Today the Senior Trailblazers were scheduled to hike up to Pine and Cedar Lakes, close to home in our area, but today was predicted to be incredibly sunny and bright, after yesterday setting or tying records all over the state. So, I was not surprised when sixteen of us showed up and decided to go, instead, on a 25-mile-long drive up towards the Mt. Baker area to Road 38. It follows the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River up an old logging road. We drove up a long ways and then parked our cars to hike four miles up the road. We knew we would have incredible views. I've done this hike with the Trailblazers before, but never when we actually had a view! Above you can see Mt. Baker on the left and the Black Buttes to the right, with some of the Trailblazers in the foreground. There's also a very interesting lenticular cloud over the mountains that looks like it might be a space ship.
This picture of the trio (space ship, Baker and the Buttes) was taken as soon as we could see them clearly. As you can see, early in the day that cloud was all by itself, but as the day wore on, it was joined by others. Another view we had on this hike was of the Twin Sisters. If I had not known because of help from our experts, looking at the Sisters almost head on, I would not have recognized my favorite girls.
The North Sister is in front, with the South Sister behind. You can see that the clouds are beginning to increase. Once we reached our lunch spot, we could see the Olympic Mountains in the far distance, but we also could feel that our beautiful warm and sunny day was beginning to disintegrate, as the clouds moved in. It was a few minutes before noon when we had finished our lunches and begun our hike back down to the cars, parked on Road 38. The road begins to climb steeply from where we started hiking to the end of the road. We walked it, of course, gaining 2,000 feet in those four miles and then, after lunch, turning around and hiking back to the cars. The trail stretcher was out in full force: it was a lot farther down to the cars than it was going up. It's a strange phenomenon which could have something to do with being tired, but you didn't hear it from me.
You know you can click on any picture to enlarge, right?
On the way back down Road 38, Al noticed that the gate to the Middle Fork Diversion project was open and asked how we would feel about walking down to take a look. The four of us in his car were willing, and I got this incredible picture of the Nooksack flowing under this tree during our extended visit to the diversion. (There's more pictures of that part of the trip on the Flickr site on the RHS under "Trailblazers Fall 2010.") This post is getting longer than I intended, while I sit here drinking my wine and thinking about our wonderful day today. All of us are well exercised and happy we went to the High Country, once again, rather than Pine and Cedar Lakes, which we will visit next month. It was a great day.