Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kickoff to summer

Map at Lake Padden showing the trails
Today we had a short hike (well, six miles and 1,000 feet elevation) at a nearby recreation area, Lake Padden. I walk in this area on a regular basis, but we usually go 2.6 miles around the lake, sometimes twice to make for more distance. On this hike with the Senior Trailblazers, however, we walked on the horse trails that took us on a longer trek but would get us finished by around noon. The reason for this was that we all brought food and drink for a pot luck that would be held at Norm's house at Cain Lake afterwards.

Norm met us at the parking lot and took our offerings, then went off to join his wife Gina in preparing their home for the two hiking groups to meet for lunch. Those of us who walked the trails spent three hours being out in the beautiful and very green Pacific Northwest.
The horse trails are a little less traveled than the area around the lake, but we met up with plenty of runners taking their dogs (and themselves) for a run. This particular area allows for them to let their dogs off leash, and I saw many very well-behaved dogs who sure looked happy to be out. It didn't rain, and as the morning progressed, we began to see sun breaks now and then.
When we would reach a junction in the trail, we waited until everyone had caught up, as some of us hiked faster or slower than the others. At a junction, we discussed whether we were still wanting to continue farther out or head back to the parking lot. Some decided not to hike as far, but since we were not in the wilderness, it worked out well. At noon we all met and carpooled to Norm and Gina's home at Cain Lake, about twenty minutes away.
And when we arrived, the food had been set out and ready for us to imbibe. There were many salads and other dishes, as well as Norm busy grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Here you see Peggy and Linda about to partake as I captured the moment. A cold breeze coming off the lake (with some still-sweaty hikers) made it uncomfortable to be sitting outside unless you were bundled up. I did see a tree swallow, pointed out to me by some of my fellow Trailblazers, and I managed to get a pretty good shot.
Click to admire Tree Swallow
I eventually went inside where a wonderful propane heater warmed the indoors, while the hardiest of the hardy hikers gathered outside. After warming up enough to venture out, I took this picture that shows you that nobody was exactly warm. The temperature was in the low 50s but a brisk wind off the water made it feel much colder.
Since three of us are in danger of having birthdays soon, a carrot cake courtesy of Norm and Gina (and Costco) was presented for our consumption. Amy had brought cupcakes, and you can see here that the cake didn't last long. It was very rich and sweet, but nobody had a problem with that.
All in all, it was a very good day, and everyone had a chance to visit and chat for our first celebration of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season. In Bellingham, the annual Ski to Sea race will be held on Sunday, and if the weather cooperates, Smart Guy and I are hoping to get to Snohomish for a jump or two. The summer season is finally beginning!


  1. nice. hiking...and then good food among friends....what more can you ask for....well, maybe above 50 degree temps but...happy summer

  2. Wow sounds like a great time! It was 95 here today! Yuck too soon!

  3. Love these treks of yours. Low It's in the 90s here. We could use some 50s weather. And that food looks delicious!

  4. You remind me of one of my great dislikes when it comes to trails! I found horse trails most awkward. They're usually too deep and narrow. There are some great horse trails in the Rockies.
    Potlucks are always a huge success.

  5. Well, it looks like you've got another wonderful hike under your belt with a great group of hiking buddies. I always think of you on Thursdays, and think what a great adventure you must be having.

    I'm glad I wasn't sitting out in that cold though. Thinking about it makes me feel stiff and sore.

  6. It was a pretty day, but chilly except in the direct sun this afternoon.
    Memorial Day does kick off the summer fun season. It just never did for us, because as teachers we did not get out of school until late June.
    Now we need some mild weather to go with it. but not the 90's, like some of your readers!
    Hope you get that jump in.

  7. How nice to have a birthday cake to cap a great day! While you guys froze, I had the a/c on, as usual. Ha! I just love parties.

  8. The way everyone is bundled up it does look a little chilly over that way. This looks like a great place to hike, I love the moss covered trees.

    We are hoping summer is on the way, we got an inch of rain last night and looks like the holiday weekend is going to be cool and possibly rainy.

  9. I love how you call 6 miles a short hike!!
    I love the tree swallow, he's beautiful

    the flowers in the previous post are beautiful

  10. "DJan-ity" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

  11. Wow! Looks like you had a great time. The food looks wonderful. I do love how you consider 6 miles short. I get tired after 2. Sigh.

  12. You get the best pictures! :):)

  13. LOVE the tree swallow. And all your other photos. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Your version of a short hike is a bit more than I think most of us in this age group would think of doing. It's a shame that some of us have slowed to a gentle bike ride and some walking but not real hiking. Keep it up, DJan.

    The pot luck looks like a lot of fun and plenty of good food. A birthday coming up, huh?

  15. Mmmmm.... carrot cake... lead by or following a good hike, of course. :)

  16. I had to click on the picture where your fellow hiker is about to eat lunch. I reckon the hike was worth the lunch. Makes you hungry, doesn't it!
    The pictures are lovely. The one with the two tree trunks fallen comes straight out of Lord of the Rings, doesn't it!

  17. I always enjoy your adventures...and getting together with friends and good food...there is just nothing better...

    Would you please email me the picture of the woods with the fallen tree? It inspires me...

  18. All of your hikes are magical but this one had cupcakes. That's not going to happen every day!

  19. That sounds like a wonderful day! It looks like the weather was pretty, even if it was cold. Makes you feel a bit sorry for the folks on Sunday, huh? Are you planning on going and taking photos Sunday morning? I have to say I enjoyed those last year!

    That photo of the tree swallow is great. Chase and Jordan hung a bird feeder for me on Mother's Day, and Jordan and I have been very busy looking at all the birds. I've had a hell of a time getting good shots of them; it's harder than it looks! I have to admit, the whole bird watching thing is a bit addictive. We bought a bird book this week so we could try to figure out what in the world we were looking at. It went from, "Oh look, Jordan, a black and white one!" to "Oh look, Jordan, a black and white one! Lets get the book!" Oh well, we're enjoying ourselves and learning something new at the same time. I have you to thank for the new interest. It's brought me quite a bit of joy, not to mention peace, over the past couple of weeks, so thank you:)

  20. We are unseasonably cold here too..It is just not warming up very fast. Not summery at all. Thanks for the hike and the food looks great! :)

  21. It's odd for me to see you guys bundled up like that... here we've been having trouble sleeping some nights because of a heat wave! Summer is coming indeed... Which I'm both looking forward to (so I can spend hours swimming in the Mediterranean or the pool), and wishing it were still months away since my knee is healing ok, but by the time it will let me start hiking again it will be waaay too hot to do any such thing around here! :s

    Many that food looks good... miam! Sounds like you guys had another great day!


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