You may be wondering why the word "painful" is included in this post, but wait, you'll find out. We had a beautiful day, and 15 Senior Trailblazers headed up to Rainbow Ridge, an absolutely gorgeous hike. This view when we made it to the ridge (after about a mile's slog through steep uphill wet and slippery trail), shows Baker Lake in the background and the fall colors in the foreground.
We didn't go very far, but once you are on the ridge, you are actually "there" and enjoying the fantastic view. Weather was great, cool but sunny. Here's a picture of 11 of the Seniors:
I was taking the picture, and three of the slower hikers were still making it up to the ridge, where this was taken. It doesn't show up all that well, but Mt. Baker is behind them.
Look at the colors we saw. Notice a little snow on the side of the trail, which was also present in places as we hiked. We went probably somewhere a bit short of six miles round trip, with some pretty steep uphill and downhill. After gaining the ridge, most of our uphill and downhill canceled each other out. The blueberries were profuse and we ate them as we hiked.
We looked down at this valley as we had lunch. It's so beautiful here, and we really enjoyed ourselves. On the way back down, the trail was very slippery and even treacherous in places. Although I had hiking poles, at one point I slipped and fell forward onto an exposed tree root, scraping my shin, which caused me severe pain. I lay there in the mud for awhile groaning, but then took a look and stood up to see if I could walk. Since I had obviously not broken anything, we resumed our downward hike. Within a few minutes, I was aware that my shin hurt like crazy, and stopped. We were all stunned to see a softball-sized hematoma that was obviously not okay!
One of the hikers, Gary, is a retired nurse, and he had a good first aid kit. We bound up the injured leg with an ace bandage and kept going. When we got to the trailhead, I was not at all shy about laying down by the car and asking my fellow hikers to take off my boots and help me into the car. As we had a long drive, I elevated my leg and as soon as possible got some frozen peas (the best!) onto the shin. Now I am at home, and I've got my leg on the table next to me, with those same frozen peas wrapping around it. I'm going to be okay, but I won't be working out tomorrow!
Here's a last picture of Mt. Baker, after we started back down the trail, some beautiful clouds began to join my favorite peak:
You can click on any of these pictures to enlarge. I am so happy to have had a wonderful, if painful, day in the high country surrounded by such outstanding friends. I'll be okay, don't worry!