Eleven hardy Senior Trailblazers carpooled to the Clayton Beach parking lot, with the rain spitting and making some of us silently question our sanity. We were trying a new hike in the Fragrance Lake/Lost Lake area in the Chuckanuts (where we have been before), but intending to hike up an old road to a new loop trail. Pat (one of our fearless leaders) showed up this morning to beg off, having picked up a bug of some sort, and Al got directions from Pat about the location of today's hike. This first picture (click any to enlarge) shows what Bellingham Bay looked like when we got a look at it. It did give us some hope that the day would not be spent completely in the rain. We optimists could see some blue sky in that picture!
But frankly, this is what we spent the first couple of hours looking at: mist, fog, rain. The picture is a bit out of focus, but I think it actually adds a realistic dimension to it. Not to mention that all the rain we've been having lately made the trail more than a little muddy. Al kept checking his GPS and assuring us that we were on the right track, but by the time we reached Lost Lake, he told us that somehow we had missed the turnoff to the trail we were looking for. Having been to Lost Lake before, he told us that we could either turn around after lunch and head back the way we had just been, or we could take the trail around the lake and head back that way. We chose to go around, making our total distance 11.5 miles and up and down almost 3,000 feet in elevation. No wonder I'm so tired.
As you can see from this lunch picture (sorry to Sally for getting her with chipmunk cheeks), we still had no sun at noon time. Carol and Norm in the background show that we weren't exactly warm, either. Bundled up, happy to have lunch with a letup in the rain, we started back on the very muddy path to the other side of Lost Lake. Once in a while I was totally enchanted with the moss on the trees. Some of you know I don't waste any time getting out the old camera. When I lived in Colorado, I never imagined forests like we have here.
I didn't even know back then that moss grows on living trees, but it does. As you can see, there's no way to tell which direction is north by looking at the way the moss grows. (You know the old saw that you can tell the direction of south and north by looking at the way the moss grows? I don't think so. It's everywhere.) But just after I took this picture, we had reached the downhill part of our trip, and lo and behold: the sun came out! We saw people heading up from the parking lot in shorts and t-shirts, while we still had on most of our raingear.
Sally and Gary are on the home stretch as we headed back to the trailhead and our cars. Although it's a short drive from the parking lot to the Senior Center, by the time we reached our morning starting point, I could barely climb out of Al's car. Now, an hour later, I have downloaded my pictures, taken a very welcome hot shower, poured myself a glass of wine, and am writing to my favorite buddies about the day's hike! I think I'll sleep well tonight.