Eleven Senior Trailblazers headed up to Lost Lake from the Larrabee State Park (Clayton Beach) parking lot today. I thought we would have more of a crowd, since the day dawned clear and cold (40F), after last week's short hike in sub-freezing temperatures with lots of snow. However, those of us who did show up today had a great day. That is not to say it was easy, because it wasn't. A total of more than ten miles (but less than eleven) and an elevation gain of somewhere between 2,600 and 2,800 feet, with mud, snow, steep and treacherous ups and breathtaking slips and slides down. I fell once into a swamp and muddied myself pretty significantly, but it dried within an hour's time. We saw many sights along the trail today, and this picture of these trees determined to grow, even with an inhospitable rock under them, impressed me.
The determined trees sent their roots past the rock into the soil below, and they do seem to be doing pretty well, considering. Al, our fearless leader, went out on Tuesday during a major windstorm to check out the loop around Lost Lake, and although there were times when I doubted his direction, we did indeed make it to our usual lunch spot. He wrote about his Tuesday adventure here
Not only that, but the sun was shining brightly on our spot while we stopped for lunch. Every one of us enjoyed this break at the lake, although it took us more than three hours to reach it, through bog and mud interspersed with beauty. This downed log showed us that it had been a favorite of woodpeckers, with rows of pecked-out holes. These patterns went all the way up and down the entire log.
By the time we started back after our wonderful lunch break, we had many more miles to cover before we would be back at the cars. My knees were complaining because of the downhill sections, and I was not alone. I heard others talking about their knees, too. But you know, once you're out there in the wilderness, there's not much you can do except keep on truckin' until you reach the starting point. Once we got there, however, Amy (our social secretary) pulled out a tray of cupcakes to celebrate Al's 72nd birthday. It was only two days late, but Amy is nothing if not determined to acknowledge each and every birthday we celebrate.
Al successfully blew out his single candle (whew!) while we looked on. And then, of course, we enjoyed the sweet chocolate treat. I look at this picture and smile, feeling incredibly fortunate to have found this group of like-minded seniors. We get together every Thursday, rain or shine, to experience the outdoors with each other. Ranging in age from 62 to 81, nothing could ever replace the enjoyment I feel after a day with the Trailblazers!
I might be able to join you for half the distance at this point.ReplyDelete
I am so happy for you. And really grateful that you share your hikes so generously with us. Thank you. A lot.ReplyDelete
is that wood pecker holes in that tree? that root structure is pretty cool as well...sounds like a fun little celebration and a nice hike today djanReplyDelete
Woo-hoo! What a tough hike. I feel tired (but vicariously triumphant) just looking at all of you in that last photo. Way to go!ReplyDelete
How fortunate for you to have found such a group. Here, apart from my husband, I would not know a soul to walk with, even after having lived here since the 70s! There are quite a few people walking up Kennesaw Mountain which is just down our road, but they usually drive to the base of it, they come from the outside. So I enjoy reading about your walks. Today it was 68 degrees but it “threatened” to rain, so we did not go out – we are not hardy like you!ReplyDelete
It's always such a thrill to see these magical places, nature at it's finest.ReplyDelete
I have those same woodpecker holes in one of my trees, oh dear ....
What a lovely backdrop for a birthday party, such a lovely time you have with your friends.
With each hike that you and this intrepid group makes, I am more and more impressed.ReplyDelete
This hiking group has been one of the best things that's happened to you in the Pacific Northwest.ReplyDelete
It looks like you had a gorgeous day for the hike DJan, a lot like ours but hopefully without the wind. I am intrigued by the downed tree with the woodpecker holes in almost straight rows. That is a great photo of the group.ReplyDelete
Oh, how you downplay it-an hour being wet and muddy is a pretty long time! The tree roots are pretty amazing. Nature is nothing if not tenacious. I have to say that I wish I could come on one of these hikes. You make them (and the group) sound so enticing. Well, other than the cold or rainy or muddy aspect...I can just see me now, hiking boots on my feet, toddler in a pack on my back, camera around my neck. I probably wouldn't get much past the parking lot. Oh well, it's probably better that way since I'm on the other side of the country.ReplyDelete
Happy Belated Birthday, Al!
