There is no way a picture can adequately show how wet our hike to Cedar Lake was today. You can see a bit of mist in the trees here, and you can tell that we are all rain-coated and pack-covered. Just a little snow here and there, but when I left the apartment this morning to grey skies and light rain, I sure didn't expect twelve other intrepid hikers to show up. But indeed, the Senior Center began to fill with diehard hikers. We carpooled to the trailhead, which heads pretty much straight up for the first mile. It was a very long mile as I huffed and puffed up to the viewpoint.
Okay, there was no view, but this is where we would have had one, if the rain would have stopped and the clouds were to have lifted. (They didn't.) I asked Al to take this picture of me in my rain poncho at the viewpoint. The thing is, I know I would have paced around the apartment all day if I had not chosen to go along, and I knew we would be sheltered by the trees most of the way anyway. It was still very wet. But I got to be wet in good company.
By the time we reached Cedar Lake, carefully navigating the icy patches on the trail and looking at the non-view, the wind had started to blow and suddenly every wet hiker wondered about the wisdom of continuing along to Pine Lake. Usually we hike around Cedar Lake and cover the short distance between these lakes before heading back down to the cars. Today, we had a conference to decide what to do.
Fred is discussing the situation with Ward and Peggy, who were quite willing, along with the rest of us, to head back to the Senior Center's warmth and dryness to have our lunch, rather than continue on with the planned outing. After a short snack, off we headed to our respective cars to either head back home or over to the Center. All in all, we covered a little more than five miles and went up and down 1,700 feet of elevation on our wet Cedar Lake excursion. Now I am home, toasty warm with a piping cup of hot tea in front of me, and hopes for better weather next week. We have had amazingly good luck on several of our hikes lately, but today it was a real Pacific Northwest kind of winter day. As a parting gift, here's a picture of Mikey Poppins in full gear, conferring with the rest of us, who were dressed MUCH more conservatively. However, you can tell it's cold: he's wearing mittens and a hat!
Mike adds to the mystique that surrounds our hiking group. We have a reputation to uphold, after all, as being seniors willing to put ourselves into the elements, rain or shine. Today I was just a wee bit envious of his umbrella.