Thursday, June 26, 2014

A pleasant, different kind of hike

The start of our hike on an old logging road
Since there was so much snow on our last two hikes, with our upward progress severely impeded, Al decided to take us instead of our regularly scheduled hike, up to what we call the "Middle Fork area." We drove up the Mt. Baker Highway to Mosquito Lake Road and then followed an old logging road until we got to where we could walk up to the end, have lunch and then turn around. But we were assured that there would be no snow. Thirteen of us drove in three cars to this spot and began our hike.
The Twin Sisters behind us, to the right
Carl took this picture of me (below) at our first viewpoint. It turned out very nice, I think, so I used it to show the Twin Sisters in all their glory. And you can see that the weather was very nice at the beginning of our hike, although it would change later on. You can also see the bandage from my mole removal. Although I could have taken it off today, I figured I would wait until after the day's activities so it would be well protected.
Me in front of the Twin Sisters
And what are all those people looking at in the previous picture? Well, we finally got a good view of the Black Buttes and a peek at Mt. Baker, who was busy hiding behind a cloud on the left. But it's still a picture I was happy to see in my cell phone. Most of these pictures are taken with my camera, but I always sneak one or two with my cell phone, so I can compare them. This picture turned out to be FAR superior to the one taken with my camera.
Mt. Baker and the Black Buttes
If you compare the sky in this picture with the previous one of me, you can see what I mean. I might just stop carrying my camera and focus on using just the cell phone. I would miss my camera's zoom, but that's just about all.

As we were walking up the road, we saw some flowers (I think these are penstemon) that had taken root on the sheer rock walls. I used my camera with the zoom, so I would have missed this picture with only my cell phone camera.
Flowers taking root on a sheer rock face
After a leisurely lunch, we headed back down the same road we traveled up, gaining just about 2,000 feet in three-and-a-half miles to our lunch spot. I got this picture of Jonelle and Carl just before we left to return to our cars. These two intrepid hikers met a while back on one of the hikes Jonelle led in the Palm Springs area (where she winters), and I've learned there will be nuptials at the end of August, joining their two families.
Jonelle and Carl
You might remember that Jonelle and I jumped out of an airplane together just about a year ago. You can refresh your memory here, or if you missed it, read all about it. Not long after this picture was taken, though, as we were heading back down, there were these little drops of something coming out of the sky. As true Pacific Northwesterners, we ignored it for awhile, but then we donned our rain gear, which we all had with us, of course.
Misty rain, Trailblazers donning rain gear in the foreground
It was not bad at all, and by the time we reached the cars on our return journey, it had already stopped. I learned that down here in Bellingham it didn't rain at all. Since it was fairly early, we decided to stop at Caffe Refugio just outside the town of Deming, Washington, for a coffee and/or an ice cream. What a treat it turned out to be!
Trailblazers enjoying gelato, coffee, and buns
It turned out that they have lots of gelato of every flavor, and freshly made espresso drinks, as well as huge cinnamon/bacon buns, which several people enjoyed right there or took home for later. There was only one person serving, but he did a great job. He asked how our hike went, saw to all our needs, and we left happy and quite well satisfied.

It was a different kind of day from those we usually experience on Thursdays, and I found it to be just right for today. We didn't need to deal with snow and difficult conditions, we had good company, and a really good treat to end our time together. I look forward to more of these one of these days.


  1. sounds really nice! the treat at the end especially. :)

    i'm with you on the cell camera. it takes the best skies and landscapes, but not so good on zoom. still...

    congrats to jonelle!

  2. That sounds, and looks, like a truly wonderful day. Thank you for taking us along.
    Congratulations and happiness to Jonelle.

  3. Well, since it's close to July you should be able to expect drier conditions and less snow.

  4. mmm gelato....smiles...sounds like fun times...and some cool treasures found along the way...i like those flowers in the rocks...that is cool...and a great picture of you as well...

  5. Nice mountain views! It's always fun to have a treat at the end of a hike.

  6. I love those mountain views, both of them. Doesn't your iPhone have a zoom? My old HTC does.

    We have had drizzle over this way most of the day but it will be gone soon.

  7. Glad to see you are still hiking. I've been away for way to long. Beautiful pics as always.

  8. Sounds like you had a delightful hike. And a delightful "after hike" snack with your friends.

    And, of course, what hike would be complete without a shot of Mt. Baker?

    Blessings and Bear hugs, DJan!

  9. Glad you had a "just right" kind of day, DJan. Love the flowers growing from the rock, and congrats to Jonelle and Carl!

  10. That sounds more like my kind of hike. Not too long, brutal or cold. I always admire plants that grow in impossible places.
    Cinnamon/bacon buns??? What is not to love yet fear.

  11. I love weddings!!! How wonderful to find some happiness with one who enjoys the same as the other.

    Love your cell phone AND your camera shots. It never ceases to amaze me where a flower [or weed] can grow in pure rock. Find a crack or crevice and out shoots a beautiful wildflower.

    Cinnamon Bacon rolls? That's a new on on me.

  12. Your cell phone camera does take better pictures of the sky, but your camera does have the zoom which the cell does not.
    Great day, DJan. I would have had a good time, too.

  13. I like that you treat yourselves after hiking- great idea. The pics are beautiful.

  14. Nice pictures, I especially liked the one of the flowers in the rock wall. Thanks for post about the quality of the photo between your camera & the cell phone. I'll be posting about our hike later today. We had no rain on our hike, and a little cloudy at Oyster Dome so the views weren't as great a on a clear day.

  15. That looked like a lovely hike. And your "freshly made espresso drinks" got to me. I may have to turn on my Nespresso machine this afternoon. DH and I have taken to making an iced carmelito expresso (has a little ice-cream and ice cubes in it... with a bit of whipped cream on top).

  16. What a wonderful way to end the walk. Mmmm

  17. Wow, still snow on the trails. Glad you got to hike in what looks to be very cool weather. Lovely day, all around.

  18. gelato I have never had one...I have had a sip of an Espresso ONCE..that's it. I would have had water and ice cream:)

    Your two cameras are using different could take that first shot into a photo editing program and save the sky from being washed out...and I bet if a person were in that second shot they would be dark. Just my two cents which doesn't mean much.
    Another great hike...I look forward to them every week:)

  19. Now that's the way to end a hike. I would have trouble choosing between a latte and the gelato though.

  20. My favorites are you in front of the twin peaks and the flowers on that rock wall--wow! :)


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