Our hike today with the Senior Trailblazers took us south on I-5 down to the town of Concrete, and finally, the trailhead at Sauk Mountain. A 60-mile drive for a hike of 4 miles, pretty much straight up 27 switchbacks. I could not figure out why we would drive so far... until we got there. The last half dozen miles in the car took us higher and higher on a dirt road, until we got to this parking lot and sign. We were hoping, all day long, for the clouds to lift and give us a better view. Here is Sauk Lake, looking down from our lunch spot. Although here we could see the lake, at times we could not see it at all. Today, because of the shortness of the hike, we had 20 hikers: both the slower group and the "half fast" group. It was actually a more comfortable hike because of the clouds. With so much elevation gain, I heard from several experienced Trailblazers that it was much easier because it was cool and cloudy.
You can see, as we are having our lunch, it's not exactly warm. Lots of us were downright cold, and we took pictures, ate lunch, and worried about some of our cohorts who trekked on ahead in the snow. I started to go with them, but I got spooked by the exposure and the snow. Even though I had trekking poles, I decided to come back and eat lunch with these hikers. And, as you can see, the payoff at the actual "summit" was just to say you had done it, no view ever materialized.On the way back down the 27 switchbacks, as I snapped flower pictures, I got this picture showing our incredible view, since at times the clouds would clear off a little, and then close up again. This should have been expected after three days of rain and clouds in the area. But of course we did expect it to clear and were disappointed when it didn't.
Last week I showed pictures of all the flowers at Canyon Creek, all of which I took more pictures of today, except for these lovely Indian Paintbrush. There were so many flowers, but they were covered with dew and rain and without the sun bringing out their wonderful colors, I'm just going to offer this one. Unless, that is, I can't resist and post them ALL on my Flickr site. But that's later.
Next week, we will hike Church Mountain, which is at least 11 miles long and, as I was told today, nobody ever complains about it being too short or too easy. I'm girding my loins.