Fourteen Senior Trailblazers carpooled to the trailhead at Lake Whatcom, seen as the blue expanse in this picture, our first view. That's Bellingham Bay on the left and the city below us. We had to pass through several icky parts on our way to a great view, including transmission power lines and areas of clearcut. One thing they do here in Washington state is cut every last tree when clearing an area of trees, it can be quite disconcerting. We had to gain our view of Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters by climbing up through way too much of this.
We gained almost 3,000 feet on this hike, giving us a good workout, and if you look closely you can see some of my fellow hikers picking their way through the detritus. However, once we reached the summit, we have a really lovely view of the Twin Sisters, as you can see. There was a layer of cloud dissecting the Sisters, but it gave the view an especially mysterious feeling, to me.
That's the Nooksack Valley down below, with a little bit of fresh snow, and behind those clouds you can see that the wind must have been quite intense. You don't see those lenticular clouds without winds. And then this picture of Mt. Baker just looks like an ice cream cone hidden behind that cloud.
The full sun and the lack of any wind at the summit, where we were, allowed us to take a leisurely lunch and not hurry back down the road. It is always a good workout on this hike, much of which is on old logging roads. At the top, we had a skiff of snow, not too much to make it hard hiking, but enough to give some visibility to show our descent.
The days are getting longer, we are gaining more than three minutes of daylight every day, but you can see the afternoon shadows are still quite long as we head back down to our cars. We walked ten miles, up 2,700 feet in total, and to let you know HOW we knew the distance and the elevation gain and loss, here is our fearless leader (Al) on the right and Fred on the left, comparing their readings. You would think they would always agree, being GPS and all, but they don't. We take an average. As soon as we get to the cars, we all head over to find out how far, how high. I don't know why it matters so much, but it does. We had a good day, and it was exactly where I needed to be, to clear my head and make me feel gratitude for my wonderful hiking buddies.