Today six of us hardy Senior Trailblazers set out in a wee bit of rain. We would have had a seventh person, but he's new and didn't realize that we don't allow dogs along on these hikes. He'll be back, though. The schedule said that today was to be "Mikey's choice" on Blanchard Mountain. He hikes all the trails on this mountain often and knows them well. His choice, however, was a 12.3-mile loop, and we agreed to go, IF the weather cleared up. It was only raining a little when we got to the trailhead, and we were hopeful.
The trail wasn't in the best shape, as it rained all last night, too. It kept trying to clear and the mist would stop, but just when we would take off our rain hoods, it would start up again. The plan was to hike up to the Lilly and Lizard Lake area and possibly take a side trip to North Butte or even Samish Overlook, if it looked like there might be a view. No such luck.
By the time we reached the lake, I saw that the skunk cabbage has grown quite a bit since we were here last. The odor is the reason for the name; every once in awhile we would get a whiff of... something rather organic and a little skunky. Apparently this is what attracts its pollinators. Here's a fascinating link about skunk cabbage, also called swamp lantern. You can also see the raindrops on the lake; it was raining at that time but not too much.
About noon, however, the rain picked up in intensity. Linda has just purchased herself a new raincoat made of the same magic quality as mine (eVent) and so far is happy with it. She got a chance to give it a good workout today. We decided to have lunch under the trees at Lilly Lake, and although it was still a bit drippy, nothing like the rain on the lake itself, as you can see from this picture.
If you enlarge it, you can see why we decided to cut our lunch time short and head back to the cars the most straightforward way possible. We were all getting cold and pretty wet, even with all our wonderful rain gear. We didn't talk much as we listened to the dripping of the rain on our hoods and made our way back down the trail to the cars. However, I did get one nice picture once the rain had let up a bit. It's very beautiful here, but all that green comes at a cost: plenty of precipitation.
By the time we returned to our vehicles, we had covered more than ten miles and climbed and descended around 1800 feet of elevation. We were all discussing our plans for the rest of the day, such as a hot bath, warm clothes, a nice cup of tea, or even a hot toddy if it was late enough in the day. I knew I wanted to get this post written so I could enjoy sitting down after a good day outdoors, even if it was a bit on the moist side. It always helps to have good friends to commiserate with, as well as sharing the joy.