It wasn't looking like today would be a very good day for our Senior Trailblazer's hike, since it had been raining, sometimes very hard, for the past two days. Nevertheless, eight of us met at the Senior Center for our first trip back in the Chuckanuts, the area close to home. This makes our drive much shorter, which is an advantage. We drove to the trailhead off of Highway 11, which starts steeply upward. It had stopped raining by the time we began, and lo and behold, our day was almost without additional precipitation.
Our first view of Samish Bay shows that the clouds were beginning to break, and we were optimistic that we might actually have some good views from the Dome. That's Lummi Island out there wearing a "hat" of clouds. But it had rained for so long before we set out today that the humidity and light precipitation brought misty views. By the time we reached Oyster Dome itself, I grabbed a quick shot before it completely closed in.
Just so you can see what we missed seeing today, in mid-April of this year we went up on a sunny day for this same hike, and the views are available here. We didn't have any such luck today. Since it was not yet noon, we decided to trek to Lily Lake for lunch before stopping. There was a light breeze, and all the humidity in the air made us feel cold after just a few minutes.
Our lunch spot: you can see we are now bundled up, with the breeze and having hunkered down to have a quick lunch. I was reminded of all the times we don everything we bring along with us to keep ourselves warm when we stop to eat. It's our winter lunchtime dance. We didn't stay long before we got up to continue our hike. We passed through lots of places where big-leaf maples were dropping their leaves and making a carpet of them.
Many of my pictures today are not sharp, because the light was so low and I didn't want to use the flash. I know that the flash makes these pictures much less interesting, but I can't hold the camera still enough to take good pictures. This was the best shot I got of those big leaves as we walked.
Toward the end of this trek, we come to an overlook of Samish Flats. This new parking lot is not easy to find, but you can drive to it if you can figure out how to get here. You can also see that the clouds didn't leave us after all, and we are still wearing our hats and coats to keep warm. But this is not to say we were not all very happy to have been out in the Chuckanuts today, for several reasons: (1) it didn't rain; (2) the company was great; (3) we walked somewhere around nine miles and had a fantastic workout; and (4) nobody got hurt or lost anything of value!
When we got back to the cars, Al realized that when he had put on his hiking boots in the morning, he left his tennis shoes by his car, neglecting to put them inside. And there they still were, waiting for him when we returned! A good omen, and we were all smiles when we drove off. Another great day!