To my surprise, eight Senior Trailblazers showed up this morning as a light rain fell. We had all followed the forecast and expected sun breaks by afternoon... but it was not to be. Here we are getting ready to begin today's hike, with Mikey's umbrella telling the tale, along with us all gussied up with our rain gear and pack covers. We drove up an old logging road that took us up to around 2,000 feet of elevation before parking the cars, to hike up four miles and get a view of Mt. Baker and The Sisters. I had hopes for the rain to stop, even if we didn't get any views.
The hike started at right around 2,000 feet and by the time we reached 3,700 feet, we ran into snow. The misty skies and light rain came and went, and every once in awhile I thought the mist itself would stop, but it didn't really let up for good all day. Instead of getting to our destination another half mile away from this spot, we decided to turn around to the place where the snow started and have a quick lunch. This would give us a chance to drive to the Elbow Lake trailhead, not far away, and check out the condition of the bridge across the Middle Fork.
Mike took this picture of me at our lunch spot. The weather was nice enough to give us a respite from the rain while we ate our lunch, but just as we got up to head back, it began again. By the time we reached the cars, we had traveled somewhere more than seven miles and 1,800 feet up and down. It was still early in the day, so off we headed to a place where I have never been.
"Dangerous Stream Crossing: Not Recommended"
We walked down to the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River to inspect the condition of the bridge. Well, there wasn't one, really. It has been washed away, and this dicey-looking log situation is the only way to get across some pretty strong rushing water.
We looked it over and decided that Elbow Lake will not be a Senior Trailblazers hike any time in the near future. Although it was worse today, since the logs were wet, I don't think I could even crawl across that "bridge" with any assurance that I would make it safely across and back. Nope. However, I did ask Al to stop the car on the way back down the mountain so I could take a picture of the only view we had all day.
The clouds began to lift and the rain had stopped by the time we were heading home. After all the years I lived in arid Colorado, I still get a little ecstatic when I see the trees in the mist like this. Although our hike was indeed soggy, we had the good fortune of being outdoors with proper rain protection, commiserating with good friends, and with the hope that next week will be better.