Every winter the Senior Trailblazers make this trip to Alger Alp. It's accessible from the Squires Lake trailhead, just a short drive south of Bellingham. Before today, we never once had clear skies in order to see the view since I started hiking with the group. Although you can't tell it from the picture, Squires Lake, where we start this hike, is frozen from the recent cold weather we've had. One of the guys pitched a rock "into" the lake and it bounced!
Before the fog lifted, I captured the sun's rays coming through to make this lovely scene. These pictures don't often turn out looking as beautiful as they look to me at the time, but this one comes close. We then headed around the beaver pond before starting our ascent to Alger Alp.
There was plenty of recent beaver activity around, as you can see here. The tree itself was nowhere in sight, probably already hauled into the pond. We never actually see the beavers, since they don't come out when people are around, I'm told, and do their chopping work at night. Since they are busy as, well, beavers, they probably spend the daylight hours working on the lodge's interior where we can't see them.
Rita looking out at the view
We did indeed have somewhat of a view today. This is the fourth time I've gone on this hike. Last year it rained, but today we lucked out. Eleven of us made it to the 1,350-foot summit. Here you can see it was still rather hazy here and there, and it wasn't exactly warm if we stopped moving for any length of time. It's not a long hike, less than three miles to the summit, so after a short break to admire the view, we headed back down.
Mike and Al are indicating various mountains and other points of interest. It's nice to have finally seen some scenery up at the top. Here we look out over a valley, with Samish Bay in the distance. The clouds never completely cleared off, and they were beginning to thicken up again as we headed back. Wonder of wonders, we did actually have a view of Mt. Baker; as we started down, the clouds lifted just long enough for me to get this picture.
Yes, there it is, our old friend Mt. Baker. The view disappeared again not long after I captured this rather washed-out picture, but this will remind me next year what I am missing if I don't see anything but clouds again. I had been told that there is a view; now I know it's real!
When we returned to the cars, Amy brought out cupcakes to celebrate Al's birthday, which is today, while we all sang the requisite birthday melody before digging in. I'm never quite sure whether we need to be reminded how fast the years are flying by, but I always enjoy the celebration. All in all, it was a good day with no rain and lots of good company.