Thursday, September 5, 2013

Today was miraculous

Mt. Shuksan, with clouds above and below
Oh boy, it was really a very special day, for several reasons. To start with, I honestly hesitated about going this morning, since there were heavy rains and flash flood warnings predicted for the entire region, and the possibility of lightning strikes and seriously inclement weather for the High Country. Ten hardy Trailblazers showed up at the Senior Center anyway to give it a try. I thought the picture above that I got of Shuksan would probably be the only one I would get all day long, since I expected those dark clouds to open up and give us plenty of chances to test out our rain gear.
Heading up to Herman Saddle
The forest ranger met us at the beginning of our hike and cautioned us about the weather that was projected to hit the area starting around 11:00am. Lots of lightning and rain and wind. But we went anyway, and guess what? None of it happened. As you can see in the above picture, we had donned our rain gear because we thought the first fat raindrops that hit us around 11:00am were just the beginning. But that was the only rain we had all day long!
All ten, with Shuksan behind us at Herman Saddle
By the time we got to the saddle, which is a pretty steep upward climb, we grabbed a quick snack before heading down into the Chain Lakes area. This is a loop hike; we hike up to the saddle and then downwards before beginning our trek back up to Artist Point. Before long, we were a bit surprised to see that the skies were beginning to lighten a bit.
Mt. Baker in full view as we descended
Hmmm. This is NOT what we were expecting, but we were very happy to have this wonderful weather. It was perfect hiking conditions, with a nice cool breeze now and then, and an incredible abundance of ripe blueberries along the trail. We stopped at Iceberg Lake for our lunch spot. Nobody had to rush to put on warm clothes, since the temperature was just about perfect, and did I mention it was not raining?
Iceberg Lake was calm and clear
We started back up the trail, ascending gently until we got to the top, with the skies having cleared enough to give us beautiful views of Mt. Shuksan once it came into view again. We were finally beginning to believe that we might make it all the way around our eight-mile-long hike without having to deal with weather as well!
Rita, Steve, Amy, me (and Mt. Shuksan)
By this time we had been treated to an amazing amount of sunshine, as the clouds came and went while we finished our climb to Artist Point. Once we got there, we knew that we would need to begin a steep descent on the Wild Goose trail to get back to our cars, but before that, we were treated to a whole lot of blue skies with a gentle breeze.
Sunshine and Mt. Baker wearing her "hat"
The biggest slowdown on our trail today was the necessity to stop every now and then and sample the abundant blueberries. They just kept on tempting me, and I have absolutely no ability to ignore such amazing tasty little treats that were right there, a short reach from my fingers.
Wild blueberries
In another week or two, those green leaves will turn red, the berries will be even sweeter, and I will be unable to resist their siren call yet again. Today I managed to eat probably a cup or more of these tender treats, and next week I'll be back for more. It was a wonderful, magical day. By the time we returned to our cars and piled in for our trip home, we all agreed it was a miraculous day, since we expected to be tested in many ways, but instead we just had a fabulous time.

Now I am home, finishing my glass of wine as I post this, beginning to think about dinner and all the good food that Smart Guy has prepared for me. Miracles never cease, it seems!
:-)

32 comments:

  1. sounds like a really nice day with a blueberry bonus! :)

    but i've got to tell you, that opening photo is absolutely surreal. it looks computer generated. :)

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  2. oh i would have been tempted by the blue berries as well...smiles...glad the rains were not bad other than a few heavy drops....what a view as well of that mount off in the distance...

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  3. What a magical day. I am very, very happy for you.
    And my greedy self would consider taking a small container with me - to bring home some blueberries (for Smart Guy of course).

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  4. Around here they say if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. Glad you were lucky today!

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  5. I'm so glad you got your hike in without the forecasted weather affecting your day in the high country! Beautiful pictures!

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  6. The storm is coming in later than expected. Glad you're not going for a night hike!

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  7. You sound so happy, DJan. I am so glad you went on this hike, if only to sample those blueberries. Were your fingers blue?

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  8. You're out there hiking in all that beauty and then come home to a man who cooks? Woman, that is living! You do it very well... :)

    Your photos are gorgeous, especially when enlarged.

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  9. The day was all the more special for having exceeded your expectations. That's a ways a good thing.
    I love all of your high country photos, and the bright colors of all of your jackets as you pose with mountains and forests and sky.
    do any of your mates refer to the blue berries as huckleberries? That's what we call them here in the far west.

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  10. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I can tell by the photos that you had a good day. You weren't rushed because of the weather.

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  11. Your day was a lovely one in so many ways!
    And....I think you should make a calendar out of your photos. They are gorgeous.

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  12. What a wonderful treat to have unexpected perfect weather conditions. It seemed to me that the weather also aided such spectacular visibility as well. Yummy blueberries thrown in - what a perfect day.

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  13. Gorgeous views- I wish I was there!

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  14. When you talk about Blueberries, one of my fav foods, that sounds like I could be right there. We have many wild blueberries just growing out in the back woods, also cranberries and many edible bush berries. The bears usually get them before we do. Have you ever run into bears when you are hiking. You have never mentioned it that I remember, so therefore I ask the question. The second photo took my breath away. They were all equally wonderful, but that second photo - just love it - I think it might have something to do with all the angles in the photo, but it is lovely.

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  15. It's nice that the weather was so cooperative for you. It was a lovely hike. Blueberries are my favorite.

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  16. Like some others, I'm focusing on those blueberries. They are soooo good, esp. when you're out there picking your own.

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  17. Beautiful views! Lightning would scare me..we usually stay inside the house or car when it lightnings around here. How wonderful that the bad weather missed you:)

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  18. You're a gutsy group going out there despite the weather warning but clearly, you're all experienced enough to know at least as much as the meteorologists who tend to get it right 50% of the time. ;)

    What a glorious day you had. And I have to agree with Tex.. that first shot, with it's misty clouds and majestic evergreens before it, it just stunning.

    And who couldn't resist those blueberries.. they look luscious.

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  19. Such beautiful pictures! I like the first best! You are such an inspiration!!

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  20. Although I try to remember that every day is miraculous, those days that are forecast to be icky and turn out to beautiful those days are the MOST miraculous ones to me! Beautiful pictures, as always. They "almost" make me want to take up hiking...although the closest mountains here are about two hours away so by the time I'd get there I'd be ready for lunch.

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  21. If I ever question the sometimes grueling hikes you take, those pictures and views make me understand why. The berries are kind of neat also.

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  22. The weather guys are so often wrong! This hike looks like ti was perfect - blueberry bushes and all!

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  23. DJan, I just LOVED this post! The photos are truly spectacular. The first with the mist really is magical. How wonderful that you all chose to go and enjoy this perfect day. Wow! And that lake? Wow! It's crystal!

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  24. What a nice payoff for some legwork! A feast for the eyes, and blueberries for dessert.

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  25. That first shot of Shuksan is gorgeous!

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  26. Your day was made all the sweeter because you took the risk and were willing to put up with some bad weather, which (hooray) never came. There's a lesson in that tale, and I love it!

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  27. These pictures are beautiful... especially that first one. You could make a print of that and enlarge it for your wall. It's fantastic. I'm so happy that your hike turned out so well and that you shared your happiness (and pics) with us!

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  28. Your photos are amazing DJan, the weather looks perfect for hiking. You have made my mouth water talking about the blueberries. They are at their best fresh from the bush.

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  29. I am so late getting here, but wow! Against all odds you all had a fabulous climb...with fresh blue berries! Made me happy to hear this and see the pics. :)

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  30. I love that you took time for those blueberries. I am slowly catching up enjoying allmyour posts that I missed:)

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