This is the fourth time this season we have gone up Goat Mountain. By this time of the year, we are usually relegated to the Chuckanuts (not that they are awful or anything, but once the snow flies, we stay close to home) but not this year. Although our season started out slowly, we are still able to get to the High Country. Today ten Senior Trailblazers made our way through the magical trek in the forest, with some residual morning fog still hanging around and giving us this beautiful view.
Before we had gone very far, however, the beautiful restful (although pretty darn uphill) trees were beginning to be covered with this white stuff. From this point onwards, it only got whiter and more slippery. Although we had full sunshine today, remember we are somewhere around 4,000 feet elevation in this picture, and we are headed up to around 5,500 feet. So you KNOW we are going to hit more snow.
By the time we reached the viewpoint showing Sefrit Mountain here, we could see Shuksan and Baker (our old friends) too. The blueberry bushes had a few little offerings here and there, but mostly we basked in the sunshine that warmed us as we ate our lunch. Although it was relatively warm in the sun, one of our hikers gave out before we got to this viewpoint, so we didn't dawdle but quickly went back down to join the others.
Kathy and Karen are enjoying a quick lunch before we headed back, and you can see all the fresh snow on the ground and trees behind them. It was a beautiful day, a perfect one to end the High Country season (I've said that before, haven't I?). But one thing will end today for sure: our dear friend Jonelle who first joined us on Goat Mountain on September 1 will be heading back to the desert to lead hikes there. We won't see her again until she returns in May. She's one of those "rainbirds" who head south when the weather begins to turn, but she has wiggled her way into our hearts and we'll be looking forward to her return. Blue skies and fair sailing, Jonelle!
Here she smiles along with Al, our fearless leader, with Sefrit also smiling behind them. The weather blessed us once again, and we will, as you know, be heading down to the Low Country any day now, with lots of rain in our future. But today, well, this entire week has been outstanding. Today we covered almost eight miles and 2,600 feet, to add to Tuesday's numbers, giving us more than 5,000 feet up and down, and almost sixteen miles of wilderness, adding together both treks. I'm feeling quite... accomplished!