Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anderson Mountain

Senior Trailblazers at Big Stump, March 31, 2011
The two other times I've joined the Senior Trailblazers for this hike up Anderson Mountain, we were able to begin here at the Big Stump, driving in on the access road. Today ten of us began the hike at the Alger road, as a gate closing off the area was closed. This added two miles to our hike. Not many showed up for the usual Thursday outing, since the weather was forecast to be, at best, "rain at times." Yesterday we had several inches of rain as a system moved through the entire state, with many of our local rivers close to or at flood stage. It was sprinkling when we started out, dark and gloomy.
It was also quite muddy over most of the trail, as you can see here, with water flowing on either side of the bridge, as well as in front and back. But we came prepared with waterproof shoes and plenty of rain gear. Don't be fooled by Mike's lack of clothing in that first picture; as many of you already know, he's our resident alien and uses his umbrella to keep the rain off while wearing as little as possible. (In his backpack he's carrying everything the rest of us are already wearing.)
As we gained altitude, we ran into quite a bit of snow. We only went another half mile or so after we began hiking on the snow, since we knew we would have little to no view when we reached the summit, and if we turned around right here, we would still have covered our usual distance. The snow is several inches deep here, so we decided to retreat into the woods for lunch before heading back down. The hike is partly on old logging roads, partly through a clearcut area, but it also has several nice sections on the Pacific Northwest Trail. Something for everybody.
The rain had stopped by the time we ate lunch, and as we walked back through the clearcut area, we saw the clouds lift a little, showing us Lake Whatcom below. It was our first view of anything all day. The white clouds on the lake are caused by the difference between the water temperature and the ambient air, making a fairytale scene. In a few minutes they were gone, so I felt very fortunate to catch this view.
As we headed back down the road to our cars, the sun began to break through the clouds and changed the atmosphere (and our moods) to one of sun-dappled smiles as we walked into the sunshine. For the day, we covered nine miles and 2200 feet elevation gain and loss. Not a bad day at all, considering what it might have been had the wind and rain continued. I'm happy to be home and ready to settle in for the evening.
:-)

28 comments:

  1. That looked like quite an arduous hike! Amazing pictures.

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  2. Oh dear, it doesn't sound like spring weather where you are. Surely it won't be long now until you will be hiking in beautiful spring weather.

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  3. Pretty muddy...but you pulled through. Hope the weather starts to clear soon, and that all went well for your family in Texas. Can't believe you're back and already hitting the trails.

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  4. 9 miles in the mud...astounded...

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  5. I so admire you and your group for taking on these hiking challenges. You inspire me.

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  6. Sounds like a tiring trek. If I was out there on the trail, I'd be a lot like Mike. I rarely wear a coat, even when it's cold and snowing. I am always hot.

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  7. Didn't you just get back in town? Where do you get the energy?

    Your pictures look like they are taken on different days because of all the changes!

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  8. Sounds like more of a slog than a hike, but I've done it myself. Not recently, though. I commend you for your determination.

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  9. Wow, another long, difficult hike. You are amazing.

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  10. You belong to one of the hardiest groups I've ever heard of. No wonder you all look so robust!

    I tried to visualize and imagine myself on this hike, if I were more fit, and I actually felt a shiver. I also imagined how many emotions you must have felt. I do love hiking, even in bad weather. I did much of it when I was younger. You continue to inspire me.

    Drink some hot tea and enjoy the evening.

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  11. Really a treat to read about these hikes as it gives us a detailed look into another world. With the dullness it's a real challenge to take pictures.

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  12. Hi DJan, You have really wet weather this spring..I am glad that you are home safe and sound. Thanks for the hike:)

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  13. That Mike is something else. If he were my hubby, we'd get into an argument about donning appropriate clothing. Sheesh! Unbelievable.

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  14. That is an amazing trek. I'm glad your camera survived the humidity. Terrific post!

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  15. Every time I read about one of your hikes I experience a pang of jealousy. lol

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  16. Wow, you are one hardy and adventurous soul!
    Trish

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  17. I think you guys are amazing to be willing to head out and hike in such weather conditions!!!

    And that cloudy lake is definitely something out of a fairy tale, AMAZING!

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  18. It looked like it was just a wee bit of a bad day. Of course I'm such a wimp I would never hike in such conditions!

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  19. I yiyi, that looks like a tough hike. I take my hat off to you for participating.
    Happy (dry) weekend, jj

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  20. Hey superwoman...would you please give me permission to use the 4th picture for a painting? I absolutely am NUTS about the compsition and the colors in it. Beautiful photography!!!

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  21. I always get a chuckle out of Mike's umbrella, that thing is huge. I would be like that too, I don't like to be all bundled up when I'm hiking.

    I love the misty look of the lake, it does have a fairytale quality. I hope you got some of the sunshine we had today, it was gorgeous.

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  22. I wouldn't have gone out in that weather, but I certainly would have missed out! Those views would have been worth every wet and cold second!
    Beautiful. And your photography shows it off very well. Good job!

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  23. Beautiful pics...love the Pacific northwest.

    They always say if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes--it will change. *grin* Looks like your trek proved that!

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  24. DJan, I love your field of tulips for Joan's contest. Is that photo from this year? My tulips are still a week or more away from blooming.

    Happy Weekend!

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  25. Love the hike, though I must admit I do believe my blood has thickened beyond my very own beliefe this past winter. Now that things in life have 'sort of' (can you hear me knocking on wood way over there :}) I have started working out in an attempt to realign the disc that was shot further out of alignment in the accident. Getting plenty of exercise walking everywhere as my car is still not repaired. But hey, the CE-ment sidewalks are better than nothing. I'm back from the fog, and hiking vicariously through your group! Envying the safety in numbers thing you guys have going too as the bears are out for the spring here now. Don't you guys have those nasy grizzleys hangin out out there? I have a can of air (horn) now if I ever getback to the woods..... :}}}}}}}

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  26. When we used to ski with friends, on a particularly hard day climate-wise, we used to ask why do we do this? The answer was always: because it feels so good when it is over.

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  27. Intrepid. That's what comes to mind about this group and this hike. :)

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