Thursday, September 3, 2015

Keeping cool on the Keep Cool trail

The forest on the Keep Cool trail
Twelve Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center on a Thursday with plenty of rain in the forecast. Our regularly scheduled hike was to head down south and a 65-mile (one way) drive, but nobody was all that excited about driving all that distance to walk in the rain. So, instead, we decided to hike up the Keep Cool trail. We've done it many times before, and a good deal of the trail is in the trees, which would keep us out of the direct rain. We started out in patchy sunshine and quite a few clouds, but no rain.
Crossing the meadow
At about two miles, we broke out into the meadow, following the trail up to a lookout spot where we usually stop for lunch. You can see it a little bit in the clouds, but we still had no rain, even though the clouds had thickened to keep us from having a view. (For comparison, look at this post, which was our first hike with Doug, who is now a seasoned Trailblazer.) We didn't mind much, since it wasn't raining and we had been expecting some downpours.
Rich, Bob, Dave, Peggy, Carol, Doug, Susan, and Al
This is not the entire group, but we stopped for a minute and I couldn't resist this picture. You can tell a lot from it: we are NOT wearing our rain gear, it's pretty warm, and we have gained almost all of the elevation at this point. Just a bit more, maybe another 500 feet before lunch.
Snow near our lunch spot
And what did we see as we climbed a little higher? Snow, fresh snow! Obviously the rain we had at lower elevations was descending in the form of snow up here. This is above 5,000 feet, more than 2,000 feet higher than our starting point. Time to stop and have our lunch. We also put on more clothes, since it wasn't anywhere near warm.
Settling down to have some lunch
As we started to eat our lunch, a few of the others went down to the nearest tarn (mountain lake) and one of our most avid swimmers, Rich, decided to take a dip! I wasn't there to capture it in all its glory, but I heard from Doug and Susan that it was spectacular. For some reason nobody joined him.
Carol took this of me with my new hat
On Saturday, I used my old rain hat for the first time in awhile, and then I seem to have lost it. I've looked high and low and it is not to be found, so yesterday I bought myself a new Seattle Sombrero. I found one with a purple top, which I like very much, and here you can see how it looks. It got a workout, since the fat snowflakes began to fall at about this point, and we continued to have precipitation for the remainder of the hike. Mind you, it was just a little bit, nothing like what we expected to face, so nobody really minded.
Fall colors, a little misty rain on our return trip
This is an out-and-back hike, so once we finished our lunch and wanted to warm up a little, we retraced our steps. It's pretty steep in places, and many of us managed to slip and fall on the return, but no real damage was done. Once we reached the cars, we had covered somewhere between five and six miles, with a fair amount of elevation gain, but we all had a pretty wonderful day, lots of fun, exercise, and great company. Now that I'm home, I can hear the rain outside, but it was never like that in the High Country today. We lucked out, that's for sure!


  1. I feel as if I was along with you all. What a wonderful way to see, feel, and hear the beauty of nature while getting exercise and enjoying the company of others.
    Your hat is beautiful!
    Thank you for the great photos.

  2. Good to hear that you're getting a little moisture and some cooler weather out there. Nice hat!

  3. You were lucky it did not rain. But the snow? Sounds a bit too cold to have a nice lunch. Love your new hat and the color.

  4. the last photo is beautiful, and i do like you in your new hat! fresh snow! wow!!

  5. That's a great looking new chapeau! I like it. You're lucky nobody was hurt coming down when it's steep and wet. I have been in the snow many times. You just have to tough it out.

  6. I heard there was snow at about 5,000 feet. You proved it! I also heard Bellingham had .25 in of rain. I wondered if you were out in it. We had zero rain and mostly sunny skies, good for working outside.

  7. Snow already...I least it is some precipitation! I saw the Fall colors in your photos...I am not ready for Fall or Winter. 90 plus here today with 90 plus fun:(

  8. Big, big smiles. I love that you got some moisture and a hike. And your new hat is a stunner. Like its owner.

  9. It was your lucky day. I'm not a lover of walking in the rain as you can see very little. Surprised about the snow falling already, it must be very cold there.

  10. Love the fall colors in your last photo. Glad you missed the rain, and got a snowy surprise instead! Isn't it great to see some precip once again?

  11. Hi Djan!! I LOVE the new hat!! Glad you didn't have the downpour you expected, but I was surprised to see snow. :)

  12. Hard to imagine you are showing us snow and talking about taking a dip in the lake in the same post. What a diverse climate. You really have to pack for all seasons.
    Love your hat and glad you got one. If we had rainy weather here, I'd get one also.

  13. Wow, snow already?! We could use some cool weather here in South Florida. The hike looks like fun!

  14. As much as I dislike DRIVING in snowy/icy conditions, this fresh snowfall looks invigorating.

    LOVE your new hat D look MAH velous [Billy Crystal voice imitation here]

  15. I love the scenery. Altitude gain that much requires a favorite fishing hole to motivate me....:)

  16. Love your hat, DJan! Snow? Seriously?


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