Today, seventeen Senior Trailblazers drove from the Senior Center to the trailhead to Excelsior Ridge via Damfino Lakes (click any picture to enlarge). After driving a ways to the turnoff, we then had to drive on a long winding road for 15 miles before we reached our destination, the trailhead. The hike ended up being almost nine miles long and up and down over 2,300 feet of elevation, so we had all day together. The picture (above) shows us walking the plank over Damfino Lakes. (Why that name? Well, I was told that someone in the distant past asked for the name of the small lakes or ponds, and someone said, "Damn if I know," which of course morphed into "Damfino.")
Whatever. By the time we had trekked through the shady parts, we emerged onto a flat area that led on a gentle uphill to glorious views of my two favorite mountain peaks: Shuksan, seen above, and Baker (still to come). Note that the day was clear, after morning fog and low clouds, and the wildflowers were beyond belief. Stopping to take pictures wasn't easy, because we were anxious to get to the next views.
At lunch we stopped at a place that had views in just about every direction, a nice gentle breeze to keep the bugs to a minimum (yes, they have finally invaded our hikes), and I asked Ward to take a picture of me to show I was really here. This one was snapped as I realized I was entangled in my gear, but you see Peggy laughing on the left and Cindy laughing right above my butt. Some of us wanted to stop in the sun and some in the shade, so this was a perfect compromise.
After lunch, the consensus was that we would hike farther out on High Divide before turning around to return to the cars. Some of us weren't thrilled to keep going, so after a while three of us decided to just stop in the trail and wait for the others to hike out and return to us. While there, I took this glorious picture of Mt. Baker and friends. One person, Pete, was pretty new to me, so we three (including Linda) spent some time learning about each other while the gentle breeze kept the bugs away and we waited for our friends to return.
After a while, I saw, through my trusty telephoto lens, our friends on their way back to us, and this picture shows them heading back, the mountains in the background and the wonderful wildflowers in the foreground. I cannot tell you how magnificent the day really was, but I can't imagine how it might have been a better and more renewing kind of day.
Once we had all returned to being a group again, all seventeen of us disparate and different Seniors headed back to our cars. I snapped this picture just to show you the sky, the trail, the friends, and the flowers that graced my day today. I am overwhelmed with the wonderfulness of today, and I hope I've communicated at least a tiny bit of it to you.