Thursday, March 15, 2012

British Army Trail

When I left the house this morning, wondering if I had lost my mind, the wind was blowing 25-50mph and the rain was coming down hard. Imagine my surprise to arrive at the Senior Center to find eight other Trailblazers, determined to make the best of the day. We carpooled to the trailhead and, lo and behold, the rain stopped, and we were protected from the wind by Blanchard Mountain. Lovely!

This was my first hike on this particular trail on the north side of Blanchard Mountain. It leads to some familiar friends, Lizard and Lily Lakes, which we visit several times every winter season. But we had never gone up this way before. I asked why it is called the British Army Trail and nobody knew the story right off. Thank heavens for search engines, again! I found this information on a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article written in 2000:
A trail continues around the left side of Lizard Lake, passes a large boulder to become a section of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT). This trail leads to the newly constructed British Army Trail, built by visiting British Army soldiers and PNT volunteers.
It is no longer "newly constructed" but is in very good condition and was a pleasure to hike. That description started from the lake and returned down to the Pacific Northwest Trail. We started the hike, however, on an old logging road that looked more like a stream.
We were ready for the rain that didn't show up, but we had plenty of mud and water to navigate on our way up to Lizard Lake. Although it didn't rain, we could hear the wind howling in the distance and had occasional misty moments.
You can see the blaze on the tree; the British Army Trail was heavily marked, and we wondered if people might use it at night, accounting for the many blazes. We finished the outbound part of our hike when we reached Lizard Lake, which had some snow on it, as well as beaver activity.
After a quick snack, we turned around and headed back to the cars. We had made arrangements for a party at the Senior Center, a potluck hosted by Amy, to celebrate the birthdays of Karen and Marjan. Amy never misses a birthday, and she's traveling soon, so this worked out great. After we had covered almost nine miles and 2,000 feet up and down, we all met back at the Center to share our goodies with one another.
We dug in and visited with each other for awhile, then cleaned up and headed home. It's now almost 4:00pm and I'm tired and satisfied from another day well spent, in the company of dear friends. Somebody is watching out for us: a day that showed every indication to be a true "washout" turned out to be a successful, beautiful day!
:-)

22 comments:

  1. What a lovely story to a somewhat dreary day. Even through the rain and mist, you make it sound wonderful and adventerous. Beautiful Photos and I love the beavers at work. The first photo is just stunning, almost like a painting. Great to have a wonderful meal with friends after a nice "walk" together. Food looks great. Happy Birthday to your friends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm exhausted just thinking about your steps in the mud. you go, girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. That wind and predicted rain would have discouraged me from joining your group. But then, I always find excuses not to exercise. Lol. Glad you decided to go anyway, because if you hadn't, we wouldn't see your great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Djan that hike needed some stamina !
    I'm sure it was slippery on the sides of the trail, looks like you were walking sideways almost.
    How neat that the trail was made by the British Army soldiers and volunteers, a long way from home !
    Meal looks delicious, good food, friends, and fellowship, what could be finer :)
    ~Jo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the tropical rainforest look of the second photo. I have lots of memories of tramping through damp, ethereal forests myself - I can almost smell the fir trees and moist soil. One of my most vivid memories is of a trip along the West Coast Trail (of Vancouver Island) when I was 16. The rain brought out the slugs! I've never seen such a quantity of them before or since. I'm wondering if you encounter them on your hikes. I hope not!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think most trials have great stories. It's not only the name but some of the events that took place on them. In Banff and jasper parks most of the trails were cut during the depression by unemployed workers. Some were cut during the war. Most trails were originally game or aboriginal in origin

    ReplyDelete
  7. You did get lucky! We had over an inch of rain here today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. All I could think of was that this looked like a miserable hike. I'm glad it turned out so well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. try reading that sign 5 times fast...ha...sounds like a sloppy hike but a lot of fun...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! That looked like a muddy, slippery hike. But amazingly without all the pelting rain and wind that you had at home. You really don't ever know how things will be on a hike, that's for sure. :)

    Looks like a nice pot luck, too, for the birthdays. What a sweet, happy day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It seems to me that you always anticipate a wonderful day and that's exactly why you get them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So glad it turned out to be a decent day for you..you keep hanging in there every week no matter the weather! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Isn't attitude part of the equation?Your view on life is essentially positive. So many miles up and down is biz as usual.Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Snow and beaver activity! Oh wow. Thank you for another beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That must have been an interesting hike considering the history of the area. I read your link about the British Army volunteers who helped build it. The picture of the beaver project reminds me of some that we saw in Alaska. They are amazing little builders. I look forward to your Friday hiking review.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Simply beautiful...DJan?----I can almost smell the fresh outdoors and mountain air as I read your post. And the beaver activity reminds me of when we lived in Colorado and driving up to the higher mountains along rivers and come upon a beaver pond with all kinds of damming going on. LOVED blazing the trail with you today.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear DJan,
    Another satisfying posting about your hiking on the trails of the majestic area in which you live. I feel always as if I'm there with you.

    My foot is healing and so I've started walking again also. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day and slow at that because the foot is still a little painful. But oh, to be walking again. I've done this only three days now, but that's a start.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is so wonderful you found this group of people. They've not only enriched your life they're keeping you healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi DJan - I changed the header photo to a vintage view and like it much better than the basic black. I was never really very happy with The SaucyKodz header photo as basic black n white - now it has a certain appeal. What do you think?
    Cheers and Happy St. Patrick's Day lol Lilly

    ReplyDelete
  20. One of the great things about the weather in this part of the world is it changes quickly. We started out the day with pouring rain but then had a sunny afternoon.

    I'm glad your group got in a good hike yesterday. The trail looks like a great place to hike but I'm not sure if I would want to do it at night. It looks like those beavers have been especially busy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are truly amazing, DJan. I'm so glad the day turned out well after all. The photos are beautiful. Gigi says you were having trouble commenting on Blogspot unless you were using your Wordpress account, but that you were OK now. I'm still having trouble commenting on Wordpress blogs unless I use my back up Wordpress account. How did you fix that?

    ReplyDelete
  22. That does look like a very slippy, slidey sort of trail. I'm glad nobody came to grief.
    I bet the food tasted great afterwards!

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.