|Parking lot, filled with cars on a weekday|
|Crossing the first creek, the only one with a bridge|
|The second creek crossing, no bridge|
Then we reached the second creek crossing, which looks pretty innocuous in the picture; it wasn't. We had to pick our way across the rushing water, which is coming down from the Glacier and with the warm weather wasn't all that easy.
|Steve helping me across, Joy on the left after crossing|
Steve went across first, and then helped those of us who felt we needed a hand. Although it wasn't too much of a stretch, my short legs were glad to have some assistance as I leaped across the rocks. All was well as we continued on the hike to the third crossing. Before we got there, we came to the junction to the Climber's Route, which takes you steeply upward to a ridge. Most of us wanted to see whether we would be able to get across the third, and most difficult, crossing, so we could see the Glacier up close.
|One of our first great views of Mt. Baker|
The weather could not have been better, although some of us might have appreciated a cloud or two, and Mt. Baker looked close enough to touch. Just a short jaunt to the top, right? But before we could get to the glacier overlook, we had to cross that last stream. I was hoping against hope that we would be going over there to take a look around.
|Linda going up to that log to see if she could cross|
Because of the extreme warmth we've been having, the glacier is releasing tremendous amounts of rushing water across this stream. Linda is heading up to that horizontal log to see if we might be able to make it across. She tentatively evaluated the situation, but before she could start to cross, both Ward (her husband) and Steve said NO. Although it doesn't look like much, the water is very strong, and a fall would inevitably mean an injury. So we turned around and started up the Climber's Route.
|Coleman Glacier and Mt. Baker (Carol's picture)|
As we climbed up the steep trail, we did get some fabulous views of the glacier and Mt. Baker. But when we are on the other side, you really do feel like you can reach out and touch the glacier. We did this hike last September, and we were able to cross and see the magnificent views. Check them out here.
|Aphids munching on a dead lupine|
Because of the heat, all the flowers were gone except some fireweed and monkey flowers (near water sources), and I noticed that all the lupines have gone to seed and attracted plenty of aphids. If you enlarge this picture, you can see lots of fat aphids who are enjoying them. Someone said that all members of the pea family (which includes lupines) attract them. There was no doubt about that!
|That first bridge, on our return journey|
And then we made our way back down the trail, having covered somewhere under seven miles and more than six (6.2, 6.3, 6.7 were our various readings) and around 2,000 feet up and down. It's interesting that my feet have learned to notice eight miles, since that's when they get tired, and I wasn't anywhere near that today. We hopped in our cars and drove to Graham's in the town of Glacier where we enjoyed ice cream cones and more, and then headed home.
It was a wonderful day. I think this is one of my very favorite hikes, and I don't need to say it, but I will: it's much more enjoyable when we have our fearless leader with us. I hope next week he will be able to be with us again.