Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bright and beautiful Mt. Erie and Sugarloaf

Fairy slipper or calypso orchid
Fifteen Senior Trailblazers drove for some 40 miles to the Heart Lake trailhead near Anacortes, where we hiked up to both Sugarloaf and Mt. Erie on a beautiful sunny day. The forest is filled with green plants just bursting forth everywhere, and we spied these tiny little fairy slippers. I had to try to get a decent picture, and this is the best I got while hoping not to hold everybody up for too long while I tried to focus on it. They are not very big at all but so pretty.
Little Round Top summit
Our first summit was this spot, which is simply a wide-open space with a bit of a view but not much at all, called the Little Round Top. It was nice to stop for a minute before we headed off to the Sugarloaf summit, with great views. By the time we got there, we did stop for a quick snack before heading off to the summit of Mt. Erie.
Looking out at the view from Sugarloaf
Along the way, we saw some beautiful fawn lilies, identified for us by Peggy, who really knows her plants. I love this pretty white flower, and she told me that they also come in pink, but those are very rare. These white ones were seen a few times along the trail.
Fawn lilies
Peggy says they have their name because of the speckled leaves, similar to a baby fawn's markings. If you enlarge the picture you can see them; I already looked. From the summit of Sugarloaf, I also got my first view of the San Juan islands that we'll see up close from the summit of Mt. Erie. I couldn't resist this picture with my telephoto.
Looking out to the San Juan islands
And after some more hiking, right at noon we arrived at the summit of Mt. Erie, where we would stop and have a leisurely lunch in pretty darn perfect weather: no wind, warm sunshine, and magnificent views. Glacier Peak is one of those you cannot see from many places, but today we saw it in the distance from the top.
Glacier is the white one on the left
After taking some really nice pictures and settling down for a nice lunch, I promptly dropped my own lunch in the dirt, spilling the rice dish I looked forward to eating where only the wildlife would appreciate it. Fortunately, I was able to scrounge enough from my fellow hikers that I actually ended up eating more than usual.
Our lunch view
This was one of those times when we took our time at lunch, because it was such a spectacular view and nobody was in a hurry to head back down to the cars. There is actually a road to this place, with lots of viewpoints for people to enjoy, so there were other people there with us who drove their cars to the top. I noticed that some of my group had decided to make themselves very comfortable.
Jacqueline giving her toes a sun bath
Jacqueline reminded me of a time last summer when the two of us took off our shoes and basked in the sunshine. Today I didn't, because I was afraid I might not want to put my boots back on and head down the trail. Jacqueline also gave me a Kind Bar, and I was immediately smitten with these snacks. The link tells you all about them.
Thank you, Diane, for the great picture
I also asked Diane if she would take a couple of pictures of me in this marvelous spot before we headed back down, so I can remember the great day we had in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands today. We hiked somewhere right around eight miles and went up and down 2,400 feet of elevation gain and loss (which seemed endless while we were hiking it, but not so bad now). I am so glad to have this group to exercise with, and I hope I can continue for many years to come. But for now, I'm just grateful for this fabulous day in the sun with great friends.


  1. Gorgeous photos! What a fantastic place to eat lunch!

  2. Wonderful hike. I'm still looking for that orchid. They are impossibly rare here in Minnesota.....

  3. it looks like a perfect day in a most beautiful spot. even if you did spill your lunch and had to mooch off the others. ;)

    great shot of you. i also like that shot framed by the trees. :)

  4. What a magical day. Sunshine, orchids, friends. And a generously shared lunch.
    The kind bar sounds an amazing initiative too.

  5. Some days are diamonds! This was one of those days when you had perfect weather and a terrific view.

  6. You are an inspiration, DJan. Thank you for sharing you pictures and your adventure!

  7. I love the fairy slippers! We have them in the Gorge here. Marvelous views and a first-rate place for a lunch break. Wish I could've gone hiking today....

  8. I think the fairy slippers is what we called lady slipper, but in looking them up. I see that they are very different species. It has been a long time since I saw one in the wild. So cool.

  9. Wow, that location is just stunning!

  10. That orchid is beautiful. What a fabulous walk and such stunning views.

  11. Oh my! As soon as I saw that first picture it brought back such great memories of being out exploring. The Calypso orchid is extremely rare here, so nice to see. I did see it a long time ago in a couple of secret places. Some great photos today!

  12. How nice to see you all with out rain gear, hats or coats. What a beautiful day with clear and beautiful views. Cool that the others pitched in parts of their lunch for you.

  13. I hope you can continue for years to come as well. What an incredible way to stay in shape and enjoy the beautiful territory where you reside. And, you look marvelous in that photo!

  14. DJan, I really liked the photo looking out at the San Juan mountains. So mysterious.

  15. How nice of your friends to feed you lunch. Lol.
    I loved these photos. What a splendid view!

  16. I caught the part about stopping for a snack! Good to hear your fellow hikers shared their lunch with you! That is a lovely photo of you...made me a bit queasy in the knees as I don't like heights...but the scenery is beautiful:)

  17. The fairy slipper is so beautiful and delicate. Then, there is the photo of you. Wow. It is great. That one deserves a frame.

  18. Fantastic views and a great place to have lunch! Nice photo of you at the end.

  19. Oh gracious! The views are spectacular. I love all the wildflowers you get to see. The light on that fairy slipper is beautiful.


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