Thursday, April 13, 2017

A fun Chuckanut ramble

Looking out at Bellingham Bay from Gates Overlook
Twelve intrepid Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center to discuss where we might like to go today, since our scheduled hike has a washed-out bridge (two more joined us at the trailhead). We decided to take Al up on his "ramble" through the Chuckanuts, covering several of our usual hangouts all at once.
Our route today
We drove up Cleator Road from Highway 11 almost to Gates Overlook and parked our cars near the Fragrance Lake trail. We took a shortcut from the road up to Chuckanut Ridge, where we walked until we reached the Rock Trail. It's a lovely hike and the weather was cooperating; we expected a deluge at any minute, but we didn't have ONE raindrop all day long!
Stairs at the start of the Rock Trail
We headed down the stairs to enjoy the 1.2-mile-long Rock Trail that leads us to the Lost Lake Trail. One person, Kathy, had not been on this trail before, so it was fun to see her enjoy this place for the first time.
One of the massive rocks
This is a fairly new trail created in the past few years, and it's a favorite for many of us. It connects Gates Overlook with the Lost Lake trail, whereas before there was no access from the Overlook to that trail. Along the way, we saw the trillium are just beginning to bloom.
Almost open trillium
These are some of my favorite early spring flowers. We did see a few that had opened, but because of all the rain we had last night (you can see the raindrops on them still), there were none open and smiling at the sun, with a few new blooms drooping forlornly.
Carol and Melanie in the sunshine
But we began to get some sun breaks and blue skies above. This was not expected at all, but it sure brought smiles to our faces, and before too long, we even had to start taking off some clothes instead of piling on rain gear. What a concept!
Lost Lake
We got down to Lost Lake at around 11:00am, too early for lunch, so we had a quick snack. The wind was blowing pretty hard most of the day, but there were many places that were protected from the worst of it. Still, the temperature wasn't warm, by any means, once you stopped for any length of time.
Peggy, Carol, Kathy and me in front (Melanie's pic)
As you can see, we didn't take off much of our warm clothes for our short stop. Kathy thought this was our lunch spot and she had already broken out her sandwich. Her expression was comical when she discovered we weren't staying.
See the lake in the distance? That's Lost Lake
From there, we hiked up to Burnout Point, and as you can see from this picture, it was a little bit on the steep side. I was very glad when it reached the summit so we could have lunch, as well as knowing we had climbed the majority of our elevation for the day.
Hunkered down out of the wind for lunch
Here's where we finally settled in for lunch. Still no rain, but you can see that the clouds were threatening, in between the sun breaks and we were pretty sure we would be getting wet before the day was over.
Magnificent Salish Sea
However, before we headed down for the return trip, we looked out at the beautiful view to the west from the top, gazing at all the islands and a beautiful sky, with no rain clouds to be seen. It was windy, though, and nobody was warm, so we didn't stay long after we finished our lunch.
Returning on the South Lost Lake Trail
And then we headed back to the cars, even though Al gave us the choice of extending the hike by returning to the Rock Trail and adding a little distance. Nobody took him up on it, though; we had hiked almost nine miles and covered around 2,200 feet of elevation gain and loss by the time we finished. It turned out to be pretty much just right: nobody was worn out and we had a wonderful day without any rain. Perfect!
:-)

17 comments:

  1. I like the size of the photos, Jan.

    The name of this trail brings a chuckle too. Great hike.

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  2. This does look like a beautiful hike, with no rain! It was surprisingly dry here too, but then the squalls started blowing in later in the afternoon.

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  3. Lucky you - a wonderful dry hike!

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  4. You really must have a direct connection with the weather gods. You seem to have nice weather when the forecast is terrible.

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  5. Lost Lake, the Salish Sea... you guys are traveling back through time. Love it.

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  6. Another wonderful day. I would love to see a Trillium and look forward to your photos of them every year.

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  7. That hike looked amazing, such wonderful country to hike in!

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  8. How fortunate that the rain didn't fall on you. Someone is definitely looking down on you and smiling. Another lovely walk.

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  9. Looks like there was some steep terrain involved there, beautiful views, and great companionship, what could be more special !
    You really do make the most of your days DJan :)
    ~Jo

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  10. The view at Salish Sea was worth the hike. So glad your hip has let you resume your love of hiking. Also pleased someone else also takes pictures so we can see you in them.

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  11. Oh how I envy you your walks/hikes. I'm so glad your hip is better. Happy Easter weekend.

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  12. DJan, we'll be in Bellingham Apr. 20/21. Any chance you'd be available for coffee? Stew Hilts

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  13. No rain! That's one for the record books. What a view.

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  14. What a day's hike that was! Beautiful!

    Nice to not have rain I bet.

    Happy Easter D J

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  15. Yeah, 9 miles is long enough. I could not walk even for 1 mile.

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  16. The skies over Salish Sea is spectacular. Wow! You look wonderful!

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  17. Your walks take you to such beauty in nature.

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