|Stand of trees in sunlight|
Melanie and I made the long drive to the Samish Overlook trailhead in order to hike up to Oyster Dome and make an excursion to Lily Lake, one of our favorites on Blanchard Mountain. I hadn't been all the way up to Oyster Dome for years, even after the trail had been renovated. It was a beautiful morning, and the road to Samish Overlook has been improved, basically (unfortunately) to give the loggers better access to the trees. For whatever reason, we will be using this trailhead more often as it's way easier to navigate now.
|Trail to Oyster Dome|
Other than being fairly steep during many switchbacks, as you can see the trail was lovely when we started up. The "up" word, though is the reason it didn't stay so nice.
|Junction either to the Dome or Lily Lake|
Yes, we ran into snow, and lots of it before it was all over. Here we are at the junction, one way to Oyster Dome, and the other to Lily Lake. Although it was pretty snowy and slippery, we decided to hike the half-mile trail from here to the Oyster Dome.
|Melanie on the Dome|
As you can see from this picture, it was a glorious day as we looked out over Samish Bay. It looked pretty much the same from our starting point, so I decided just to show you this view, rather than repeating it from where we started out.
|Another view from Oyster Dome|
We made our way from the Dome back to the junction, and this time we took the trail (named the Oyster/Lily trail) towards Lily Lake. Before long, we were in full snow, with little to no part of the trail free of the white stuff.
|Bridge as we headed to Lily Lake|
As you can see from this picture, this was the name of the game: snow everywhere. And we knew when we got to the lake, it was not going to be free of snow, obviously.
The lake is frozen over, but I wouldn't want to walk on it, as it's probably quite unstable. But it sure was pretty to look at. We spread out our inflatable seats on those benches and Melanie pulled out her newest creation: brownies, made with lots of chocolate (of course) as well as made with some Guinness beer.
They were really good (as usual with her cooking), chewy and filled with lots of flavors. She said although the recipes only fills a 9x9 pan, it called for five eggs! I can attest that they are really, really good. And then it was time to make our way down Max's Shortcut, which took us back to the beginning of our day's hike.
|Some neat trees on the Shortcut|
We didn't have to descend very much before we left the snow behind, and we had a very nice trip back to the car. I was going to post some pictures of the clearcut and the desolation left behind in the aftermath but it just makes me sad, so I decided to skip it. We covered 6.54 miles and 1,750 feet up and down before it was all said and done. A very wonderful sunny day in the company of my favorite chef (and good friend). I am so glad to have this sort of recreation available to me so close to home, and to be in good enough shape to continue to enjoy the wilderness. I hope it continues for a good long while.