Thursday, July 29, 2010

Excelsior via Damfino Lakes

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.

Namaste, my friends.
:-)

22 comments:

  1. Oh - how beautiful! your enthusiasm and appreciation came through in your post, and made the pictures even more breath-taking. Thanks, once again, for taking us along with you!
    P.S. - I see another side of the fabulous Mount Baker while on my way to work. Fabulous!

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  2. I can't imagine it being any better either. It was a gorgeous day there. I really enjoyed all your photos.

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  3. The last picture shows what completed your day DJ. Everything and everyone that makes you happy and enthusiastic are all there. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad to see Mt. Baker again.

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  4. The fourth picture of the mountain with trees in the foreground is worthy of framing. I like seeing pictures like that on my walls. All of the pics are great and it is your good fortune to live in such a beautiful area. I would never tire of those mountains.

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  5. Yes indeed, you did an excellent job of conveying the glorious day. You are doing such a good job in all your posts though. I can understand your enthusiasm for your hikes with friends and to be in such beauty as every place you hike looks different but all beautiful. I am so glad you are enjoying your life and are at peace.

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  6. Hi DJ,
    Looks and sounds beautiful. Love the origin of the name!
    And as usual, I'm feeling guilty. You're hiking and I'm sitting on my butt!

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  7. those are some gorgeous views...great to get out and about...i love hiking and try to go often with my fam...thanks for popping in today...i hav seen you around some of my friends as well...be back soon. smiles.

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  8. so it's pronounced dam-fye-no and not dam-fee-no?

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  9. I swear; you're posts are just getting more and more fascinating and interesting!

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  10. Looks glorious! I have to get out and see some mountains!!

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  11. Your posts make me long for the days my husband and I would take vacations and do a little hiking!! Beautiful pictures!1

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  12. Such beauty...
    What a wonderful hike, with magnificent views as far as the eye can see. Not only are you fortunate to live in that area, but being fit and active enough to take part in the hikes always amazes me. We lived at the foot of Pikes Peak Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, each day we would witness the ambulance bringing people down the mountain, who thought they were physically fit enough to hike...the mountain usually proved them wrong.
    Thank you for sharing this breathtaking beauty.

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  13. Gorgeous....the last photo looks as though you should all be singing "The hills are alive...with the sound of music" lalalala! Or whistling maybe...
    Loved your photos. Again..it's hard for me to imagine that there is such beauty. Thank you for the pleasure. xo

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  14. You communicated your perfect day very well, DJan. What great photos, the second and last were my favorites...I wanted to be on those trails!~Wanda

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  15. Oh it looks like a it was a beautiful day..wildflowers and a gorgeous view..life doesn't get much better that that..thanks for sharing..as always I look forward to your Thursday hikes! :)

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  16. What a beautiful area. You're so blessed to have such a hiking trail and the health and strength to enjoy it. Beautiful!

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  17. Gorgeous views of Shuksan and Baker. What a glorious day for a hike. I especially like your last photo, it really sums up the hike.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  18. WHoa! LOVE those TRAVERSE shots!!! Beautiful scenery, as usual! I went for a walk, too. Just now. Right after midnight. Hunter and I took the dogs. I love late night walking. Just beautiful and quiet and the dogs had a great run in the park. Not quite Mt. Baker but very peaceful. :)

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  19. Oh what a wonderful hike! gorgeous views and terrain!

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  20. Yes you certainly have. The pictures of the mountains and the wild flowers are just incredible. I had to enlarge each and every one to get the best out of it. The weather looks just perfect.
    Glad to see you so happy.
    Blessings, Star

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  21. Awesome. My dad has a place in Montana and this looks very much like where he has taken me fishing. It is filled with small lakes and wildflowers, hills and valleys, and bits of snow. I can very well imagine just how perfect the day was.

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