Al just couldn't stand it, giving up the High Country without one more attempt. Although we met lots of snow on our hike to Goat Mountain last month, and it was supposed to be the last High Country hike of the year, he reasoned that the weather has been mild during the last week, and the snow we encountered then is probably melted from all the rain, so let's blow off our scheduled hike and head for the Church Mountain meadows. And he was so right! Eleven of us Senior Trailblazers drove three cars through the fog to start our hike at the trailhead without a flake of snow or a drop of rain and plenty of sunshine!
We knew that we would hit snow, since this hike starts at about 2,500 feet elevation and climbs relentlessly for another 2,500 feet in three miles until we reach the meadows. There was no thought of going past the meadows toward the summit of Church Mountain, since it was almost noon by the time we got to today's destination. As we ascended, we met more and more snow, and before we came out of the trees to the meadow, we had plenty of snow, and lots of it that was hanging on the trees started falling on our heads as we passed under them.
Stream crossing on our way to the meadows
The weather was mild, with only an occasional breeze. We kept ourselves warm since we were moving uphill continually, and the sun poked out through the trees every once in awhile. Then we reached the meadows and came out into the sun, with this spectacular view.
There is Mt. Baker and our friends the Sisters behind the snow-laden trees. We trudged through knee-deep snow to a nice sunny place where we could enjoy our lunch before heading back down. It was around noon when we stopped to enjoy this view and plopped ourselves down in the snow. We took awhile before we started back, and I took this picture, which could be a Christmas card for next month, don't you think?
It was simply a wonderful day, one we didn't expect to have again this season. Next time I am in the wilderness, I will be on snowshoes, there is no doubt. But today eleven Trailblazers enjoyed a very special day together. Chuckanut Ridge will still be on the schedule for another day, but I am so glad I got to spend this day in the High Country with some of my very best friends.
Sun, snow-covered trees, light layers of clouds, and eleven Seniors in the very best of spirits. We told jokes and sang together, reminisced about things we did as youngsters, and once we got back to our respective homes, I think I can say for every one of us that it was a day to remember.