Thursday, December 5, 2019

All's well that ends well

The view from Burnout Point
Yes, I know I'm on a blogging break, but I couldn't bear not to post about our hike today. Sixteen (!) Senior Trailblazers started our hike from the Lost Lake trailhead. Three cars of four each, and four others who joined us at the trailhead. The weather was mild, with a 20% chance of rain, but we didn't have any at all.
Heading up the Burnout logging road
After that lovely view, we trudged up this service road, instead of taking the South Lost Lake trail. This is not a favorite hike, since much of it is on road like this (not to mention with some serious uphill), but there has been much logging activity and clear cut areas that gave us some views we hadn't had before.
The road and the view
As we ascended to the top of the viewpoint (and you can see a bit of the uphill here), I noticed that some low clouds were beginning to fill in below us.
View, trees, and clouds
I love the low clouds and the way they make the scene look rather mysterious. Once we got to this place, it was early, but we decided to have some lunch anyway. Al said we could call it our "first lunch" and then go down to Fragrance Lake for our "second lunch."
First lunch
It was so mild that some people didn't even put on all their warm clothes when we stopped. But after eating and not moving for awhile, it felt much cooler than when we first sat down. So, after a short break we started down the trail to Fragrance Lake.
Fragrance Lake reflections
It was another day where the lake was as smooth as glass. Not a breath of wind and although it was overcast, it was easy to stay comfy as we ate our "second lunch."
Our final return trail
We were all quite satisfied with our eight-and-a-half-mile hike, up and down around 2,000 feet. We took a wrong turn not long I took this picture, thinking we were returning to the parking lot, but the trail ended with no way to continue. Some smart people turned around and went back to the main trail, but others of us bushwhacked our way downwards to join the main trail.

When we got back to the cars, Melanie realized that somewhere she had lost her iPhone. We discussed what to do and wondered if we had lost it in the bushwhack area, which meant it would be impossible to retrieve. Al suggested that, since she has an iCloud account, she use my phone to log in as herself and see if we could locate it. Although when you try to find your phone you need two-person authentication, there is an emergency button to push in such cases. She did all that, and lo and behold, we discovered that her phone was not far away, and that she had indeed lost it during the bushwhack. My phone now showed a crude map of the area, with an icon for her phone. Al said that when we got close, we could tap the icon and a ping would sound. We walked back to where we had been and guess what? We found it, thanks to the loud ping and determined hikers! It was buried in the bushes and would have been invisible.

But when we got back to the parking lot, it turned out that one of our drivers could not start his car. Fortunately, Melanie had jumper cables, and we were able to eventually get the car going, drove back to the Senior Center, everybody was happy that it all turned out so well. As I said in the title, "all's well that ends well"!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful holiday
I'm feeling like giving myself a blog break, so this will be the last one for a little while, other than my usual Sunday one on Eye on the Edge. It's been awhile since I've allowed myself to do this, so it sure feels like a treat!

I hope you and all my dear friends and family will have a wonderful time until I return, and that you will remember how fortunate we all are for the blessings we share, the food we enjoy, and the happy times ahead. Be well, dear ones!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hoping for inspiration this holiday season

A favorite picture from a hike this summer
I just finished a yoga class, the last one for this semester, save a “restorative“ class. Then we have a break until January. We will have some holiday classes, and then we start up again, most of us in the class taking level one again.

Just back from my acupuncture treatment. I can still feel where he put the needles, and I know from experience that the benefits will continue to be noticeable for another few days. If I could afford to have acupuncture once a week, I would, just because of how much better I feel for days afterwards.

This Friday, Black Friday, I'll be getting a massage, my other feel-good treatment that I get as often as I can. In between time I'll be preparing our usual Thanksgiving fare: salmon, a squash casserole that I simply love (made with delicata squash), and a hefty salad. We're skipping the sweet stuff this year, unless I sneak something into the fridge without him noticing. Not likely. Pictures to come on Thursday.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Holidays are coming on fast

Lovely harp music
This morning I walked with the ladies at Lake Padden, twice around for 5.2 miles. The lovely sunshine of the past few days is gone, with rain expected this afternoon and evening. But for our walk, we had none, nice and dry and perfectly delightful.

Afterwards, some of the ladies went off for coffee, but I decided to do some grocery shopping at our local community food co-op. I walked in to the sounds of harp music, so beautiful to my ears. I went up to the mezzanine to find this volunteer giving us the first strains of holiday music. I can still hear the sounds of it, hours later. It's less than a week before our American Thanksgiving. We'll be doing our usual gifted salmon, squash, and a hefty green salad. I think I'll add cranberries to it this year, for the fun of it.
Randi Eckhoff photo
I found this magnificent picture on Facebook's "Love Bellingham" page and wanted to share it with you. It personifies the beauty of our town at the end of the day. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have moved here eleven years ago, with no idea at all how much I would love my newfound home.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

What a day!

