|Click any picture to enlarge|
When I woke last night at 2:00 am to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof, I groaned and figured we would be hiking today in rain and mud. Since I didn't think too many would show up, I considered not going myself. But then I thought well, what if it clears up? What if they go hiking and I stay home and it turns out to be NICE? So I got up, pulled on my rain pants and headed to the Senior Center. Thirteen hardy souls (including me) showed up, with more than two-thirds of us already in our rain gear. The above picture shows that, although it wasn't sunny, we only got a few sprinkles. Ward is waiting for me to take a picture of the madrone tree, showing its unique peeling bark.
The hike starts out from the Interurban trailhead and, as you can see from this picture, it's pretty green even in the middle of winter. That's the payoff from all the Pacific Northwest rain: lots of moss and greenery. The trail follows an old logging road (the Hemlock Trail), then we turned off onto the Salal Trail and up to a signpost after a few miles.
We had just come off the Salal Trail showing the Madrone Crest trail 1.2 miles behind us, and also Madrone Crest 1.0 miles to the right. The hike is familiar to all of us, and we knew that we couldn't go wrong no matter which way we went, but there was some discussion about the best way to proceed. You can see that we were all dressed for the cool weather except for Mikey Poppins (half of him is visible on the right, next to Fred), who was wearing his shorts and t-shirt in 45-degree weather. He was prepared in case the weather turned wet, but sometimes I wonder what planet he was born on, to be as comfy in the damp coolness as he seems to be. :-)
Once we got to the viewpoint, where Mt. Baker is rumored to be somewhere behind those clouds, we decided to have a quick snack (it was only 10:30 am) and turn around and head back to the Senior Center for lunch. Last year
I got a nice picture of Mt. Baker, but this year a picture of Peggy drinking her hot tea will suffice. (The link takes you to last year's hike, where I also discuss some of the features of the madrone tree.) There were a few madrone trees at the Crest (the first picture), and I also saw this one showing the colors of the season:
The bark on these trees is incredibly colorful and peels back to reveal a nice golden color, as you can see in the first picture. The day's mileage turned out to be a little more than 7.5 miles and up and down 1,500 feet of elevation. Compared to last week's climb to Oyster Dome, this seemed almost easy. As we headed back down to the cars and lunch at the Senior Center, we did see lots of mushrooms sprouting from the undergrowth. Nobody knew if these are edible or not, but Bob offered, "Sure they are, at least once."
yeah think i would hold off on trying one of those...smiles. that tree though is really cool...i used to be that guy in shorts & t shirt in cold weather when i lived outdoors for a year...ReplyDelete
Hiking vicariously here, Thank You :} Lovely hike, bit chilly I'm making hot chocolate.... :)ReplyDelete
Love the bark on the Madrone trees. Looks like you had a good day after all.ReplyDelete
Those trees are beautiful. I've never heard of them before.ReplyDelete
It looks as though your weather is still pretty nice. My son in Spokane says they've had quite a bit of snow.
"Sure they are, at least once." ...was very funny!ReplyDelete
The Madrone trees have fascinated me every since I first saw them in Oregon. Even with the overcast skies you still got some great shots DJan.ReplyDelete
Mikey Poppins and I must be from the same planet except I don't do umbrellas. :)
Good for you for braving the rain, and then getting the gift of a rainless hike! You just never know around here!ReplyDelete
Here in Hawaii, we are presently under a flash flood watch. It's supposed to storm today, but so far it's been pretty dry, though overcast. It's also cool (the 70s), as usual in the winter in the islands.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed your photos, Jan.
Yeah, you may want to pass on that mushroom. What a great day - 7.5 miles is certainly not for the faint hearted.ReplyDelete
You amaze me. What beautiful scenery!ReplyDelete
You all continue to amaze me. I've never seen the madrone tree before, but they're beautiful. The mushroom photo is fabulous, like a flower.ReplyDelete
I half expected to see snow in your neck of the woods.....ReplyDelete
That Madrone tree looks like a gumbo limbo or tourist tree. We see those trees is Southern locals. The scenery looks so misty and mysterious. I bet you were glad you went.ReplyDelete
Those really are nice trees. I like trees like these but have never seen them except in pictures. I always thought it would be nice to stand in a grove of Sequoya and or Redwood trees. Looking up at history -- so old and stately. Surely some of the trees around us go way back in time with memories.ReplyDelete
I always enjoy reading about your hikes. I used to hike back in my twenties...I liked it plus my fiance was into it. I enjoy nature. When I was young, living in Washington state, my Dad and I used to hike in the woods. He would show me the plant roots, and berries I could eat. We used to walk along the beaches at Illahee (sp?) and collect agates.ReplyDelete
I think you should come down here and hike thru the Green Swamp.ReplyDelete
Your friend Bob's a real character with his mushroom comment...funny guy! I've never seen anything like this tree...it's beautiful actually. Glad you decided to go in spite of the rain.ReplyDelete
I love those trees they are really cool! Looks like a great hike! I cannot believe how green it is there..but pretty! :)ReplyDelete
I read your blog and all about your hikes and I feel guilty that I am sitting here reading on my computer. You are a hardy soul, willing to walk under all kind of weather. I don’t hike often enough so I remember my hikes – let’s see, when was the last time I hiked? Hummm….. but really in the last ship, which was very long, we walked the length of it many times a day – does that count?ReplyDelete
You are living your days full of wonderful experiences that keep you fit at all levels. Best of all, you share the beauty that you discover along the way. I love the humour about eating the mushrooms at least one time but gather you're wise enough not to since that could be the final time. LOL The photos of the colourful trees captured my imagination. Gorgeous!ReplyDelete