Today fourteen Senior Trailblazers headed south of Bellingham to hike to Squires Lake and then on up to Alger Alp, a 1,315-foot summit with a view of the town of Alger and a view of the Skagit Valley. You also get great views of Mt. Baker, I've been told. In the two other times I've hiked this, we never had any view. But the lake is lovely, and the six-mile (maybe a little more) round trip is also quite nice. Yesterday it rained and blew so hard I didn't think there would be any chance for a decent trek today, but the winds died down and although we had no view, it also only sprinkled on us now and then.
Faint in the distance you can see Samish Bay, with low clouds to show how dark it was. I had a chance to try several different settings on my new camera. The first picture was taken with a low-light setting, and the picture above with the automatic setting and using the telephoto. Not a whole lot to see, but it was fun to imagine what it will be like when there is a real view.
Taken by Diane
I just received this picture that Diane took of me taking pictures with my new camera. It also shows today's scenery, with I-5 running horizontally across the top of the scene. We could hear the traffic of the highway while we were on the summit, but the rest of the time it was very quiet and peaceful. The next picture is taken using the portrait setting on my camera, and I was more than pleased.
That setting seemed to soften the edges and give the entire picture a really nice feeling. It didn't hurt that Holly was wearing her usual red jacket, so that the red and green stood out in the low light. Very nice indeed! We saw some signs of the beaver that are active around the beaver pond. I wanted to use my macro feature, but I couldn't seem to make it work while using the low light setting at the same time. I figured it out eventually, but by then this is the best I could get.
There were plenty of signs of beaver presence like this, but we didn't see any of the actual critters. I think I should have used a different setting, as the picture is too light on the right side. But I'm in the process of learning. Look how red that bark is right underneath. Those beavers are keeping their teeth sharpened; we discussed their need to keep chewing or risk being unable to close their mouths. We stopped for lunch at the beaver pond and noticed it was raining lightly, dotting the pond with droplets. I tried to get a picture of our lunch spot, but neither picture was really good. I'll spare Peggy and not post a picture of her eating her lunch.
We headed back down to the cars in light rain. We had this kind of gravel road as well as more conventional trails to follow, making the hiking pretty easy. Our total elevation gain was around 1,300 feet up and down, so the trekking poles were helpful to save my knees on the downhill sections. Not a beautiful day, but not a terrible one, either. Any time we huddle in the cold to eat a fast lunch and hurry to get moving again, while sitting in either rain or snow, well that's not such a nice day. Today the temperature was on the warm side (in the low to mid-forties) and the light rain while we walked wasn't bothersome. All in all, a really pleasant day with good friends.