For the past few years, Norm and Gina have hosted a party for all the Senior Trailblazers, both for our group (the Half Fast contingent) and the slower more sedate hiking group, to celebrate the beginning of summer. They have a lovely summer home on Cain Lake, near Lake Padden, and today we had a short five-mile hike around Lake Padden before heading to Norm and Gina's home for the potluck. The two groups went on separate hikes; one around the lake, and the other on the horse trails around the southern part of the lake, making it a little longer and giving us over 1,000 feet to climb up and down. At each intersection you will find a map, such as this one, letting you know where you are.
The weather cooperated, since all day yesterday (Wednesday) it rained and rained. Never mind those raindrops, they were left over from yesterday. Today was cloudy but dry, but tomorrow (Friday) is predicted to have rain all day. The holiday weekend looks mixed, and we here in the Pacific Northwest are experiencing the coolest and wettest weather in the nation. This weather, though, gives us scenes like this gorgeous fern garden along our trail (click to enlarge any picture):
Once we got to Norm and Gina's, they provided us with burgers and hot dogs on the grill (neither of which I ate, but there was some great smoked salmon that I enjoyed instead). The potluck was filled with abundant salads and baked beans, and some great desserts.
Here is Norm flipping burgers, and Gina behind him in assist mode. The two of them have been married for 47 years, and I complimented Gina for raising him to be such a gentleman. Norm always helps the ladies across fallen logs and across streams; she said their boys do the same, having been raised to be gentlemen like their dad.
As we gathered on the steps and across the lawn to eat the great food, Norm asked how many of us are in our nineties, and some hands were raised (they are in the slower group, but they are still hiking!). A few are in their eighties, with most of us in our seventies or sixties. But if you take a close look at this picture (above), you can see that most are fit and accustomed to exercise (or should I say addicted). You know the old saying, "use it or lose it." We all take that adage to heart!
Norm took some Seniors out in his boat before we left (that's Norm in the back drinking coffee with his hand on the tiller). The Senior Trailblazers have added life to my years, and years to my life, no doubt. I am blessed to have this hike to look forward to each Thursday, and these friends to share it with.