Today eighteen Senior Trailblazers set out to hike up to Pine and Cedar Lakes from the trailhead off Chuckanut Drive. When I mentioned it to some other friends, they said, "that starts out really steep, doesn't it?" Yes. Steep right from the parking lot. The weather was overcast when we began the hike, but the forecast was for mostly sunny skies later in the day. As you can see from this picture, as we hiked up the steep trail, we were in a heavy mist and fog. (Click any picture to enlarge.) Our total distance was a little over 7 miles, and 2,500 feet of elevation. Most of the elevation gain is at the beginning.
By the time we reached Cedar Lake, the lake was made very mystical by the fog, but we didn't have much of a view at this time. The temperature was mild but the moisture in the air caused most of us to put on more clothes, at least gloves and a hat, before heading off to Pine Lake. After the uphill climb, I was more than a little damp from the exertion, and when we stopped I got cold.
Navigating the trail around Pine Lake was a little, well, different. The skunk cabbage was happily putting out its distinctive smell, and without the board trail, we wouldn't have been doing much hiking around the lake, since the water underneath those boards was pretty deep. The smell of the skunk cabbage is strong and heady, but it's really not unpleasant.
By the time we were approaching Pine Lake, shown above, the fog had begun to lift a little. These lakes look pretty much the same, and this view is just to show you that we really did get there, and thankfully nobody fell off the narrow boarded trail. As we headed back to the main trail, we decided to take a short excursion up to Raptor Ridge for lunch. Right about noon we arrived at the ridge, just as the sun broke through!
The ridge isn't very large, and we all pulled out our little inflatable seats and sat down to enjoy the company, the view, and our well-deserved lunches. It was so pleasant in the sun that some of us decided to relax a little bit before heading back down to the cars.
The trail we had trudged up in the fog was just beautiful on the way down, with the sun-dappled trees and bushes bringing smiles to everyone's faces. Another day in the Pacific Northwest with all my fellow Seniors: I am truly blessed, and then to come home to Smart Guy and share my adventures with him, and now with you. I could not think of anything more appropriate to do on Earth Day!