If you got today’s Everett Herald, you may have read the front page story about World War II vet – and Pearl Harbor survivor – Walter Bailey. If you missed it, you can read it on the Herald’s website here.
And you should also take the time to hike the trail that bears his name (Walt Bailey/Mallardy Ridge Trail to Bald Mountain via Cutthroat Lakes). It’s off the Mountain Loop Highway just outside Verlot and is a beautiful hike to the Cutthroat Lakes. My friend Becca and I hiked it back in the summer of 2011 and we had quite the adventure. When the Forest Service says it’s “most difficult” you really should believe them. It’s gorgeous but requires route finding and sturdy knees. Long story short, we lost the trail in the mist a few times and once we broke through the cloud layer in to the sun up at the lakes, Maya decided to take a jaunt onto a sheet of ice that proceeded to float away from shore off of which she jumped into the frigid water and started freaking out and not knowing where to swim to which I reacted and got in the water to
dog fish her out (whew). Which is why I always have her wear her harness. Thankfully it was still sunny and I had extra clothes and socks so we all hiked down happily.
While we were hiking, Becca and I talked about who Walt Bailey was (the info in the guidebook said he worked for the CCC) but we didn’t know much else. And after reading today’s article in the Herald, I not only feel more educated (what happens when you read the paper, duh!) but I also am more in awe of the service Walt Bailey has used his life for these past 94 years. What a guy! I can only hope to meet him someday and listen to his stories.
So on this December 7th, thank you, Walt, and thank you to all the other men and women who served at Pearl Harbor.
You can read my Pearl Harbor post from last year here.