Waterfall on the service road
Today was a very special day: Sixteen Senior Trailblazers decided to break into two groups, one which headed up the Mt Baker Highway in hopes of getting one more day in the High Country. The rest of us (nine) were thinking of going to Lost Lake, starting at the Lost Lake trailhead and heading up the service road for two miles before turning off on the Lost Lake trail. This waterfall is always different, but today it was looking especially beautiful.
Hmmm, what to do?
We got to the turnoff where we could either go up to a view, or down the trail to Lost Lake. As you can see here, Dianne is trying to figure it out. The sunny day made us unsure of what would be the best place to go.
This way would take us to a view
After some hemming and hawing, and being pulled towards the view, we decided to hike down the Lost Lake trail until we could see the lake, and then turn back around and head up this trail so we'd be able to enjoy the sunshine.
Heading back to the previous trail
That's just what we did. Here we are going back to get up to the Burnout viewpoint, realizing that we might get there a bit before lunchtime, but we could still enjoy an early lunch there.
Mt Baker from the viewpoint
Once we got there, it was a glorious view, with Mt Baker showing off, no clouds, and absolutely not a breath of wind. Although it was cold, it didn't feel like it at all, and we pulled out our lunches and enjoyed basking in the sun.
Melanie, Dianne, and me (taken by Angie)
I asked Angie to take this picture of the three of us, all in various shades of purple, in front of Mt. Baker. We lollygagged around after lunch, nobody wanting especially to leave, but we knew that just a short distance away from this view, we'd have a view of the San Juan islands, so off we went.
The San Juan islands in Samish Bay
It was another WOW moment. I've seen these views many times, but never so late in the year without a breath of wind or cold weather. We had already had lunch, but we had trouble tearing ourselves away from the view.
Just a couple more pictures
Then we finally decided to hike back down the trail and make a trip to Fragrance Lake. It was such a beautiful day that nobody wanted to hurry.
On our way to Fragrance Lake
Once we got to Fragrance Lake, we almost decided to skip taking a look at it and just head back to the parking lot, but I'm so glad we didn't. That full sunshine and no wind made for an amazing scene. It was almost like I was looking in a mirror.
Fragrance Lake reflections
It was almost surreal to look at. We only needed to descend to the trail for two more miles to get back to the parking lot, to complete a ten-mile day and 2,400 feet of elevation gain and loss. And here's a news flash: I just got some pictures from Chris, who went to the High Country with the others. They made it to the top of Yellow Aster Butte and had a wonderful day, too. Check out her picture:
Mt Baker from another view
It was a very special day in so many ways. The weather could not have been better, and the fact that it all happened this year on a Thursday, and that we took advantage of it, makes all of us smiling and happy that we are so fortunate to live here! My wine is almost gone, but what a day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ten years ago

My birthday dinner 2009
Looking for something to write about today, I found this picture, taken by our server, when we went to Anthony's Restaurant to celebrate my birthday. Back in those days, a decade ago, we went out to eat much more often than we do today. The older I get, the less I want to have meals that deviate from my usual fare. We will have a Thanksgiving meal that we've had every year since we moved here, and we do occasionally go off to our favorite Thai restaurant when we have out-of-town guests.

But that's pretty much it these days. My friend Lily has introduced me to her favorite place, and we've gone there a couple of times, but pizza and chicken wings (with beer, of course) are not something I can indulge in very often. In fact, it was just a couple of weeks ago that I had my first wing with her. It was absolutely delicious, but for someone who doesn't eat much meat, it seemed rather exotic, highly spiced and salty. But nevertheless, finger-lickin' good. I can see why people can get hooked on that sort of food.

Now the beer, I could have that every day, but I don't. Instead, I stick to red wine, but lately thinking about the fizz and delight of an IPA comes into my consciousness more often than I wish it did. Just writing about it makes me want some, so I'd better get back to my novel and distract myself.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A feast of color and a wedding

Fallen leaves
Walking back from the bus last week, I saw this lovely carpet of leaves after a brief rain shower, brightening the color, where before the rain they looked much less brilliant. A bit of wetness makes a huge difference. We are currently experiencing some rain, which is actually rather welcome after an unusual dry period in late October through early November. We are some six inches of rainfall short of average for the period.

This morning we ladies walked with the threat of rain, but other than a few drops, we were rain free. And then it started, after we quit, and has been raining ever since. How lucky is that? Some of our walkers think it's our leader who has a knack for holding back the elements.

All of my siblings are gathered today in Texas for the wedding of one of my nephews. I was invited, too, but since I've only met him a few times in my life, and because it's such a long distance to fly, I sent a gift and hope that everyone will take enough pictures that I can experience the event vicariously. Another reason I chose not to go is that the bride proclaimed a dress code for the women: semi-formal wear. I haven't had on a dress for so long I don't know if I still know how to wear one. But it's her special day, and she gets to make the rules for the event.

I am just a little sad not to be with them, but I hope they know that I am there in spirit. A grumpy old lady who doesn't travel well at all these days can send them many happy returns of the day from the comfort of her easy chair!