Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back in the saddle with Park Butte

Stream crossing in the morning
At last! I have returned to hiking with the Senior Trailblazers after having missed two pretty wonderful hikes. All my energy went into the move, but today I feel that I have begun the next phase to returning to my normal life. This morning, twelve Senior Trailblazers hit the trail at Schreiber's Meadow to hike up to Park Butte on a brilliantly sunny day. The trail to the Park Butte Lookout is filled with many views of Mt. Baker. We only had to hike four miles to get to the lookout, so we got a few geology lessons from Al on the way.
As we climbed, we saw Mt. Baker and the two glaciers that reside on this side of the mountain, as well as the Black Buttes (to the left of snow-covered Baker). The higher we climbed, the more magnificent the view became. We were headed to the Lookout on Park Butte. Here's one of the first views we got of it:
We passed a group that spent the night up there last night. It's a first-come first-served situation, and the six of them witnessed the sunset from there last night, as well as the sunrise this morning, and they said it was simply wonderful. As we climbed we saw lots of other people already up there at the lookout, but they must have seen the twelve of us coming; by the time we got there, they had begun their descent and the lookout was empty. Here's a picture of me on that deck.
The view was amazing, with a 360-degree panorama showing the mountains all around us. Since it was lunchtime, we stopped here to replenish and get ready for the return trip. There was a light breeze; the temperature was in the low 70s, and the brilliant sunshine just wouldn't quit. It was perfect. Linda and Ward had lunch on their favorite rock, and I asked for a picture, which they were glad to allow once they stopped eating for a moment.
After our lunch, we began our descent to the cars. It was simply a beautiful, perfect day, with an 8-mile round trip hike in perfect weather, ascending and descending a mere 2,000 feet (rather than our regular hike of more than twice that elevation). The night before, Wednesday, we had attended a soiree at Jonelle's magnificent condo. She had asked the Trailblazers to come to her place for some libations and a wonderful spread of cheeses and dips (and other wonderful treats) that were to die for. The only hitch was that we were to dress up a bit. Anything but hiking clothes, she said. Most of us wore slightly dressy clothes, as seen here.
Gina, me, Noriko, Peggy, and Norm
Jonelle suggested to Norm that he might be able to dress a bit more formally next time (he's in the orange shirt), and when he showed up for the hike this morning, he was wearing those same shorts BUT with a shirt and tie! Jonelle could hardly stop laughing. The rest of the crowd dressed up more formally last night. Here you can see the most formal.
Our fearless leader Al, our hostess Jonelle, and Steve
We had such a good time last night at her party, and today we had a most wonderful hike. I am feeling incredibly blessed to be a part of this amazing group of people, who not only have a sense of humor, but arrange for us to be outside in the wilderness together. This has been a wonderful day, and now as I finish my post, I am settling in for a nice relaxing evening. Blessings to you!


  1. i'm laughing about the shirt and tie! :)

    so glad you were back to 'normal' today (and last night, too). what a great group you have!

  2. You're in a fun group just like my skaters. It's really great to have a supportive group around you .

  3. Isn't it nice to be able to have fun from time to time? The world needs more fun.

  4. Well, your life is getting back to normal. With time for both hiking and partying.
    Way to go, DJan!

  5. David has a suit that he wore to our daughter's wedding in 2004, but he doubts he can fit into it. Well, maybe, we both will fit into clothes once we lose weight on Slim-Fast. Looked like a fun party.

  6. I am so happy for you on at least three counts:
    firstly that life is getting back to normal;
    secondly that you have wonderful friends to socialise with;
    thirdly that you are able to go on such magnificant hikes;
    and fourthly (I knew I couldn't count) that you share those hikes with us.
    Thank you.

  7. You have such an active, friend-filled, wonderful life, DJan! What an amazing view from the top. I'm amazed that they were able to build that.

  8. Oh now, that was funny, to be wearing the same shorts from the night before, and 'dressed up a bit' with shirt and tie.

    And your photos, as always just dazzle my senses. So, so breathtaking. I especially like you in the one photo on the balcony overlooking the scenic panorama.

  9. oh very cool...what a fun party and its nice to get dressed up just because on occassion...and i know after the move and all its good to return to routine but also to nature as well...

  10. What a nice morning read. That lookout sure is enticing. A lovely photo of you and the background is is spectacular!

  11. You are right to feel blessed but you also take time and make the effort to be in that wonderful spot. That's a real bonus blessing as I see it.

  12. It feels good to be back in the saddle....that's something I know for sure. What a lovely place for a hike.

  13. I remember that spot from last year..I would love to see the view from there! I am glad to hear you are getting back to "normal" :)

  14. Is there no end to your energy, young woman? Moving and all the hassle that entails, then a hike up and down a mountain.

    It does seem to have been a wonderful day, the scenery is stunning and I can well imagine what a boost to the spirit a day like that is.

  15. What a perfect "after the move" hike! Not as high or long as some, gorgeous weather, panoramic view, and even a private lunch at the top! Just made me smile to read this and see the pics! And a semi-formal get together, too. That Norm is a real card!! LOLOL! ;) Life seems to be settling back to normal already. :):)

  16. What wonderful times you share with your hiking friends.
    I'm not sure if I could stand on that deck, an awesome view nevertheless.
    Glad to read your move went well, all settled in, and back to your regular routine.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely hike.

  17. Well DJan you certainly have a great way of getting back in the saddle. A party and hike. The party looks like a lot of fun, gotta love those shorts.

    Your photos of the mountains are gorgeous.

  18. Oh, you are having a good time, for sure. What a great group of friends you have, just as you are a great friend for them.

  19. ha, ha love the photos - I thought Al would be the one in shorts. he,he
    DJan, do you notice a change in the amount of snow that is or isn't supposed to be present on your hikes or does it differ any given year. I love your hikes and I love your returns to the mountain paths, for it is different every time. Thanks for a great post and glad you are all moved in and relaxing a little with a 8 mile hike :)

  20. Dear DJan, thank you for the exuberant posting, which left me smiling and feeling so contented. That one photo with you on the deck of the lookout tower was breathtaking in its vistas. You are indeed living a blessed life. Peace.

  21. Your move is over! Now we out here in blogland get to variously hike with you again.

  22. I've been away too long.
    You moved?
    I moved also - a week ago. It certainly takes a lot out of you.
    What a beautiful hike this was!

  23. Your pictures are amazing... and so is your energy. Thanks for sharing your adventure! How wonderful to have 'all that' at your back door.

  24. Great photos. I got such a kick out of the humor your fellow hikers show one another. The condo looks a bit upscale, I think you three women in the one picture are appropriately dressed, in fact, look very nice. I started thinking of how far I would have to travel to have mountains to climb out here. Ha. Your adventures continue to amaze and delight me.

  25. you look so beautiful at the lookout
    what an amazing place to be
    a wonderful reward for all that climbing

    I told Hope what you said and she said thank you
    She likes your mountain pics and refers to you as the "lady who climbs a lot"
    Hugs from both of us

  26. Looks like Norm made it both ways. Glad you had good weather.

  27. DJan,
    Years ago Malcolm attended a New Year's Eve party in a pajama shirt! He wasn't feeling well that evening and when he called to bow out of the party the hostess insisted that he come, "but wear something comfortable" and retreat to one of her guest rooms when he got tired. He took her up on her suggestion!
    Looks like you have a fun-loving group of friends. Glad you are back in the swing of things.

  28. You definitely put the blazer in senior. Although, I'm still not convinced you are a senior with all that you do.


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