Fourteen Senior Trailblazers left the parking lot at Clayton Beach trailhead on our way up to Fragrance Lake and beyond. Here's Al at the lake when all is still going according to Plan A. In three years that I have been hiking with the Trailblazers, nothing like what happened today has occurred before. And this picture shows when our adventure really began.
Here we all are at the beginning of the hike, getting our equipment adjusted and starting out with our rain gear, as it's forecast to be gray skies and possible showers all day. It always amazes me that so many of us show up to get our exercise on Thursday when the weather is dubious, but I've found that I'm not the only one who heads out anyway.
|Raindrops in the lake|
We had been staying quite close together, all 14 of us, until just before the turnoff to Fragrance Lake. Since Mike always brings up the rear, we assumed that he would be just behind us when we turned from a quick break at the lake to start back up the trail. But there was no Mike, and two other hikers who were with him were also missing. We went back to the junction and found no sign of them. A hiker told us he had seen the three of them heading up our intended trail from the lake, so we took off in hopes to catch them. They, on the other hand, thought they had gotten far behind us when one hiker went to answer a call of nature. They hurried on hoping to catch us.
No sign of them, and several trail junctions gave us time to speculate where they might be. It was as if they had been snatched up by aliens, it had happened so fast. We headed to the clearcut area that was our destination, hoping for a view of Bellingham Bay and our friends. We had discussed that the bulldozers and harvested timber would make it possible to see a view that had been hidden previously. Here you see the icky part in the foreground as we looked out at the bay.
I do have trouble with the logging practices around here, but I am told it has been going on like this forever. Hopefully I'll get used to it. As you can see from this picture, the skies were indeed cloudy and the bay looks very mysterious in the distance. Weighing on all of us, however, was the location of our missing friends. We decided to have four people head back to their car and hopefully see them on the way down to the parking lot. We had cellphone connectivity and while the rest of us had lunch, the others headed back down the few miles in search of them. Now we were seven, since three were missing and four headed back to the cars. We went up to a viewpoint and saw a much nicer view of the bay, without all that clearcut.
Kimberly took this very nice picture of me as we headed back down to the junction. When we got there, we learned from the four that our missing friends had not arrived at the parking lot, so there was nothing to do but head back towards Fragrance Lake. This is what we did, and then we ran into them! Once we were all together and told the others at the parking lot that the missing hikers had been found, we all ended up happy to have learned some important lessons without anyone getting hurt.
I'm sure we will change some procedures before our next hike, but like I said at the beginning of this tale, all's well that ends well! (For Kimberly's take on the day, click here
I imagine that could get a bit unnerving so I'm glad that all ended well. That is indeed a lovely photo of you. Thanks for sharing your adventure.ReplyDelete
It's kind of hard to enjoy yourself when you have that constant nagging worry that something bad may have happened. Glad it's all OK.ReplyDelete
Wow, that photo of you did turn out nice. I think that was a good camera setting you chose. I also like the one of Alan at the lake. Glad we all got back to the cars safe and sound. I put your blog link with my post, since it was such an epic day. I thought it deserved another point of view!ReplyDelete
Great pic of you, DJan! Glad the missing hikers found their way back to the rest of you.ReplyDelete
wow that gets scary when you lose people hiking...glad you found everyone the pics turned out great!ReplyDelete
At least the three that were missing...were together. It was still a concern though, glad all ended well. I agree, the photo of you is a great one!ReplyDelete
I'm sure you must have had the missing weighing on your mind the entire hike. I think I would have been a bit less anxious knowing that it was not just one missing hiker. I'm glad you all reconnected safely.ReplyDelete
The photo of you is great.
I would of been frightened as well if my friends were missing, so glad you all found each other when you did. Happy hiking from now on.ReplyDelete
Nice photo of you. Beautiful back ground. Glad it wasn't in front of the logging section...yucky.ReplyDelete
Happy to hear nothing serious happened with your hiking friends...yeah a change might be needed in the future.
Very scarey indeed. So happy it ended well.ReplyDelete
This can cause panic when somebody goes missing. In all my years of school field trips to the mountains I only had one little guy go off on his own and get lost. He was found walking back to us as he had realized his error. He still caught it for leaving the group.ReplyDelete
Well you had an exciting day..I am glad it ended well..perhaps a cell phone or walkie talkie should bring up the rear group:)ReplyDelete
I'm glad to hear you found the lost members of your group. After spending several years of taking scouts out on hikes plus backpacking with groups into wilderness areas I am a little obsessive about safety and making sure everyone is accounted for. To this day I still find myself counting heads when I am out with a group.ReplyDelete
I'm sure by now your group has figured out to always have a designated spot to meet if someone gets separated from the rest.
Oops, I also meant to tell you I'm glad you had reasonably good weather. It poured here most of the day.ReplyDelete
That was very worrying for you all! I remember once, one of my boys just disappeared in a supermarket. One minute we were looking at cauliflowers together, the next he had disappeared. I was distraught! He was safe in the lost children compound but he got ticked off severely for wandering off like that.ReplyDelete
You are photogenic – you always look good in photos. I wish I could go and hike somewhere, first my knees are pretty bad after all the walking we did during our trip and second it is so hot here – yesterday it was 96 and the weatherman gave us an alert orange – not fit to go out if you are a senior….ReplyDelete
Wow. Glad everyone got out okay.ReplyDelete
What a tremendous relief that must have been to find them at last! And what a pretty haircut you have! Love it!ReplyDelete
Really glad that this story had a happy ending! What adventures you are having!!!ReplyDelete
That would have been a little scary there for a while. Could have turned into a Lifetime movie. You guys be more careful!ReplyDelete
The picture of you is very nice. You look very slim. Have you lost weight?
That is a new one. I don't remember any posts about lost comrades before. Now rain, that's another story.ReplyDelete
People are always coming up missing, ending up off-trail, stranded on cliffs, etc., and as often as I hike, I have no trouble imagining how it happens. Let's hope our luck doesn't run out. What? There are sensible steps we can take, essentials we must pack? I suppose we could go that way, too.ReplyDelete
Yikes! I'm glad everyone made it down ok and all was well in the end... Must have been a nerve-wrecking adventure while it was happening! We "lost" one of our hikers when I was in Belgium, but fortunately she had her cellphone with her and we managed to guide her to us. Thank heavens for modern communications tech!ReplyDelete
It will be interesting to hear if you guys set up some kind of instructions for situations like this in the future...
and yeah, you look great in that picture! ;o)