the top of the trail! Why? Who asked him to? When did Mount Peak become everyone’s personal project? Yesterday I cleaned up a fire pit; there was burnt paper, candy and plastic bottles all over the place. I’ve seen more and more discarded water bottles, wrappers, tissue and even human waste, right on the trails! People cut down trees, saw logs, lay gravel, all like they know what they’re doing; do you work for King County? As soon as the mud dries, the gravel is like walking on marbles.
Mount Peak has a natural ability to right herself throughout the seasons with little help from us. The King County Parks Department was out last week doing some work and they even said that the trail needed very little maintenance.
Mount Peak inspires us, whether we are trying to beat our best time, taking our dogs for a run, taking a mental break or a spiritual journey: she inspires us. I have met some amazing people walking those trails; it has helped me keep physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit. I am concerned that with her popularity will come the demise of her natural beauty. Please, let’s find a balance in caring for and appreciating this gift.