Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rainy Excelsior Ridge

After spending almost three hours in the dentist's chair yesterday, I wasn't at all sure I would be up for the hike today. But after a good night's sleep, with ibuprofen to help, I woke up this morning, if not raring to go, at least willing to give it a try. (No root canal, just an old crown removed and a temporary in place.)
Thirteen Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center with light rain showers to accompany us, just like last week. But we are nothing if not hardy, and after it cleared off last Thursday and gave us a good hike, we set out with high hopes for the trailhead to Excelsior Ridge off the Mt. Baker highway. Beginning at 1,800 feet elevation, we thought we would just keep going up until we were turned back by snow. The weather forecast looked promising for afternoon clearing, but it was not to be.
We stopped for lunch after a little more than three miles of uphill climb, when the trail began to have more snow covering it than not. It was still raining, as you can see by our lovely lunch spot, and we didn't linger here for long. After getting our lunch out, finding a semblance of comfort (with a cold stream running right through the middle of our clearing), we ate hastily and headed back down. We had climbed up 2,300 feet, keeping us pretty warm until we stopped for lunch.
Here's a picture of my lunch. Notice that it is being cooled by snow and water, and it wasn't easy to use those chopsticks with gloves on, but I persevered. All the food is soft so that it wouldn't hurt my tender jaw. After a quick twenty minutes, we were all very cold and ready to head back down.
On the way down the trail, I yelled to the others to stop for a minute so I could get a picture of something, since this was not what you would call a picturesque hike (no views and a wet, muddy trail). However, as you can see, sometimes it was still quite lovely, with all the rain lately everything is so green. (Click any picture to enlarge.)
While stopping for an equipment adjustment, I caught this picture of Amy and Mike having a conversation. He is always so unusual in his gear, but I must say that umbrella looked pretty good to me today. As you can see from Karen's blue rain cover on her pack, it's still raining, and we are almost back to the trailhead.

Last week, there was only one day when it didn't rain, and it was Thursday afternoon, just perfect for last week's hike. So to say that we in the Pacific Northwest are ready for some extended sunshine is an understatement. But many of us hardy Seniors wouldn't stay home if our friends were heading out without us! We give it a try, rain or shine.


  1. I'm sure a hot toddy of something will be in order tonight. Good for you though to go anyway.... A little tooth won't keep our D-Jan down!

  2. Mmmm, your lunch looks good! Glad your dental work went well. We've been getting all your rain! I love it....even though it's been too wet to get much done in the garden, it's great to watch my favorite plants soaking up the moisture.
    Your group surely are trailblazers. A tenacious bunch!

  3. Today I just about lost it over all this rain. I've eaten everything in site that I shouldn't eat. If the sun doesn't shine tomorrow I may disolve into a puddle of tears.

    Check out the web cam listed on my blog today. You might enjoy it.

  4. We had a mostly sunny day today, although...they are predicting rain for the next few days. Can't garden is lovin it!

    Have I told you how much I envy you? So nice to have a group to walk with! (And walking with a sore jaw? You are a brick!)

  5. Ooh my goodness, I'm wilting in 91 degree heat and humidity and you are surrounded by cool rain drops and snowflakes :)
    You are indeed a trooper, dentist chair the day before, and today hiking the trails..
    What a gorgeous view !

  6. I admire your spirit to keep going despite the weather....days and days of rain would make me very, very depressed if I lived there...I can't handle that..I would rather snow than dreary rain all the time....but the bright green looks lovely in contrast!

  7. Looks like salad...I'm not sure but your lunch looks pretty healthy. And with chopsticks? Ahh I know you enjoyed it well as well as with the lush green around!


  8. The rain does add a certain "air" to the forest, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to head off for a hike knowing it's going to rain! If it rains while I'm out so be it... but knowing ahead of time I'll be wet the whole time? ugh! But then again I guess in some climates you either do that or never go out... :p

  9. JUST an old crown removed. Yikes. I lost a crown over a year ago and have not been to a dentist yet. It takes big time nerve to walk through the door at a dentist office. One time I stood outside on the terrace and was not able to walk into the dentist office and he came and talked to me. Then we did it in steps. These are great pics, DJan. Good for you that you don't give up. Your lunch looks like it is in a glass dish, is it? Now I know something else about you, the chop sticks.

  10. It's raining here as well. It's interupting our Summer weekend picnic schedule. You're a trouper for hiking in the rain.

  11. I tried to leave a comment here yesterday, but it did not register.

    Anyway, the northwest sure is wet, and I am not sure it would agree with me. David, for sure, would not like damp weather as it would exascerbate his arthritis. But, hey, to each his own, right?

    I am glad the hikes cheer you up. Excellent photography, as usual.

  12. All those mists and rains have probably multiplied the wonderful mosses on your walk?

  13. Beautiful country wet or dry. If I had mountains to climb, I'd be doing it too,DJann!

    My g/daughter flew from Ohio to Seattle, Washington yesterday, to visit her fiance...hope she has good weather!

  14. I'm guessing it's not as bad to hike in the rain if you are properly attired. Still, not everyone would choose to take on the climb during showers!
    Is that the type of lunch you typically pack for a hike? Wow, it goes way beyond PB & J!

  15. Even with the rain it still looks like everyone had a great time. On your side of the Cascades if someone waits until it stops raining they will be waiting a very long time. Our rain stopped finally and the weekend was beautiful but a few showers are expected next week. We are enjoying the rain as it won't be around much longer, summer is coming.

  16. What a cold rainy day, but you all trudged along! I have never used Chopsticks..:)


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