Today only seven of us diehard Senior Trailblazers showed up for the hike to what was advertised as the "Middle Fork area." It was raining when we woke up. And rain was forecast for most of the day. (Actually one other Trailblazer showed up but promptly left before we decided where to go.) Nobody really wanted to go on a hike around town, because none of us were truly ready to give up on the High Country. After a fairly long discussion, we decided to head up the Mt. Baker Highway and go up to Church Mountain, for our third time this season.
We hit the trail by 9:40 am without our rain gear on, as it was only spitting very lightly when we started out. Of course every one of us was prepared to throw on plenty of rain gear, but it wasn't really needed. I began to notice a preponderance of mushrooms of every sort, pushing up through the ground with little heed for the mulch and leaves on top. This picture looked to me like just the sort of place a leprechaun would love to inhabit.
Our hike started out at 2,300 feet elevation, through yellow leaves and occasional low light shining through. I managed to keep our hike to a slow crawl as I would spy more and more mushrooms to photograph. There was such a profusion, and my friends began to discourage me from taking more pictures so we could actually make some progress up the steady grade. We climbed through 17 switchbacks on our way to the meadow.
At about 4,300 feet, we began to see evidence of the recent snowfall here in the High Country. It was very wet snow and would have been perfect for a snowball fight, but we kept climbing. The trail is very good, with nobody ready to turn back. It wasn't even lunchtime yet! But the higher we went, the more snow we encountered.
By the time we reached the meadow and 4,800 feet of elevation, it was snowing, and we were walking through snow up to the top of our boots. In some places it was even deeper. Here's Mikey Poppins with his umbrella and shorts while the rest of us are donning our coats, gloves and winter hats. Mike, Earl and Fred are already thinking about lunch. Since it was breezy and NOT WARM here, we retreated a couple hundred feet and stopped for lunch. In no time at all, we were all very cold and ready to head back down.
I managed to get more pictures of the myriad mushrooms on the trail (more of which are available if you click on the "Trailblazers Fall 2010" link in the right-hand side of this blog) as we descended out of the snow back into more hiker-friendly terrain. I noticed that Fred kept hanging back, but as we descended further, I wondered who had joined our group:
He looked vaguely familiar, had picked up some shrooms, but I really didn't recognize him. It was a Sasquatch
from the Pacific Northwest! Okay, I'm new to the area. When someone suggested this was a Sasquatch, I said I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings, thinking this was the name of a PNW tribe, but it's the name of BIGFOOT here in the PNW!! Then he revealed himself as none other than FRED from our group. You can easily see why I was fooled. But I was even more fooled when I realized I didn't know who Sasquatch is. That link will tell you, if you don't already know.
It was a great day, with more than six miles in our High Country, with snowshrooms, Sasquatch, and weather better than we had hoped for!
I love the bowed out tree, at the edge of the path, in the third photo. Leprechauns and Sasquatch in the mountains!!!ReplyDelete
Fantastic images. Would love to be up there photographing away, but this stupid ick has me stuck indoors.ReplyDelete
ha. sasquatch sounds like a fun guy...loving the snow...shrooms are cool...love the structures of them...and always look for fairies underneath...smiles.ReplyDelete
Ha! Your post made me chuckle. Very well done, DJan.ReplyDelete
Mushroom and peas; proof there is no god.ReplyDelete
Incredible hike. Mary Poppins is a good name for the fellow standing there in shorts and umbrella. Great for a laugh. lol Sasquatch ain't bad either. Hubby was raised in Washington around Seattle so I knew who Sasquatch was. Super joke.ReplyDelete
Great picture of the elusive Sasquatch! that looks like a fun and funny hike!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you got in one more hike to the high country. As always, a fun read and lots of pretty pictures.ReplyDelete
Too funny.. your friend Fred is a hoot. Great photos of what sounds like a fun hike.ReplyDelete
I was wondering about your hike the other day when there was a winter storm watch out for the Northern Cascades. Glad to see you made it out this week.ReplyDelete
Love your 'shroom finds and your local Sasquatch is a real kick. After living in Northern CA and now this area we know all about Sasquatch. Supposedly one was spotted a few years ago a few miles from our house.
I looked at your Bellingham market post – do you know that I had never seen a Brussels sprout tree before? I had never thought about how they grew. The batik booth looked lovely. While in New York it was windy so I bought a scarf at a roadside vendor ($10) which I like a lot because I can place it around my neck and it is still very long. I read your post on kindness. It certainly feels good to give. The USA is no 5 most generous nation after Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and Switzerland, so it’s not bad considering the economy. Now, Switzerland being such a tiny country, they must give an awful lot per capita. I’ll read that physician’s post you mentioned. I admire you to have the strength to get up and go in rainy weather for a hike. I have been in the south too long. It has been in the 80s all week and today it went down to the high sixties – I had to start the heating in the house!ReplyDelete
Fantastic legend that Sasquatch. Have you run across another famous legend of your great Pacific Northwest--D.B. Cooper? Legends and folklore are favorite subjects of mine.ReplyDelete
The pictures of mushrooms are super and that is coming from the mushroom capital of the world--Kennett Square,PA.
Love the mushrooms! I imagine the faeries are hiding about now; I can't imagine they like the cold. It sounds like a blast. Does this mean ya'll are about done with the bigger hikes for now?ReplyDelete
Oh you had some character with you today..what with Mikey Poppins and Sasquatch and all..what a fun group! Beautiful photos of the snowshrooms too:)ReplyDelete