Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunny Stewart Mountain

Today was just the most amazing day for our hike. The picture above (click any to enlarge) shows the rays of the sun illuminating our trail up Stewart Mountain. All of our hikes into the High Country are over for the year, eliminating long drives to the trailheads, but also the beautiful views and abundant wildflowers. Oh, well: every single season has something going for it. Today was sunny, chilly, and although we hiked almost 9 miles and up 2,500 feet in elevation, we were back to our cars before 3:00 in the afternoon. Often with the summer hikes, we start really early and end really late. Today was a wonderful day on the trails in the long rays of the autumn sun with ten of my favorite people.

We started the hike on the road to Stewart Mountain but after a short mile or so, we headed off on a trail that was covered with leaves and runoff. We had to cross a creek but knew that we would take another way back, so we managed to get across Olson Creek with only a few people getting their feet wet. We gained 2,500 feet of elevation in about five miles. As we got higher and higher, even with the sun it still seemed quite cold, and we didn't stick around for a long time after lunch. This snow only showed up the last part of the hike, at about 3,000 feet elevation. That's me, Al, Cindy (in back) and Amy, getting ready to settle down for our lunch.

On the way back, we took a shorter, steeper route that cut more than a mile off the return trip. All day long the sun came and went, but basically it was what the weatherman would call "mostly sunny." And it was wonderful to reconnect with my hiking friends and then come home to relax with a glass of my favorite wine.

We had views of Lake Whatcom, and you can see there was quite a bit of color still in the trees, although in the middle of November we are well past the best colors. Looking beyond, we had a great view of Bellingham Bay and the open ocean. The bay is part of the reason we wanted to move here, since it gives you the proximity of ocean, but it's beyond the safe harbor of the beautiful bay.

I wish I could put in an order to the Weatherman Upstairs to give us some MORE Thursdays like today. We go on the hike rain or shine, but not always to the place we initially intended to go, in case the weather is truly inclement. Last week's hike to Oyster Bay was cut a little short to keep everyone out of the intense windstorm. They had a great time, although I just don't see how they could have, without me.


  1. Looks like a good day for hiking DJ. The weather cooperated well. How I wish I could walk along the fern forest. Enjoy your hike, and I am also hoping for a nice weather not only here but in your part of the world.

    The guy's name is Al? Hee hee.


  2. You're right; beautiful. We've had nothing but buckets of rain for the last three days. I hate to even go out in that; I can't imagine what it's like to hike in it. I'm glad you had such perfect weather.
    I know it's great for you to be back into the swing of things. It's amazing how many places you all have to go hiking around there. Are they fairly close?

  3. Just thinking about gaining 2500 ft made me short of breath! You go girl!

  4. This is a really nice blog. I like it.

  5. It is beautiful scenery. It sounds so relaxing coming home to that glass of wine. Glad you had a nice hike.

  6. A beautiful day to be out, the views are gorgeous. I really like the photo of Lake Whatcom, very beautiful. I'm glad it turned out so well.

    Our day yesterday looked a lot like yours but I'm wondering if you got any of the snow and rain before it headed to the East? The Blues got a nice dusting of snow earlier with more coming in tonight. Just rain so far here in the valley.


  7. Gorgeous panoramic views...just breathtaking!
    I don't know how you do it..NINE miles????
    Wow, I am really impressed!!!

  8. What breathtaking views. I really admire you for the hikes you take. I'm exhausted just typing nine miles!
    Sunny :)

  9. I would be in a heap next to a rock after a couple of go girl.. If I ever get up to nine miles on the elliptical I will let you know! The scenery is still pretty awesome, I was surprised that you still have some fall color:)

  10. I am wondering what you have in your lunch bucket that would sustain you through such an arduous day? Please tell me in a future post? I would have to take so much food to get enough energy to do all that. For example, you say it is a long drive to get to the hike. I think of a long drive as two hours? Then I would need to stop, toilet, drink and eat something like a roll or a beefburger. Then the hike starts! After one hour I would be starving again - what do you eat next? an apple maybe or a banana? How much do you drink? How long does the hike last? What about the toilet? Do you go behind a bush? in the snow?? with other people watching?? oh my, oh my, please tell.
    Blessings, Star

  11. How incredibly beautiful !
    You must be in good physical shape to undertake all those hikes, I'm afraid I would be dragging behind everyone :)


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