Eleven Senior Trailblazers decided to skip Welcome Pass (on the schedule for today) because Al, Steve, and Fred went up last Sunday to check out the snow levels in the High Country. They reported to us that it would be prudent to let those hikes "marinate" for a while yet. Instead, we went up the south side of Stewart Mountain, also known as Cub Creek, which we last visited in February; it was raining and snowing that day. You can see how different it was just a few months back. The weather today was predicted to clear in the afternoon. No rain at all when we started out.
We did, however, earn our "Trailblazer" moniker today. There is a very faint trail somewhere there within the bushes, so tall that Jonelle is almost obscured. We bushwhacked our way out of these bushes only to find ourselves engulfed in fog. The higher we got, the foggier it was, meaning we wouldn't be able to see any view again today; we stopped for lunch out of the wind right on the logging road, rather than going to the south summit. There was no reason to do that, as our main focus became putting on all the clothes we brought to keep ourselves warm and settling in for a nice lunch.
Three people joined us today that I haven't seen in awhile. That's Diane in the foreground, who has returned from her winter home to spend the summer with us. Ward (Norm's friend, not Linda's husband Ward) also joined us for the first time this year. And Aspen, who was on a hike with us last fall, showed up today as well. The company made it all worthwhile. And we had to stay close together: here's why.
It was necessary to keep track of eleven people on this old logging road as we made our way down, and people disappeared into the mist in no time. We had a few sprinkles, either that or the fog got really thick for a bit, but otherwise we stayed dry. It was cold, though: I needed all the clothes I brought. Someone remembered at lunchtime that today is Flag Day, and Steve was wearing all the right colors, so I'll close with this picture.
By the time we reached the cars, we had climbed a total of 2,500 feet and covered 9.3 miles in total, which made it a good workout even if there was no view. All in all, a very good day, and now it's Wine Thirty! Guess where I'm going...