In the more than three years I have been hiking with the Senior Trailblazers, we have tried three times to reach Noisy Creek at the far end of Baker Lake. For one reason or another, we have had to settle with something other than actually getting to our destination. But today it happened. Nine Trailblazers left the Senior Center at 8:00am and drove for almost two full hours to get there, but it was definitely worth it. The hike starts at Baker Lake Trail #610 and extends all the way around the enormous lake. We just went from here, with the shadow of the suspension bridge we crossed in the lower left, to Noisy Creek and returned.
The first major creek we traversed, however, is Hidden Creek, and you can see us here trying to capture its grandeur. When you get close to the bridge, you can feel all the moisture in the air and the temperature drops by several degrees. Even though this was NOT Noisy Creek, the sound was pretty incredible.
Three times we had to navigate some stream crossings, hopping from one rock to the next in order to keep from getting our boots submerged in the stream. As you can see, even though we had no bridge to assist us, the streams at this time of year were flowing very fast. The water was cold and clear and we managed pretty well, actually.
We stopped for lunch before we finally crossed Noisy Creek, but it was close by. Steve (in the red at the right) told us the story of how the Noisy Creek old growth avoided being logged many years ago. The old ancient trees have been here since before Columbus discovered America, and because of some important shenanigans by council members, the trees are intact and we were able to visit some of these wonderful old trees. There is no way a picture can give you any more than just a taste of what these trees are like, but here's my best shot.
This old tree is simply enormous and has such a presence. We all went up and said hello and wondered what it has observed over its long life span. It goes up and up and is simply huge. Noisy Creek was nearby and we listened to it and appreciated it, too.
It looks like a regular stream, but there is very little to give you an idea of its sound. It deserves the name "noisy." The weather today was perfect, a light breeze and just the right temperature. The walk through the forest was sublime. We covered more than ten miles, maybe even more than eleven by some GPS coordinates, and climbed around 1,700 feet. No wonder I'm tired. I caught this picture of an unfurling fern, known to us (thanks to Peggy) as a deer fern.
After the magnificence of the day, and the beauty that I hope lingers in my mind for a long time, I am happy to write this post and settle down for a nice relaxing evening before heading to bed. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such a day with my wonderful friends.