Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer season is officially under way

Mike, Rich, Chris, Al
Yes, I know it's raining in the picture, taken this morning on our hike to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday at the beginning of our summer season. We haven't had ANY rain in several weeks and it was just saving up for today, I'm sure! When I woke to rain and saw on the weather forecast that there was a chance it would stop by noon, I figured we would still have a good time with friends and a moderately dry potluck afterwards.
Trails behind Lake Padden
On this hike, we usually head to the trails behind Lake Padden to make about a six-mile-long trek and then have a potluck gathering around noon with all the Senior Trailblazers from both the fast and the slow group, as well as any other Trailblazers who didn't go out with us in the rain today. Al follows his trusty GPS to keep us honest. Here's a map showing all the trails around the lake area.
We started at the southeast point
Al had rented one of the picnic pavilions for us to use for the potluck afterwards, and although there were only a dozen of us out hiking in the rain, we hoped that our friends would join us afterwards. Sure enough, they did.
Standing on the "summit"
But first, back to the trail: when we got to this place on the hike, Al told us we were at the summit, having reached the highest point of today's elevation gain. I see from the map that it was at 940 feet (285 meters). Altogether we gained and lost around 1,200 feet in around six miles, so it was a good workout. And gradually the rain slowed down, and finally stopped. We even had some sunshine! Good thing, too: when we finished our hike we saw that others were already beginning to arrive at the pavilion laden with food.
Just a small portion of the incredible spread
Almost everybody from all our Trailblazer friends and family were there by the time we sat down to eat. And although the rain had stopped, the sunshine was intermittent and a cold breeze began. Brrr! It was only around 59 deg F (15C) so we were not exactly dry and toasty. But it didn't matter, we had a great time.
A great feast
The food was so good that I found it difficult to stop tasting a little of this or a little of that. We had at least half a dozen different potato salads, fruit and vegetable salads galore, hot chicken wings and pizza, not to mention desserts that I found it hard to stop eating. Doug brought a homemade rhubarb pie that was still warm from the oven! He was the last to arrive and as full as I was, I still had to make room to taste a little bit of his heavenly pie.

So now I'm home, warm and full, and happy to have had such a great beginning to our 2016 summer season!


  1. Ooh, how I love rhubarb pie, especially with warm custard poured over the top...that's how the British do it
    You are off and running for the hiking season, rain or not here she comes :)
    That's quite a feast you had there, and looks delicious.
    When we lived in Colorado Springs, a mile above sea-level I used to get out of breath very easily, does it effect you that way, when you climb to the summits ?
    Wonderful post, I would give a King's ransom to be able to hike to the mailbox .

  2. Such beautiful trails there with elevation so that you really get a workout. It is so flat here.

  3. Five potato salads? They're my favorite. so is rhubarb pie.

  4. What an wonderful outing for a wonderful person with wonderful friends. And wonderful food is a just reward.

  5. Sounds like a fun day for you, I hope your knee behaved:)

  6. A great start to the ... hey, you're starting summer a week early ... good for you!

  7. You're making me hungry just thinking about it!

  8. It's only fitting that it rains on the beginning of your "summer" season.
    But not terrible rain, and good food and friends to make it better. Good beginning.

  9. Yum! What a spread! Totally worth hiking in the rain for (but I'd hike in the rain regardless) :)

  10. I love potato salad and would have made the hike just for that feast. ha,ha My rhubarb is just pooking its head out of the ground - soon, DJan, soon.

  11. Proper gear and a sit down lunch at the end made for a good hike. That yummy spread has excited my stomach juices. I think lunch will come early today. Thanks.

  12. It's so great that you hike no matter the weather. I'm often tempted to opt out if I see it's going to rain. The feast sounds amazing.

  13. Well, you are back with the hiking group sooner than expected. Good company and good food can make up for not to hot weather conditions any day. ;)

  14. Looks to me like a PERFECT day and a perfect start to your summer hiking season.

  15. how awesome. glad the rain stopped in time for a sit-down, even if cool. :)

  16. Oh yay! Everything looks really, really yummy! I love all the moss hanging from the trees. I remember seeing them in Seattle when we were there. What an awesome hike. I'm glad you're doing well.


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