Oh yeah! See those fluffy things that look like clumps on that snow field (and above)? Well, if you enlarge that picture, you will see that they are bonafide MOUNTAIN GOATS! Although my Senior Trailblazers group takes binoculars every week, on this week's hike on Ptarmigan Ridge we were able to see four of them. And they are my first!! So, I'm calling this hike the one where I got my goat(s).
Twelve Seniors Trailblazers set out from the Senior Center on a beautiful day, although we were in heavy fog until somewhere around 10:00am. Once the sun came out in earnest, we saw nary a cloud anywhere, all day long. Temperature was perfect as we headed up to Artist Point to start our hike to Ptarmigan Ridge.
We had a few scary snow fields to cross, and since everyone was very careful and we helped each other, we were successful in navigating the crossings. Here you see Dan heading back across the snow to help Amy, since it was very steep and you just didn't want to fall. That said, though, our views on Ptarmigan Ridge were nothing short of spectacular.
As we were getting ready to stop for lunch, you can see the glorious Shuksan Mountain lighting up the landscape. We also had marvelous views of Mt. Baker almost the whole hike. Last year when we headed up this trail, it was cold, blowing so hard the rain was hitting us sideways, and there was no view. This hike today was the exact opposite: sunny, warm, light breeze, and absolutely breathtaking views.
The fall colors were enough to take your breath away all by themselves, and I thought this picture also shows you, who were unfortunate not be out there with us today, the amount of snow still left over from last year. In another week or two, it is possible that all of this will be covered with fresh snow, and we will be so happy that we were able to be there today. The parking lot at Artist Point was so full of cars it looked like a summer weekend, not a Thursday on the last day of September!
Here's Peggy finishing the last of her water at the end of the day, with the parking lot in sight. That signage tells you that she is standing at the junction of two trailheads, and we were all a little reluctant to head back down to sea level, after having spent the day here, hiking eight or so miles in the brilliant sunshine at the end of September. It was just a wonderful day.