Today fourteen Senior Trailblazers headed back up to Lily Lake (we went by there last week from Chuckanut Drive), Lizard Lake, and took in the view from the North Butte of Blanchard Mountain. Although this picture is out of focus, I couldn't resist using it, showing the overcast day (part of the reason for the lack of focus) and the profusion of leaves that have fallen from the trees. We had mild weather and were expecting a warm and sunny day. That's not what happened, exactly. It was indeed much warmer than last week's hike, but we kept waiting for the sun to break through the clouds. It did happen, but not until afternoon when we were heading back.
Since we drove south toward Alger and hiked up the east side of Blanchard Mountain, we were able to visit the two lakes, with Lizard Lake our first stop. Both of these lakes look very similar to one another, but the wind had not picked up yet, and the reflection of the trees is really clear. I didn't see any lizards. After a quick stop, we then headed up to North Butte, where we would have a nice view of Samish Bay from a rock outcropping. The view is not much different from what we saw last week, but we had come at it from an entirely different angle.
Once we had climbed the rocks to reach this view, the wind had come up and it wasn't exactly warm. Although there were a few sun breaks, some of us headed down out of the wind to have our lunch. However, I took a picture of some of the group as they came up the rocks.
By the time everyone had arrived on top, nine stayed on the rock for lunch while I joined four other sensible hikers at a lower spot out of the wind. As you might notice from the gloves and warm clothing, we were not exactly basking in the rays of the sun as we had hoped. After lunch, we joined up again and headed to Lily Lake, where we saw some signs of wildlife.
Although we didn't see any beavers, we know they are somewhere nearby, probably working in the dark of night when people aren't around to bother them. This tree undoubtedly will not be standing when we see it next. I learned that beavers are required to chew down trees as their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. (I wonder if this is true, but I believe it.) After passing by the second lake, we began our descent back to the cars. This is when the sun came out and was shining through the dense forest, making for some lovely scenes, some of which were even in focus.
By the time we returned to the trailhead, we had covered almost ten miles and 2,200 feet up and down. It made for a very nice day, and since we had little distance to drive, we were back home by 2:30 in the afternoon, and I'm sitting here looking at full sunshine through the window. There is something pretty wonderful about having so many beautiful places to visit, with good friends, on a day with no rain and only a gentle breeze.