Yes, I know I have been complaining about the weather lately. But almost as soon as I wrote that last post, it's been incredibly beautiful here. Go figure. Today 14 Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center to drive a long distance (70 miles) south and east to the Baker Lake area. We planned to hike to Noisy Creek, a 9- or 10-mile-long trek from the Baker Lake trailhead. We saw immediately that the suspension bridge had been closed as of yesterday and decided instead to hike to Sulphide Creek on the Baker River trail. We saw lots of old growth trees, like the one above.
You have to admit it was not only a beautiful day, but the creek running behind me, along with the amazing views, made it pretty hard to be disappointed. We had a quick reconnoiter and decided to head back to the ostensibly closed suspension bridge and take a closer look. In the meantime, since it was almost 11:30, several people had lunch, and some had a "munch break" instead. This would add to the confusion later on. But the sun was shining so brightly that most of us shed as many clothes as possible as we continued our hike.
These two intrepid hikers have been missing since last fall, Carol and Sally, and I happily snapped their picture in front of our magical mossy trees. We turned around at the end of the short Sulphide Creek trail and headed back to our starting point, the suspension bridge, where we were foiled in our plans to hike to Noisy Creek. Carefully picking our way across the bridge, we saw that some trees have fallen on the suspension wires and were the reason for its closing. After deciding to risk everything, we hurried across and started on the path to Noisy Creek, with an agreement that we would turn around and head back to the cars at 1:30 pm.
Remember that some people had not had lunch yet, so they decided to fuel up while others went on to inspect the trail. It (the trail) is in wonderful shape, and the magical and beautiful old growth trees were interspersed with all the signs of spring. I fell in love with the fiddlehead ferns showing their stuff in front of the old growth trees.
Sometimes you have to be reminded why one would decide to leave Colorado behind and move to the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is reputed to be nothing but continuous rain. Not so. Every once in a while the sun comes out and warms the air, the mood of the local residents, and smiles break out in abundance. Although we didn't have the most coordinated hike of the year, it was undoubtedly one of the most appreciated by all of us. The Baker River is one of the more beautiful places I have the privilege of visiting, and when you get to do it surrounded by great friends, who could ask for more?
By the time we reached the our cars at the trailhead, we had covered almost nine miles and a grand total of somewhere around 1,000 feet elevation gain and loss. This tells you we didn't work all that hard but enjoyed incredible weather as we walked in a moss-covered old growth forest. I'll take that, with pleasure. (Kimberly's blog about the hike is here.)