Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lily and Lizard Lakes, plus North Butte

Carol, Peggy, Sue, Doug, Udo, Chris, Diane
Twelve Senior Trailblazers made our way to the Senior Center in deep, thick fog. We expected at some point it might lift, but it wasn't obvious when that might happen. We began our hike today at the Upper Trailhead at Barrel Springs. This picture shows part of our group after we stopped for our first shedding of a layer of clothing. The clouds were beginning to part, as you can see here.
Such a pretty sky
We started out really cold, but as we ascended on our hike to Lizard Lake, the temperature grew warmer (and we were working hard, too). Today was one of those temperature inversions where the air closer to the ground was actually colder than the air a bit higher up. This hike takes us first to Lizard Lake and then, if the weather is fine, we can decide to go up to North Butte and then head to Lily Lake.
Ward and Linda pointing in the right direction
Yes, let's go to Lizard Lake first, and then we can decide what happens next. The last time we were here, it was icy and very cold, so today was a nice change from that. Although it's possible to reach these lakes from several different starting points, this one gives us a chance to have a very nice loop hike.
Partially frozen Lizard Lake
Although it was not really cold, you can see that it was recently quite a bit colder, as half of Lizard Lake still has a covering of ice. But as you can see, we weren't in that warm sunshine, so we decided to head up to North Butte, where we would be in the sun and have a view as well. But before we left, I took a picture of this recent beaver action at the lake.
Busy beavers
This tree doesn't have much longer to stand, as the beavers will soon get it to join the one behind it, which was recently felled by the same beaver family, I suspect. Does it make your teeth hurt to look at this? And then we went up to the Butte for lunch.
Samish Bay from North Butte
Once we reached the top, we saw that some fog still remained in little pockets below us, and we realized that as we enjoyed our wonderful lunch in the sunshine, it was probably cold and foggy at sea level. Where we were, everything was perfect; there was no breeze and full sun as we raised our winter faces to the sun.
Happy hikers in full sunshine, a view and no wind
We had a couple of hikers whom we haven't seen in awhile, Fred and Udo. You can see Fred's red cap in the background, but I didn't seem to capture him completely in any of my pictures. Udo has gone out with us a few times before, and it was really nice to see him again. Everyone enjoyed our stop here, but we still had Lily Lake to visit before we started our return.
Ice sculptures at Lily Lake
Once we got there, I saw this stump that I've captured in other seasons, but this time I was captivated by the designs in the ice around it. And on the left, you can see the wrinkles captured in the ice, probably from the wind blowing the water as it froze, layer by layer. Here in the Pacific Northwest, you have greenery mixed with ice, which comes and goes as the temperature changes.

We covered somewhere under nine miles and 1,800 feet of elevation gain and loss before we returned to our cars, happy to have the holidays behind us and our schedule of Thursday hikes begun again. It was a wonderful beginning to the new year!


  1. i like the sunshiny lunch scene and the 'right direction' pointers. :) glad you are back to 'normal' hiking again. :)

  2. that you found the sun and bit of warmth as you went up...and some beaver has def been busy...ha....its freezing here...was below zero when i woke up...

  3. Your pictures are very beautiful, and so glad you enjoyed the hike.

  4. Another nice hike to read about! I like those "wrinkles in the ice".

  5. Oh how I loved this. The beaver activity, the wrinkles in the ice, the smiling faces, the beauty...

  6. I love the lunch scene, as well! What a great place to be. What a great group to belong to.

  7. Ah, nice to see photos of people hiking! I'm really missing it right now. Isn't this inversion crazy? We're shivering in fog down in Portland, while Mt. Hood is sunny and enjoying springtime temps.

  8. Thank you for sharing your hikes with us, DJan. I feel healthy just from reading this blog. : -)

  9. No hiking here today - its snowin' a gale out there. Nice to see you up the mountain again after Christmas break. Bet that sun felt good up top. Beavers always amaze me, how precise each and every cut/bite/gnaw. WE found a new beaver pond out on the ridge when we were hunting this fall. They really know how to build SOLID houses. I like your stump in the water with the ice. Lovely

  10. What a great hike. They are saying to limit your time outdoors to under 1/2 hour here in SE Iowa. It is 1 with a high of 4 with high winds.

  11. I loved seeing the beaver's work! The little ice sculptures really let us know how cold it was out there! Beautiful, though. :)

  12. Amazing weather considering the time of year. Glad you experienced some sunshine.

  13. What spectacular views DJan, the hikes you take are always worth the vistas.
    I watched a Beaver documentary the other day, and didn't realize just how important the species are to the entire eco system.
    Sunshine and lunch...what could be more splendid !
    Here's to many more hiking days my friend.

  14. The views are breathtaking! I got a kick out of seeing what the beavers had done to that tree. Here in south Florida, we don't see too many beavers!

  15. I am so glad you are back to a normal routine. I know the holidays must have messed you up. Now all is good with the world again. I was just feeling the first pangs in my teeth as I read your sentence about the beavers. You are a mind reader.

  16. I wish I could go with you. Knee and foot doing better and I would love to see what you see. So beautiful where you live. Enjoyed doing it vicariously.

  17. What a great way to start the new year. Beautiful views and lovely photos. That sunlight pouring down on the group makes me smile.

  18. Great hike you should be back to normal again...I know how much you like structured activities:)


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