Today, eighteen Trailblazers set out from Heart Lake in Skagit County (south of Bellingham) to hike under eight miles but up (and down) 2,500 feet to the top of Mt. Erie and Sugarloaf Mountain. The hike is lovely, along leaf-strewn and ferny trails in the Anacortes Community Forest Land. Last year when we did the same hike, it was overcast and dreary in Bellingham, and although we hiked up above the clouds, we stayed cold all day long, even in the sun.
Not today. it was sunny and calm all day, with the temperature somewhere near 60 (15 C), even at the summit (1,263 feet). The only disconcerting part is hiking all that way and then coming to a paved road, which goes the entire way to the top. Of course we didn't care about that, we wanted the hiking experience. Here's a picture of our lunch spot, with the hikers all scattered around, commenting on how it wasn't even necessary to put on our jackets when we reached the summit, because it was so toasty warm in the sunshine.
The views at the top were new to me, because last year we didn't see much other than a few features hovering through the fog when it would lift now and then. I have never seen Glacier Peak look so beautiful before. It's not easily seen on any of our other hikes, but here it is in all its glory. This is what I missed last year!
And Linda, one of our hikers from the Ferndale contingent, pointed out this fungus to me on the way up, which I chose to capture on the way back down. (I would have had to hike back down to take it earlier.) It's really quite lovely, isn't it? (You can click any picture to enlarge.) All in all, we had a great day, I'll sleep well tonight, and I'm even feeling a little sunburned!