When we tried to climb Goat Mountain in July, or at least get to the meadows (as we did today), we didn't get very far, as you can see from this post. Lots of snow, rain and zero views greeted us five weeks ago, but today the twelve of us had abundant wildflowers, which seems to be the trend for the last few weeks.
One thing I have to say about the slow start to the summer (which is now almost over) is that the wildflowers that we saw today, September 1, are not what I would have expected to see at all on this hike. We still have spring wildflowers, like columbine, giving us awe-inspiring views such as the one above. Forest, mountains, and flowers: who could ask for more? We expected full sunshine, but the clouds kept us cool as we climbed the four miles to the high meadow. We had great views of Siefert and Shuksan, which you can see behind Linda here:
The cloudy skies also kept us from overheating as we climbed 3,000 feet to this lunch spot. It was cool once we reached this place, as the brisk wind and clouds dropped the temperature low enough that we all donned our fleece and jackets as we enjoyed our lunch. We had a brand-new member join us today, Jonelle (I hope I spelled it right), who moved to Bellingham from Seattle only a few weeks ago! She's the one here with Diane and "the boys" Mike and Fred behind her. It turns out she is an accomplished hiker, who has led many a hike before today's. We enjoyed meeting her and hope she returns!
I can't help but brag about the picture of me in front of Mt. Shuksan that Diane took today. She tells me that she should receive any royalties I might garner from the cool shot that makes me feel like a movie star! I'm putting it in here because, well, I LOVE it! It embodies my chutzpah, don't you think?
If you enlarge this picture, right about in the middle of the picture on Shuksan's flank (level with my brilliant smile), you can see Lake Price. I was amazed to see this lake, which I had never noticed (or seen) before. I heard people talking about the view of it from this vantage point, so I had to share it with you.
We headed back down to the cars, reluctantly leaving all the flowers behind but hoping for a little bit of warmth as we began to exert ourselves once again. And sure enough, not long after this picture was taken, we had the opportunity to shed our jackets as we got back into the trees and out of the wind. The hike was, as Al said, "an honest eight miles." After the tough hikes we have had the last two times, I must admit it didn't faze me. Am I getting stronger or just more accustomed to the exertion? Hard to say. In any event, it was another successful and renewing day.