Thursday, July 14, 2011

Few went to Church

Church Meadow (click to enlarge to get full effect)
Well, when I woke this morning to the sound of rain (again!) drumming on the roof, I figured we would have a pretty small group for our regular Thursday hike. I knew that the people who showed up today would be ready for a hike up the Church Mountain trail without expecting that we would reach the summit. We knew we would be turned back by snow before we got very far. When you compare today's trudge to the one in the same place exactly one year earlier (here's a link to that hike, with views), you can see that we are really having a difficult time trying to find SOME area near Mt. Baker that is near normal.
Al, Dennis, DJan having lunch at Church Meadow
Here you see the small number (four, with Mike behind the camera), Al, me, and a new guy, Dennis. It was his first time with the Trailblazers. For one thing, I believe that many of us, me included, were not thrilled to be hiking in the rain again, with no view. And after last Monday's beautiful and rather long hike, some were opting to skip it. I don't think any Trailblazer who is reading this and wondering if they made a wrong decision will mind having skipped today's hike.
 We had a few stream crossings that were fun, and Mike used his umbrella in various capacities almost all day long. We got up to 4,600 feet elevation before running into snow, but we were able to continue on for another 300 feet and maybe another half mile before we stopped, had lunch in the freezing rain, and then turned around and headed back down.
This snow bridge across a stream is still in pretty good condition, and we were able to walk on top of the snow without much difficulty. But hiking in the snow when it's raining, and you know that your chances of a view are slim to none, made it unlikely that we would slog along, heads down, for much farther than three miles. That is exactly what we did.
By the time we reached the cars, we had covered close to six miles and 2,500 feet elevation gain and loss. In all, it was a very good day, and we made a new friend, even if we didn't get any views and used all our rain gear for the entire day. There were moments when the sun tried to break through, but they were few and far between. That's okay; Monday we had perfect hiking weather, and today we were few enough to be able to spend time chatting with everybody.
:-)

19 comments:

  1. used his umbrella in various capacities...see that intrigues me...smiles. in the snow and rain...in july...killing me...ha...my wife enjoyed the pics as well...she has taken to asking me about your trips each week...

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  2. I give you so much credit for venturing out even on the crummy days. That takes a lot of determination. Can't believe all that snow out there. I like your title...few went to church. lol
    Hope you are sitting with your feet up this evening with a good glass of wine. xo

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  3. I second what Karena had to say. I think your visit to Church had to have been quite miserable.

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  4. ugh! awful weather that I am unfit for. glad you made a new friend, though!

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  5. That is just so cool... literally! Wow! You are just too amazing. I really admire your stamina. You make me ashamed, now I just need to be motivated to get out there and exercise! I love your header photos, by the way.

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  6. Wow. Such courage, such perserverance. Thanks so much for sharing. And I echo the thought that I hope you are now settled with a fire and a glass of wine.

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  7. If you would like to push a little of your rain over our way we wouldn't mind at all.

    It does look like a really dreary day but then that's par for the course on your side of the Cascades. You folks be careful on that snow this time of the year.

    I too am intrigued by "used his umbrella in various capacities".

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  8. Well the views are spectacular to this non-hiking individual! Just one look at that snow bridge has me running to get my book and settle in a comfy chair! I looked at the views from last year's hike - I can't believe it's a year ago already? and it does all look like a very interesting hike. You have it all on a good day don't you: trees, sky, snow, grass, rocks - oh and the amazing umbrella. Loved that picture!

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  9. Poor Dennis-not the most auspicious of beginnings. Hopefully next week will be a bit nicer. I'm sorry y'all are having so much trouble finding hiking places...At least now that you've got the Monday group you've given yourself more options.

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  10. Hi DJ! I was looking for the Church until I read Church Mountain hahaha, I was thinking of chapel of something in the mountain. Anyway, the snow bridge looks like a real thrill when you cross over it. I hope it's not slippery, be careful next time you hike on snowy grounds. Have fun!

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  11. All that snow made me cold just looking at it. A welcome cold, though. Here in Florida, it's in the 90s, the air is like soup.

    You're a determined bunch!

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  12. Lunch in the freezing rain. How fun. Not! Crossing the snow bridge reminds me of the movie "In to the Wild" Maybe the bridge would be gone on the return trip. Gulp.

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  13. Those two pictures don't even look like the same part of the world! No wonder you guys are so frustrated hiking there this year. Here your Monday hike was just glorious, too. Just be careful on that snow! I really give you guys kudos for showing up!! :)

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  14. I read about your hike with great regret that I hadn't joined you. I live in Glacier and have just started hiking and am having trouble finding hiking buddies. My first two hikes here this month were HorseShoe Bend and Goat Mountain (2,500 elevation gain) but my hiking partner only comes to her vacation home in Mount Baker Rim now and then. I hope to hook up with Rose Lavoie and the hikers in Outdoor Adventures Plus, but I will be joining the Trailblazers. I am so eager to hike that it will be worth the drive into Bellingham! Anyone reading this is invited to send a Face Book friend request to Judith Borman Harding.

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  15. Wow. You should get some kind of award for dedication. How weird - the contrast between last year and this. I guess we can count our blessings that we're not in a drought, right?

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  16. It's an awesome sight to see snow-capped mountains in the summertime.
    We used to live at the foot of Pike's Peak Mountain in Colorado Springs, it would be a warm summer's day and yet those mountains would be covered in snow.
    I like walking in rain, so I would have showed up :)
    You are an amazingly fit lady.
    ~Jo

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  17. The startling contrast between two years on the same date is very interesting. My hubby talks a lot about climate change and weather extremes. They are still skiing in parts of the West this July. I have mixed feelings about that old expression, "May you live in interesting times." I remember when Carl Sagan used to talk about climate change happening so gradually we wouldn't notice. I wonder what he would say today.

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  18. What a difference from one year to the next:)

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