Thursday, June 29, 2017

Noisy Creek 2017

Our beautiful trail today
What a day! We had plenty of snafus and hangups, but it still turned out to be a great day. It's a little before 7:00pm and here I am just sitting down to write my post. But I'm showered and sipping wine, so life is good. Let me explain what I and my sixteen fellow Trailblazers went through today.

We met at the Senior Center as usual, although we had a little problem when we went off to get into our cars: unbeknownst to the rest of us, Bob, who could carry five people in his car, couldn't find his keys when they went to leave. After a fruitless search, Ellen decided to drive the four of remaining hikers (we don't know what happened with Bob). We had prearranged to meet at the turnoff from Highway 20 to the Baker Lake area. We were waiting for quite awhile before I realized that I had Melanie's cellphone number, and she was one of the missing. I called her and heard about the car snafu, but soon they all showed up. We ended up getting to the trailhead and beginning our long hike at 10:30am.
Incredible maidenhair ferns
One of the things I love about this hike is the abundance of my favorite fern, the maidenhair fern. I see this around the rest of the Pacific Northwest, but nothing like the abundance I see at Baker Lake. Our hike begins at the southernmost trailhead and crosses a suspension bridge to get us to the east side of the lake. A wonderful description of the hike is here, written by Washington Trails Association. It's just under five miles to the Noisy Creek campground, and along the way we saw so many lovely sights.
Giant cedar with burls
Early in our walk, we saw this huge cedar tree, if not old growth then still magnificent. I wish I had thought to put somebody next to it so you could see how huge it is. We did stop long enough to enjoy its size and beauty. Then we continued on the trail to the Noisy Creek campground, with plenty to see and enjoy.
Waterfalls in dappled sunlight
Once we got there, we had the most incredible view of Mt. Baker and the lake, with perfect conditions, a cool breeze keeping the heat down and a cloudless sky. I don't think I've ever gotten such a perfect picture of Mt. Baker on this hike before, but here is today's view.
Mt. Baker and Baker Lake
A couple of our Trailblazers shed their clothes and jumped in the lake, but most of us just relaxed and enjoyed the view. Several who had not gone up to see "Old Doug," the biggest and most magnificent Douglas fir, hiked up the steep trail to see the tree. I've been twice before, so I stayed behind to rest for the return trip.
Return trip was a little sunnier
Going back the way we had come showed the difference between when it's early in the sunny day and when the sunshine has been beating down all day: some of us were dragging and wishing we could make it back to the cars, just putting one foot in front of the other. We covered almost ten miles and 1,100 feet of elevation gain and loss. Those who hiked up to see the big tree made an easy ten. The way I feel right now, I don't think it would have been a good idea for me to have done even one step further. I'm spent.

But now my post is written, it's a quarter past 7:00pm, my wine is gone, and I don't think anything could peel me from my easy chair for awhile. It's been a good, long, and very full day!


  1. Some days seem much longer than others when things occur to cause a problem. You did have a very good hike. The Mt Baker view is a classic.

  2. It sounds like a blissful day (despite the early snafu). I suspect that despite being spent you are very, very glad you went. And I am grateful for the beauty you shared - as always.

  3. Wow your lake and Mt Baker photo is awesome, wouldn't it be wonderful to have that view all the time!! :)

  4. Looks like a wonderful day, despite being spent. I love the ferns, too, and the huge cedar trees. The shot of Mt Baker is truly magnificent. Could almost hear the noisy creek. Hope you are recovered today. :)

  5. Gorgeous and dramatic scenery, as always. Is Mt Baker ever completely free of snow?

  6. Such spectacular scenery, Jan. Well worth the trek. I hope you had a restful evening.

  7. That is a good tired and the best. Too many of us these days have forgotten that bliss. I do believe that is the best shot of Mt. Baker I've seen on your blog. Just jaw dropping.

  8. Wonderful! Maidenhair Ferns are my favourite too. And a great view of Mt. Baker!

  9. A great walk in the woods, a beautiful lake and mountain view, grand trees, and a well earned rest. sounds like a wonerful day.

  10. Love the path ... and the tree, and the brook, and the lake and the mountain. What a beautiful hike!

  11. Well, you certainly got your exercise for the day. I enjoyed looking at your photos.


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