Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chilly sunshine at Deception Pass

Deception Pass Bridge
Today twelve Senior Trailblazers drove the thirty-some miles from Bellingham to Whidbey Island to take one of our regular winter hikes up Goose Rock. It's been really cold and clear this week, and since I seemed to have recovered from my cold enough to bundle up and join my friends, I decided to go along. Al, our leader, didn't go (because of a cold), so Ward was our hike leader. He decided we would take our regular loop route to Goose Rock, but counterclockwise instead of our usual direction.
Melanie on top of Goose Rock
After the ribbing about how difficult it would be to walk backwards, I found that it really did make the hike seem fresh and new, with views we don't usually see. It was incredibly clear and, as you see here, we could see the Olympic Mountains clearly, and even Mt. Rainier, although my picture of it didn't turn out very well because of the sun's glare.
Taking in the view at the top
We wandered around for awhile at the top and had a quick snack, but it was too early for lunch, so after basking in the brilliant sunshine, we decided to head back to the beach for our lunch break. This is not a long hike in any event, but it wasn't exactly warm and the winter sun could only keep us up there for so long; we wanted to get going again.
Me in my new pink fluffy (and warm) jacket
I had bought myself a new down jacket for the cold weather, and it's been wonderful for the wintry blasts we've been having. Melanie took this picture of me in it. It won't do for rain, but I have been very happy with its ability to keep me warm. It compresses down into its own pocket, so once I don't need it for the cold, I'll end up carrying it with me on most hikes anyway.
Mt. Baker framed by madrone trees
One view I hadn't noticed on other trips here is Mt. Baker in all its wintry glory. Walking in the other direction I guess I missed it. I'm not used to seeing the mountain from this angle, either. Pretty!
Bark on madrone trees
These trees are very special and native to the Pacific Northwest. I found this link if you wish to know more about this tree (Arbutus menziesii) and why it is disappearing. The Native Americans used the bark and berries for medicinal purposes, but the tree needs naturally occurring fires to keep the conifers in check. It's an interesting tree, and unusual to look at.
We walked along the beach, looking for someplace for lunch
We finally made it down to the beach, but it was very cold without the sunshine to warm us, so we went looking for a bit of sun, which we could see way down the beach, almost out of sight. We did finally make it to some sunlight, but the rays were low in the sky and didn't warm us as much as we hoped.
Our lunch spot
As you can see, we weren't exactly going to hang out for long, but it was well after noon and we were all hungry. Once we refueled, it was time to make our way back to the cars and head back to Bellingham. All in all, it was a lovely day, with some challenges but nothing we couldn't handle.
 A fairy house?
We did find this sweet little place that someone had constructed and admired it in both directions, since we did find it again on our return journey. Unfortunately, someone had taken the pretty rock (or whatever it is) from its depths and put the shell below it in its place. I wasn't sure whether it really was the same one, but I took pictures of both and compared them. Yes, someone decided to purloin the pretty bauble. Maybe karma will show them the error of their ways.

In any event, we traveled somewhere between five and six miles on our journey and never suffered too much from the cold, all the while enjoying the brilliant sunshine and incredible views. It was probably one of my favorite trips to Goose Rock. I think we all might agree.


  1. Looks like a lot of fun. Good for you, that you can get out and do this. Beautiful area.

  2. brrrrrr! and how sad that someone stole a stone like that. :(

  3. I've hiked some of my routes in reverse and it is interesting to see familiar scenery from a different angle. Love your new jacket! :)

  4. Glad you got out even in the cold. Having the right clothes makes all the difference in getting outside!

  5. The arbutus is a cool tree. We have nothing like that here.

  6. Oh the name? Deception pass. I know a Deception bBy. I wonder if they were named for the same reasons.

  7. Variety and the spice of life...
    Loved those views.
    Thank you.

  8. I is certainly "keep moving" kind of cold out there. Five to six miles is a good day's work, or walk, in a beautiful setting.
    Love the fairy house.

  9. Love your new jacket :-) Beautiful photos, and as always, I almost feel like I am there.

    It's amazingly wonderful how the warmth of the sunshine can help to keep us warmer on even the coldest day.

  10. Glad to hear you're back on track again with your hiking. Another wonderful walk and views.

  11. Love the idea of changing directions to shake things up. That works for most things in life. Such a pretty jacket and down is so wonderful in the cold. Like you said though you just have to keep it dry.
    Such a variety of views today from Mt. Baker to the beach.

  12. Oohh, sunshine and a bright pink coat. What a great day for a hike.

  13. Nice to have a new warm coat! It looked cold to me. Karma will get the bauble thief, I'm sure. Glad you're feeling better. :)

  14. Pretty coat! I enjoyed seeing your view of Mt Baker through the trees. I wonder if anyone ever carves from Madrone wood. Nice hike...backwards! Change is good sometimes! Good to hear you felt good enough to hike! :)

  15. Love the fairy house, the walk on the beach and really LOVE that hot pink down jacket! It's a perfect color for you complexion and hair color!!!

    Of course the views are always marvelous.
    Read your previous post also, hope that cold continues to improve and soon disappear altogether.

  16. I love the beach part as that is mostly what we walk on here. We do have hills, and paths through rough terrain, however no mountains round here. There are a few small mountains up the highway a bit. Love the Elfin house - yep, a shame someone hmmmmm took the pretty stone. Ah well, perhaps they needed it to brighten someone's day, eh. Nice jacket DJan.

  17. Interesting that going in the opposite direction provided such variety. A good reminder to change things up periodically!


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