Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another soggy hike

Doug, Kirk, Chris, Carol, Rich, Steve, and Mikey
Today looked like it might not be as wet as last week's hike, and sure enough, it wasn't quite that wet, but still. Nine Senior Trailblazers showed up on an overcast but still dry day in Bellingham, and after much discussion we decided to drive the sixty miles up the Mt. Baker Highway to Artist Point and attempt Ptarmigan Ridge. There have been many similar days on this trail in recent years, but last year, on the same date, we had some magnificent views, along with snow. Today was our first hike of the fall season as well.
Mike, Rich and Chris getting ready for the rain
As we drove up the road, the rain began, and didn't let up much at all as we arrived at the Artist Point parking lot and got ready for a wet hike. There's Rich in a poncho and his rain skirt, and Mikey looking on from behind with his umbrella. Chris had devised a belt to hold her poncho in place and it seemed to work very well.
Al in his poncho, Ptarmigan Ridge visible behind him
After we had gone less than a mile, the rain began to lessen, and we even had a quick glimpse of our shadow. Our views (and I know there are some spectacular ones here) were pretty, even if they were a little less inspiring than last year's. It was pleasant to be hiking along in cool weather, especially when it wasn't raining.
Clouds and fall colors
Once we reached the ridge, we decided to chance it and take off some rain gear. Not everyone did this, of course, but some of our number get very hot encased in plastic while exercising. We were also confident that it would not be a constant rain like we had last week. It turned out to be the perfect description of "occasional showers."
Mike, Chris, Rich, Kirk, Doug, Al
As you can see here, Rich removed his poncho and skirt, and Al changed from a poncho to his raincoat. Kirk stashed his poncho, and Mikey put away his umbrella (but not for long). We made our way along the trail to Ptarmigan Ridge. It was actually quite pleasant, but once in awhile the rain would remind us it wasn't completely gone.
Me in my new raincoat (Carol's picture)
I left on my raincoat, which I purchased new yesterday. Yes, I know I have that great eVent jacket from REI, but it sure didn't keep me dry last week, and I wanted something I could carry with me that would be very light and keep me drier. It worked perfectly; I was very pleased, even though it's not an expensive jacket, it did what I needed it to do today.
Return of the rain
And then the rain returned in earnest, and we decided not to stop for lunch but to turn around and make our way back to the trailhead. We thought we could have lunch at the Beer Shrine (or maybe beer and pizza instead of our packaged lunch) if we were willing to wait awhile longer. Nobody wanted to stop and eat, knowing we would get cold, so off we went back to the trailhead. We ended up hiking six miles with a moderate amount of up and down, but nothing like our usual distance.
The muted fall colors on our return
It wasn't even 2:00pm when we returned to the cars, so we drove off hoping for a late lunch at the Shrine, but it was closed. So down the road we went to Refugio's, having a nice (if very late) lunch before heading home. I was very pleased with my own updated rain gear, and we were happy to say goodbye to each other after having spent another fine day in the wilderness together. It turns out it was dry all day in Bellingham, so we actually drove sixty miles, unbeknownst to us at the time, just to play in the rain!


  1. too funny. you all are die-hard hikers. :) glad your rain jacket worked!

  2. There was an article abt. Portland, OR, is last Sunday's New York Times. I know Portland does not = Bellingham, but thought you might be interested. (You can get it online). So are those regular ski poles you use, or something special?

  3. Looks like you were well-prepared for the weather D' glad for you that you had the poles and the raincoats. So brave.

  4. Six miles is good enough given the weather. it won't be long before that trail is back under snow!
    Is this new raincoat low tech?

  5. Damp - but delightful. Thank you for taking us with you again.

  6. A hike in the rain. Woman of determination!

  7. The Pizza Parlor was closed? No beer? What a bummer!!

    But as always, the day was not a total loss, some great friends, and beautiful early Autumn scenery. [love the color of rain jacket you purchased]

  8. I am happy to hear your new jacket kept you dry. I just bought some new rain gear to wear on the bike and it works well too. Pants and jacket with hoodie. WOW, the rain really did come down if you all didn't stop for lunch and the trail looks a tad soggy, especially that side shot of the mountain with someone on the path. Nice enough photos even though the weather did not cooperate and six miles to boot. Quite splendid I'd say.

  9. I have to be very careful with rain gear. The cheap plastic stuff makes me wetter inside in just few minutes. So I ought a Gortex years ago and it works just fine.

  10. How ironic that it was dry in Bellingham and you hiked in the rain. Oh my. Lol. Thanks for the nice pictures, though, DJan. Now I can start the rest of my day in a pleasant mood.

  11. Glad this jacket worked better for you. Sounds like the later lunch was worth waiting for, too. What a great group of people you've gotten to know. :)

  12. As the old saying goes, "No Such Thing As Bad Weather, only inappropriate clothing."
    Your group have proven that many times by enjoying days that would discourage most by being properly attired. Of course good company helps.
    Loved that picture of the clouds and pines.

  13. Even on a rainy day, the scenery is dramatic. You people are one hardy bunch!

  14. It looks like Mother Nature might have been teasing your group just a little with the on again, off again rain. But your group always seems to have fun no matter what.

  15. ha. glad you had fun, even if it did rain...funny you went out of your way only to end up in it...and hey, as long as that coat does its job it is a great coat regardless of price eh? smiles.

  16. Rain or shine your landscape is always superb. I also like your rain jacket, the color is beautiful. You certainly are hardened walkers to go like this sun, rain or snow. I like to watch the rain from my window, and don’t even mention snow …

  17. Good to hear you stayed dry...I think you must like that color:)

  18. I'm so glad you got a jacket that does the job well. I love REI too. You look great in your jacket. It's a great color. Your sky diving suit color is my favorite though. :- )


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.