Today eight of us Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center in very dubious conditions: winds predicted to be blowing up to 50 mph and 100% chance of rain. When we started out, however, the winds weren't that high and there was actually some blue sky. Heading out to the Chuckanut Ridge Trail, we felt pretty good, ready for anything, especially rain. It had obviously rained hard sometime during the night, as the trail was squishy and standing puddles told the tale. But we remained almost dry.
We had gloomy skies and very little view for most of the hike, but we did get a chance to cast our gaze westward towards Bellingham Bay and Lummi Island at one point, as you can see in the above picture. You can see the trees are bending in the wind, and once we heard a tree crash in the forest, but we couldn't see where it was. We didn't want to be anywhere near it, for obvious reasons.
This hike is rated as being "hard" and I must say, it really was! We ended up hiking more than twelve miles and very little of the trail was level. We had more than 3,200 feet of elevation gain and loss, hiking up areas like the one pictured above. This is the most exposed part of the ridge, and right after climbing up to the top, you are hanging over at least a thousand feet of exposure, with a little tiny bit of trail under your feet. Fortunately there is a strategically placed tree to hold onto, as you can see Linda doing here.
The hike was supposed to be "only" eleven miles, but someone suggested we hike down to Fragrance Lake to possibly escape the wind, which added another couple of miles to our hike, and by the time we were limping back to the cars, every one of us was groaning and complaining of something hurting. My knees were not happy on the final downhill, but the trekking poles made it possible for me to finish the hike without injury. We saw this whimsical pile of rocks off to the side of the trail, and we added a few rocks to the pile as we stopped to catch our breath.
We escaped most of the rain with just a sprinkle or two, but the wind was almost a constant companion during the hike. The temperature was moderate, so we weren't cold, but I must say nothing looked quite as good to me as the car at the trailhead that allowed me to sit down. Now, an hour later, I am hoping to limp into the kitchen and get myself a nice glass of wine to self-medicate. All in all, a very good but very tiring day, spent in the company of some really nice people. I'm back home in the Pacific Northwest!
What a welcome back! I was impressed with myself for getting the bathroom cleaned, and you've gone and hiked 13 miles...Amazing.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you're glad to be home and back with your usual crew and usual routine.
Wow.. you waste no time settling in. And by that, I meant going on the hike upon your return from your sister's place. I would have passed on that precarious part of the hike and gone straight for the wine, thank you. ;)ReplyDelete
Right back at it aren't you? You never rest. I'm glad to know you got home safe and sound.ReplyDelete
what a cool pile of rocks. i am slightly envious at this point as i am out of commision from tearing a ligament in my foot on my last hike...ReplyDelete
I can't imagine that you weren't wiped out after this hike. Your buddies have no mercy on you. They could have chosen an easier hike for your first one back.ReplyDelete
How about your swimming goal? Have you already jumped into that as well?
Welcome home! I watched the wind from indoors. I love how the trees bend; flexibility means survival.ReplyDelete
That was a monster of a hike, way beyond what I would call fun. But more power to you. And yep, you are back home. It was another crazy March day in the PNW.ReplyDelete
I really admire people who have the guts to get out in inclement weather when they have a choice.ReplyDelete
Welcome home, DJan. I am surprised you hiked today, after that long plane ride from Florida. What a hardy soul you are.ReplyDelete
You are home!! I would have totally chickened out and turned back on that tiny trail near the tree..I would assume that you are standing on roots and not much soil..scary to me. Rest..you deserve it. I am thinking of you all day tomorrow..just so you know:)ReplyDelete
I am so impressed! You are really amazing and really in shape. You're making me think I need to get off my duff and do something.ReplyDelete
That sort of hike is now beyond me. We have rambles that take us no more than 300 ft up and on fairly smooth paths at that.ReplyDelete
I like the coming home to a glass of wine part better.
You're baa-aack. It sounds like fun, very tiring, but fun. Love the shot of the precarious ridge.ReplyDelete
That's an impressive cairn. I always wonder how long those have been in place and who put them there. The name Chuckanut is cool--it just rolls off the tongue.ReplyDelete
Omigawd, you guys are seniors??? You put the "young" folks to shame...!ReplyDelete
You are my hero, Djan. :-)
That's a very hard way to earn a little vino. Well deserved!ReplyDelete
Sure sounds like fun.ReplyDelete
They'd have to scrape me off the side of that tree on the edge of the cliff, because I am scared of heights. LOLReplyDelete
Who swims marathons, hops on a plane from Florida to Washington state and the goes hiking 14 miles?? Superwomen. Bionic women....that's who!ReplyDelete
Back in your element!But I have the sense that any element is your element!ReplyDelete
You know, you'd be a good person to ask. I'm thinking about taking a week or two to explore northern Cascades this summer. Can you recommend trails or areas?ReplyDelete
That's quite a hike. I hardly ever do 3200 feet in the winter. You are to be commended, then rubbed down.
That is a challenging hike! I wonder if you ever meet up with any bears or mountain lions (cougars) when you are in the remote reaches?ReplyDelete
I know you had a wonderful trip but it's nice to be back home!ReplyDelete
From the beaches of Florida to the mountains of the PNW, thats quiet a change. This sounds like a hard hike but after all that time on a plane you were probably ready to stretch your legs.ReplyDelete