Thursday, July 16, 2015

Skyline Divide on a cloudy day

Mt. Baker is behind those clouds
Sixteen Senior Trailblazers met to make our annual trek up to Skyline Divide. When we started out, we were in total clouds and fog, but we expected that as the day wore on we would see more blue sky and fewer clouds. This picture is the best it got all day. We never saw Mt. Baker in full view, but it didn't matter. It was a wonderful day in many ways.
Plenty of flowers still left up there
Five of our strongest hikers decided to split off from the rest and hike up fast, and the plan was that we would meet again later. The rest of us, eleven in all, took a slower and more leisurely trip to our usual lunch spot. Because of the constant heat in previous weeks, all of the lupines have already gone to seed, but bistort, valerian, and lots of arnica are still in full bloom. And we were actually cold for some parts of the day, needing jackets and gloves, after weeks of over-the-top heat.
Layers of colors, taken by Carol
The clouds came and went, until we finally found a nice place for lunch. We thought the other five were ahead of us, so we sat down and looked for some signs of them, but in the meantime we were actually quite comfortable and enjoyed the view.
Carol getting ready for lunch
I just happened to see Carol with the clouds suddenly behind her, and I knew this was a shot I had to share. I loved the way we were right at the edge of clouds for part of the time, and then in full sunshine. I almost cropped this picture, but, frankly, I like it just the way I saw it.
Trailblazers settle down for a leisurely lunch
It was almost like having your own private show, watching the mountains come and go, feeling the hot sun for a minute and then a cool breeze and clouds taking over. I loved it. And I had no problem keeping up today, with the coolness and... NO BUGS. We were so sure we would have to deal with them, but I didn't see even one. It was glorious.
I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the clouds today. Even though at times they obscured our view, it didn't matter, because they were so magnificent. At lunch, Diane offered to take a couple of pictures of me, and this one made me smile.
DJan posing for a picture
Although much of the ground was very dry, as you can see in the above picture, it was the first hike in weeks that felt familiar: the temperature, the clouds, and the views were all pretty darn perfect. And then, reluctantly, we decided it was time to head back down to the cars. Since we had not yet seen our missing five, we asked people who were coming up if they had seen them, and they had. So we knew they were ahead of us as we hiked downwards.
Bob stopping to study a flower
Although there were plenty of flowers, they are more like what we might see at the end of August, rather than the middle of July. That's because of the extreme heat we've been experiencing. I don't know what the summer has in store, but I have to say that today was one of those days that makes me so glad I have the privilege to hike in our wilderness. My friends today completed the circle, and it would have been simply perfect if our leader, Al, could have joined us. Soon, we all hope.


  1. absolutely stunning. The scenery, too. ;)

  2. i loved the shot of the clouds coming down to almost touch your group. lovely!

  3. Hiking brings much variety...people, weather, vegetation. this makes hiking interesting. There are never two hikes that are the same.

  4. Gorgeous pictures, as always. The photo of you: this could be something from Sense8! We just watched episode 10. I think this may be the most evolved programming I've seen in television.

  5. I love watching clouds too. Clouds make the sky so much more interesting. And they let you cool off!

  6. After so many unseasonably hot days, I'll bet the cool cloudy weather felt divine!

  7. Oh my.
    That looks simply glorious - and your beautiful smile says it all.
    Thank you. And best wishes to Al for a speedy return.

  8. Gee, I hope nothing is terribly wrong with Al.
    I can sympathize with you about the heat. We have had a very hot summer. Glad it cooled off for you today.

  9. I'm glad you did not crop that photo either - you can just feel the clouds around Carol and the photos today are stunning, breathtaking and truly colourful. Thanks you for sharing this wonderful day with your friends.

  10., that is one thing most of could NOT proclaim....having lunch among the clouds!!!!

  11. What a special day you had. Surrounded by soft clouds with glimpses of blue skies and mountains. No bugs sounds wonderful.

  12. Hope the fearless leader Al returns to the fold soon:) What great cloudy photos! I enjoyed them all and I am glad you had a cooler day for the hike:)

  13. Love the clouds. And you look pretty happy!

  14. Oh those clouds are so pretty- what a wonderful time you must have had. I'm glad it was not so hot, and no bugs!

  15. I love the clouds too and I especially love seeing the photo of you. You look very exhilarated. The flowers are all early this year aren't they?


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