I am surprised you didn't ruin your camera when you fell into the swamp. Ew. But, the main thing is you had a good time and enjoyed yourself.ReplyDelete
I love it that you take us on these hikes that I don't do here in Hawaii. I saw the word Lost for your post and felt a shiver for a moment because we do get hikers lost in our mountains here on our small island.ReplyDelete
The tree roots are amazing. Those are some very determined trees.ReplyDelete
I love your treks with the Senior Trailblazers, DJan...only wish I were one of them. Really enjoy enlarging your photos fully, nice to see all the details, like the holes on the woodpecker's favorite log and the determined trees!ReplyDelete
The log with the woodpecker holes is fascinating. I looked on Google Earth to see where Lost Lake was located. I enjoy their map feature. You live in a great place to explore the wilderness with a lot of photo ops. I often wonder if hikers in your area see bears.ReplyDelete
that looks like one heck of a climb!ReplyDelete
I love the tree roots, they're so resilient
I'm feeling better today, almost able to stay awake ;)
What a gorgeous header photo! And I love seeing the roots of trees spreading out in difficult terrain. Your hikes all sound so fun and always with such inspiring scenery.ReplyDelete
That looked like a steep climb. I am so glad you didn't break something in your fall..the mud must have cushioned you! Good hike! Happy Birthday to AL:)ReplyDelete
Loved the Woodpecker Log - Having worked in dimension fields, the Pecking seems to be like 1/8 - 1/4 inches apart from photo. Too Kool - luv this picReplyDelete
Great photos and great hike. That path looks really steep in your photo looking down at your fellow hikers. Thanks DJan for such informative posting - luv your blog.
Your photos and words leave me smiling, DJan! Those tree roots, wrapped around the rock, were incredible! I had to laugh at the woodpecker favored log.ReplyDelete
What joy this group, and the adventures you share, must bring to your life. I have heard that we have a similar group here in Vancouver, that meets during the week to hike. I will be checking them out when I get released from the work a day world in a couple years!
Thanks to your comment yesterday, I took a 3 mg. melatonin last night, had a cup of chamomile tea prior to retiring to bed, and fell asleep while reading! I promptly turned off the light and slipped back to sleep, waking only once to visit the bathroom! I used to take melatonin, but for some reason quit.
Thank you for a great night's sleep!!
I love those roots.. just amazing how nature thrives. You and your group are so inspiring. May you all keep on hiking for many more group-shared birthdays to come.ReplyDelete
That group of like-minded hikers is such a blessing in your life. Not only do you get to enjoy their company and wit--and cupcakes--but you hike through beauty. (And of course a few muddy places too!)
What a great group. That is something I would like to join or start, but perhaps not quite so strenuous with the hiking. I would just like to do photo walks right around the Valley, with an occasional trek into the wilds.ReplyDelete
Wow! You really got a workout and a mud bath this time--LOL! I'd never last with all the slipping and sliding. You guys are amazing--all of you!ReplyDelete
Love the woodpecker holes in the log! I would have been sitting there wondering what made the holes--hehe!
Happy belated birthday to Al. What a wonderful group of people...of friends. :)
We had a brief look at the sun a while ago. It rained hard all night. We had a river this morning.ReplyDelete
Your photos are very nice. I don't know how you get so many nice days in winter.
The slipping sliding around and falling and getting muddy just does not entice me at all. I don't have that kind of adventuresome spirit.ReplyDelete
I would rather be sitting with my friends crocheting my next project! I love to hear about your hikes and see the pictures though. Not that I try to live through your adventures, just that I admire you so much.
You truly amaze me, my friend! What an awesome journey! As hard as it may have been, you forged forward and got 'er done while having a great time with your friends. Bravo!ReplyDelete
The photos of the trail are fantastic. There's nothing better then strolling through Mother Nature's Canvas of Beauty!
I wish I lived near you so I could join your trailblazers group!
Support is the key word with your trail blazers. It works the same with my skating group. Our ages run up to 89! I'm not sure what the youngest would be although we celebrated one skaters's 60th birthday last week.ReplyDelete
Wow- that is a great accomplishment- I don't think I could keep up. Your pictures are amazing- I have never seen roots do that before.ReplyDelete
You are so very lucky to have such a companionable group of seniors. Of course, I hike with a 5 year old (Baron) :)ReplyDelete
Your hikes and the photos just get better and better. How great that you found such a heart bunch of people.ReplyDelete
THose trees with the crazy roots are amazing!ReplyDelete
I love the idea of wrapping up a hike with birthday cupcakes! :o)