Thursday, May 26, 2016

Olsen Creek/Stewart Mountain hike

Peggy, Melanie and Al on the trail
Eleven Senior Trailblazers went on a hike today, meeting at the Y Road parking lot. I hesitate to call this hike, labeled "Olsen Creek'" as that since we never crossed Olsen Creek today, but headed up the trails that lead up to several different views from high up on Stewart Mountain. We hiked this trail on my 69th birthday, and I got some great pictures. Over the years, we've done this Stewart Mountain area in sunshine, rain, and clouds; today we never saw the sun but we never got wet, either.
Carol and me, with Lake Whatcom behind
I have an earlier picture of Carol and me taken in this exact same spot, so I asked for it again. You can see the low clouds behind us,  but also that we are not wearing any rain gear. You know we had our gear close by.
New Guy Larry and Ward on the trail
We had a new hiker with us today, Larry. I think he'll be back, and it was sure nice to see someone other than Al who had a GPS and could show us the area on his phone. He knows Stewart Mountain well but this was a new way up to the top for him.
A nice part of the trail
After we left the area where we could see Lake Whatcom, we entered into a dense forest of salmonberries and stinging nettles, sometimes over my head. Once that ended, we had to navigate an area with plenty of downed trees, and this area seen above, which was so nice to reach. And then some ascent through a lovely forest, until we got to our final destination.
Peggy, Carol, Chris, Melanie, Rich, Sue, Linda, Ward
From this vantage point, we realized that we had no view at all, as the trees have obscured the view of Lake Whatcom and beyond. We were tired by the time we got here, having ascended more than 2,500 feet of elevation (around 800 meters) and were hungry, so we sat down for our lunch repast. Al, New Guy Larry, and myself are not in the picture. They were elsewhere while I took it. When we got ready to descend, we decided to skip the dense overgrown area and hike on the old logging road instead.
Ripe salmonberry
As we made our way downwards, I realized that my knee is not 100% healed, as the jarring on the road caused it to hurt a fair amount. I was careful, though, and by the time I reached the cars I was pretty sure it was not re-injured. However, I've got a few painful itchy spots on my hands from brushing against the stinging nettles on the descent. I know they will be uncomfortable for awhile but are nothing to worry about.

All in all, it was a very good day, and we covered around eight miles with plenty of elevation, not to mention a difficult trail with downed branches and trees. I managed to bonk my head at least twice as I looked down at my footing and missed some well-placed branches. Now that I am home, drinking my wine, things look so much better! A good day indeed.
:-)

17 comments:

  1. glad the knee held. nettles are dreadful things! hope larry will return to join you again and again. like the group shot on the slope.

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  2. Good hike! Glad your knee is okay:)

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  3. Such an interesting name for a lake, Whatcom. I wonder about its origin and will check later. The first thing I thought was there should be a period betweem what and com. Twenty-first century thinking on the brain.

    It was a real adventure yesterday! I believe you are an explorer at heart! Centuries ago you would have been on those ships ready to sail off the edge of the world.

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  4. Another great hike! I don't mind hiking in cloudy weather - better than it being too hot. Heck, I don't even mind a little bit of rain. :)

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  5. Glad your knee held out for the duration. I know you are careful with it, but I worry, nonetheless. ;) Nice to see a new hiker--and with GPS, too. :)

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  6. Too bad your knee is not 100% healed. Do take care of it and don't over-do anything. Everything in moderation is my motto.

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  7. It looks a wonderful day. Ouch on the nettles. As a young thing I fell in a generous patch of them, and more than forty years later the memories are strong.

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  8. I'm imoressed that you are doing hikes like this already! Keep being careful!

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  9. Sorry you are not 100% but you are back out there. Just be careful and don't push too hard.
    That trail really looked over grown. Ouch on the nettles. I remember thinking what a pretty plant and grabbed a handful to feed my goat who wanted no part of them. I found out in a hurry why.

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  10. It's good to read your knee held up through the hike.,. just don't over tax yourself. Love how you compared the trail from the one on your birthday.

    D J...I do so enjoy your documented hikes....I have a question tho...do the other seniors read your blog and know you have 'taken steps' to record the hikes on various days/times? If not, THEY SHOULD visit...all the time!!!

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  11. some of the undergrowth can be very nasty at times. You wish a few more people would use the trail so that some of the weeds would be knocked down. I like the way you compare previous hikes.

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  12. Do please take care of that knee, DJan. I'm glad you didn't re injure it. The salmon berry looks like a raspberry, but pinker. Have you tried eating it?

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  13. Funny how the struggles you experience while hiking all smooth out in the remembering. The effort is obviously worth it.

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  14. Another wonderful hike. It is always rain that I dislike the most when hiking so pleased it didn't descend on you. Although I am able to walk on flat ground I am still unable to go hiking. I damaged the tibial tendon last Summer and have been advised to give up many of my physical activities until it is better. It is taking so long that I am frustrated but the pain is too intense to make hiking pleasurable. Am hoping the new orthotic will speed things up a little.. In the meantime I have to be content looking and drooling over your photos.

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  15. Downed trees are so hard to navigate, especially if there are a lot of them. I find that when I do something difficult, thinking about it afterwards is sometimes the best part (especially if there is also wine)! You and the group really cover some mileage in your hikes. Hope the knee feels OK by now.

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  16. Those downed trees are so hazerdous, even for wood critters, especially deer. I've seen a deer break its leg over a downed tree. Wasn't hunting season, but the ranger put it down. Whatcom is an unusual name. I wonder how that came about. Beautiful background with water and view and those berries look mighty tasty. Good day on your knee, but take care of it DJan....do you wear a brace of sorts when you hike, so its not tested too, too much. Have a wonderful day.

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