Thursday, May 6, 2010

Turned back by snow

Fourteen Senior Trailblazers carpooled up to the beginning of our hike to Dailey Prairie. It started at the bridge over the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River, about five miles off the Mt. Baker Highway. As you can see from the picture, the early morning shadows were long, and we were mostly bundled up to start, except for Mike, who wears as little as possible. The entire hike would be on a road that goes up to Olivine Quarry and then a road off to the right that would take us to Dailey Prairie, as well as to a logging area. We could hear the enormous trucks coming from a long way off, so we would get out of their way as we trudged up the fairly steep road.
We had some views of the Twin Sisters, not much, but a tiny bit, as we started up the road that would take us to the high-elevation prairie. You can see that recently some snow fell in the higher elevations in this picture. The clouds would clear off and then come back, so we were either too warm as we climbed, or too cold as the sun hid behind the clouds as a light breeze played tag with us.
The reason we had any view at all was because of this logging operation that was in full swing as we hiked through. This view was probably not visible yesterday, as you can see from the new tree stumps on the right (click to enlarge) or the piles of tree branches on the left. The lumberjacks were very pleasant to us, and they were just doing their jobs, but this begins to wear on me.
As we climbed higher in elevation, we ran into snow which got deeper and deeper. We crossed two bridges like this one, which consist of logs across in narrow strips. Not knowing what it looks like without snow, I got afraid when I saw holes in the snow with the river rushing below me. I was finally convinced by my fellow hikers that there were two planks of logs that didn't have holes in them, so I carefully followed the footsteps of those in front of me. In the crossing of these bridges, I knew we would have to go back over them on the way back down. We all managed without any mishaps.
We finally stopped for lunch in the snow, deciding that another mile or so to Dailey Prairie was not going to be easy, as snow is quite tiring to navigate, and we had already come up almost five miles and 2,000 feet. We knew we would need to turn around at some point. Notice that Norm, on the left, is wearing tennis shoes, because he took his boots out last week to wash off the mud and forgot to put them back in his car. I'm sure his feet were soaked, but he is a good sport and didn't complain. If we had decided to go on farther, I am sure he wouldn't have objected.
So we headed back down the road, and I got this picture of Galbraith Creek, which we crossed several times. This was the only time it was in sunlight and in shadow, with lots of my favorite moss on the rocks and logs. Now I'm tired after another great day, and Dailey Prairie is still something to look forward to next year. Maybe. If we're lucky.


  1. Wow, you are one dedicated hiker and explorer!

    I added an acknowledgement of your post re: the foods giveaway, by the way. I had meant to from the beginning.

    Also, the kids and I have been watching baby eagle. So interesting! Thanks!

  2. Beautiful and cold looking. I'm not sure I would have gone over the bridge under these circumstances. Too easy to twist an ankle. Glad you made it safe and sound.

    Hate the logging they do when they clear-cut.

  3. Why does this Mike fella insist on wearing as little as possible?

    Another day of beautiful scenery even if it was in the snow. I also grind my teeth over the logging.

    Thanks for another delightful trip.

  4. Incredible scenery...and great photos. I, too, would be scared trying to walk across a bridge covered in snow. Yikes! :D

  5. The snow would stop me too, let alone someone who lives out there where you don't get much!

  6. Scary bridge! Not sure I would have been able to handle this hike. The snow looks like it presented quite a challenge, but you hung in there.
    Hope you have a comfy spot to put your feet up tonight for a good rest.

  7. Norm and Mike have a lot in common don't they!:) You must have a lot of fun hiking with your friends, guys are a brave bunch...logging trucks and bridges with holes!

  8. get to hike through several seasons of weather on one hike! ha

  9. Somehow dodging logging trucks and snowy bridges with holes doesn't sound like that much fun, so it must be the good company.
    As much as it spoils the view, we need to remember that here in the northwest, trees are a crop, and therefore they must be harvested. Thankfully it takes 30-40 years before it can be harvested again, so there are always forests somewhere.

  10. Beautiful!

    And it's amazing to think of you out hiking in snow... in MAY!!!

  11. I love cold mountain streams. This one with rocks covered in moss is beautiful.

  12. You are a gutsy outdoorsy gal. Hiking in a group like this would make me feel obligated to cross the bridge with the others but it would not be a comfortable walk across the bridge. I like the stopping for lunch part. Not so much the hiking up 2000 feet. Uh uh. I have to admire your fortitude.

  13. Snow!!!??? No!!!

    Those are beautiful photographs.

    You have inspired me to start hiking again. I used to love getting out into the backwoods like that, and blow away the city cobwebs. :-)

  14. It was looking a bit like a flashback to winter. Will you do this hike again in the summer? I like Mike, I can always tell him in the photos..he is probably one of those people that is always warm..does his head ever steam? Great Thursday adventure once again! :)

  15. Quite an ooh aah day all round. I'm glad you didn't get hurt in the snow. Why did the loggers begin to get to you in the end? Was it because you didn't like seeing all the trees cut down or for some other reason?
    Blessings, Star

  16. Okay, I'd have stopped at the bridge; I don't think I could have done it! I'm sorry ya'll didn't get to go as far as you had planned, but it looks like you had a good hike none the less. I can't imagine how tough it must be to continue going on hikes where they are cutting down tree after tree. How depressing.

    The picture of Galbraith Creek is beautiful!


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