Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rock Trail and Fragrance Lake

Waterfall
Fifteen Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center to discuss today's hike. We were scheduled to hike from the Larrabee State Park trailhead up to Burnout Point, but we decided instead to hike up to the Rock Trail, which is a side trail off the Lost Lake trail that leads up to Gates Overlook. Then we would hike back down and stop for lunch at Fragrance Lake.
Running into Marjan and Frank on the trail
On the way to Rock Trail, we ran into Marjan and Frank, who were headed in the opposite direction. They both did a lot of the trail work on Rock Trail, and they hoped we would enjoy ourselves on the new trail. By the way, we hiked to Lost Lake back in December, and I got a picture of that same waterfall in the first picture, but it was mostly frozen. You can see it in this post if you want to see what a difference a few months can make (it's the last picture). Today was supposed to be iffy, weather-wise, but it wasn't at all. Last night's rain left, and we didn't see anything but a few muddy spots as we made our way to the trailhead.
Rock Trail plus a little mud
To get to this starting point, we had to hike upwards and then lose a fair bit of elevation before beginning this trek up to Gates Overlook, where we encountered almost 200 steps up. Notice that you can see some nice blue skies between the bare trees. It wasn't exactly balmy, but compared to what we were expecting, it was definitely pleasant. And then... the sun came out!
Licorice ferns draped nicely on the rock
Peggy was the one who told me that these are licorice ferns, probably having that name because their roots have the smell, but nobody was quite sure. One of the interesting features of this hike is the wonderful rock wall that one gets to walk next to, up close and personal.
Al explaining some of the characteristics of the rock
After we made it to Gates Overlook, we hiked along Chuckanut Ridge until we got to the Fragrance Lake trailhead, where we would stop for lunch. Peggy needed to be back home early, so the Ferndale Four left us once we were almost to the lake. We hiked around to the sunny side, so we could have a nice lunch in the sun.
Rebecca eating lunch in sunshine
After I finished eating my hot chicken soup in the warm rays of the sun, I decided to try to get some pictures of the little water striders I saw on the water's surface. At this time of year, I have no idea what they might be finding to eat, but there were a lot of them. I got this picture of one, just by chance, and I had to show it to everybody because I think it's so good.
Water strider on Fragrance Lake
You can see that the water strider is somehow balanced on the surface tension of the water, and he had just created those concentric circles as he moved forward. The squiggly line above him is the reflection of a twig in the water.

And then it was time to head back to the parking lot and our cars. By the time we got there, we had covered more than ten miles and our regulation half-mile of altitude, around 2,500 feet up and down. As I sit here writing this post (with wine by my side), I am feeling very content to be reclining. My body is tired but happy, and although I did my fair share of blowing and wheezing, the worst of my cold is behind me. I hope the coming days will bring us all glowing health!
:-)

22 comments:

  1. glad you are feeling better and getting back into routine. gosh, the greenery is so pretty and that waterfall! wow! but you did ice the cake with that water strider shot. SOOOOOO excellent!

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  2. smiles...the water sliders are cool...and i bet that chicken soup was very nice....its cool seeing all the moss on the rocks...so much to take in....warmer weather will be here soon and i cant wait to get out hiking again...

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  3. Gorgeous day, walk and images. LOVE the water slider. And I am very glad that your cold is moving into history.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed your hot soup and that the germy cold has left you.

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  5. Love that waterfall. Waterfalls call my name. I can sit and look at them and listen to them and get completely carried away with time. Beautiful shot.
    So nice to read about your hike today...and then, to see that FABULOUS photo of the water bug. You should be proud. It is crisp...has great reflections...shows movement...just an all round winner, in my humble opinion. You go girl! You are quite the photographer!!!!

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  6. It looks like you have fine weather. Your spring must be on its way.

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  7. I love that rock wall too, and the ferns draping over it. And your water bug photo is wonderful, with the ripples and the reflection squiggle.

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  8. Looks like a greaet hike!

    But these water spiders...have never heard of them! Off to search for info on these critters.

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  9. I love your shots of the water strider and those sunny ferns. In fact I am loving your sunny views.

    Licorice ferns get their name from the licorice-flavored rhizomes. Native Americans chewed them for medicinal purposes.

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  10. ah that is too funny we met Marjan and Frank on our hike too and they told us that your group was just ahead of us. We decided to go our own way today instead of hiking with our group. Glad to hear you got to enjoy the sun too, wasn't it was a glorious day?!

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  11. How great to be hiking with a group who has a fern identifier & a rock characteristic explainer. :)
    I love learning about geology & botany around me - so that would be quite a perk!

    Great photo of the water strider - it's so sharp, and I just love the ripples. Makes me dream of our pond coming alive again.. for now it's frozen several feet through!

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  12. I never heard of this fern...that too would be part of 'fragrance'...only fragrance trail. LOL

    Beautiful scenery as always, and love the lunch break in the sun overlooking the wonderful area.

    Glad to know you're feeling better, and I'm sure the wine will help!!

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  13. The photo of the "water bug" is really neat. I love the licorice ferns draped over the rock and really, just a lovely day to walk, beautiful photos and eat lunch in the sun. I like the photo of Al in front of the rock, so it shows me how big those rocks are - nice post DJan. Good to hear the "cold" is now behind you - Best health to you and have a lovely day, eh :)

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  14. So glad you are feeling well enough to hike though I am pretty sure you would have gone regardless. All that fresh air had to help clear the lungs. Love the dancing slider.

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  15. Great shot of the strider and yes I went back to see the water fall frozen. You might be on the cusp of spring! Another great hike! :)

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  16. Djan,
    I am missing you and the Senior Trailblazers. I'm doing pretty well, it's been a slog through the winter months but spring is nearly here and I'm feeling upbeat and ready to move on to . . . something. Have joined Seattle Mountaineers so there are hikes in my future.
    Hugs to you all,
    Holly

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  17. Such beauty. I'm glad you are feeling better. I love the eye you have when it comes to photography.

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  18. You find beauty everywhere. Maybe because you are looking for it. Most people would just do the hike and for you it is the whole experience, for mind and body and spirit.

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  19. It never ceases to amaze me the number of wonderful trails you have in your area. We did visit some friends in Maryville Tenn. on our way home from Florida. Alan a retired ranger took us into Great Smoky N.P. and the waterfalls there were, he said, were the best ever with all the recent rain...:)

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  20. Ten miles!!!!! Do you know that just walking 8 miles on flat land (mostly) had my hips hurting for two days? I'm only now thinking I'm ready to take a walk again. I love picturing you with your glass of wine after that exertion. The soup on the mountain must have tasted fabulous!

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  21. I'm so glad to read a review of this new fragrance. I adore Amazing Grace but am not that crazy about the other philosophy scents so I'm delighted there is another one to choose from. Great review!
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  22. I'm so glad to read a review of this new fragrance. I adore Amazing Grace but am not that crazy about the other philosophy scents so I'm delighted there is another one to choose from. Great review!
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    ReplyDelete

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