Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sugarloaf and Mt. Erie

Today was a mostly dry but overcast day (well, mostly overcast) for our regular Thursday Trailblazers hike. Twelve of us met at the Senior Center, and we set out in three cars to drive 40 miles south to the trailhead near Heart Lake. You can actually drive to the top of Mt. Erie, but there are numerous trails in the Anacortes Community Forest Land that give you plenty of options to get around without taking your car up there.
Carol and Sally show up every few months to join us. I was struck by the color of Sally's new raincoat. It's almost iridescent, don't you think? The rest of us were the regulars who rarely miss a hike; rain or shine we're out there. The weather forecast had promised little to no rain, and that's what we got, although yesterday's clear blue skies were what we kind of hoped for. However, as you can see from this picture near the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, the air was damp and hazy, with a bit of view but nothing spectacular.
We are looking out at the San Juan islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Usually we hike to the top of Mt. Erie first and then descend a bit and climb to the top of Sugarloaf. Today we reversed it, and visited Sugarloaf first. We knew that it wouldn't be likely we would linger terribly long for lunch today, since it wasn't very warm and although we weren't soaked through like last week, we hoped not to let ourselves get too cold. Today the view from Mt. Erie was nothing like we had last year.
Here we are, settling down for lunch, just as the sun broke through the clouds. Although we did have some sunshine, the humid air and a breeze kept us from hanging out for long. If you took a look at last year's picture, you know that sometimes we are able to see Mt. Rainier in the distance. Not today.
Looking down from the top of the mountain, you can see a road running across the middle of the picture. That's what we took to get to the trailhead. I have now seen this view three times, and every single time it's completely different. Since you can drive to this spot, usually we have plenty of other visitors on the summit with us. Again, not today. We saw one other car; otherwise we had it to ourselves, except for a nice man we met on the trail.
On the way home, I took this picture from inside the car looking back up at Mt. Erie from that road in the middle of the last picture. We hiked right around eight miles and covered 2,400 feet of elevation gain and loss. My knees are feeling it, too. As I've said before, without those trekking poles I wouldn't be able to do these weekly hikes, so I'm glad I have them. These are not the best pictures I've ever taken, but it is  a fair and true chronicle of today's hike. I'm glad to be home and am now ready for my nightly glass of wine, which always makes my knees feel better.


  1. wow! 8 miles hiked in that terrain? (i'm not worthy!) :)

    that photo of the layers of the mountains is just stunning!

  2. My bad knee is crying out in sympathy with your knees. I understand God made no mistakes but I always want to raise my hand and say "What about knees?" In my opinion they wear out too quickly.

  3. nice..i like seeing the perspective as you drive away and the one before looking down...def gives some perspective...yeah my knees can tell the weather...a very old injury...

  4. My grandson deleted my comment. Grrr. Anyway, just wanted to say that your views looked voggy, as we say in Hawaii. Lol. Love Sally's raincoat!

  5. Not sure my knees would survive even with the poles! I do admire your tenacity.

    Love the color of Sally's raincoat. That color is supposed to be 'in' this year.

  6. Going up is hard work, but coming down can be painful. Those poles do help.
    Whenever you mention your knees, I always think of you with your "Knees in the breeze". But that is your other passion.

  7. I love your medicinal glass of wine. After a trek of that distance and with those changes in altitude I think I would need the bottle.
    Thank you so much. I loved, as always, hearing about the trek and seeing the photos as well.

  8. It's tough to get a good picture under these light conditions. The islands a very distant but beautiful.
    Anyway get those knees in shape!

  9. It's fantastic that you have this fabulous group of people that you can go on adventures with. No wonder you always look so great!

  10. That first scene from near the top of Sugarloaf [isn't there a mountain of the same name in South America? --or am I dreaming?]...anyway, that first scene you shared from enar the top is spectacular!!! Dazzling; as I love misty overcast days like that.

    Oh, and PS...I LOVE the hot pink rain coat!!!

  11. enar? What the heck is that...I'll blame the keyboard on that typo!! LOL [of course it is supposed to be 'near'.]

  12. Beautiful! Misty views of islands... love it!

    My family and I did a sailing course around the San Juan islands back in 1987! Those are the islands right on the line between the US and Canada, right? I have vague memories of that week, but it was so much fun! We started from Victoria Island I believe... good times! It's nice to see the isalnds again.

  13. so many lovely scenes
    Sally will never get lost in the woods :)

    I just noticed the silliest thing but I have to share it - the snow covered bent tree in your header shot looks like a dolphin emerging from the water to me

  14. Dear DJan,
    Isn't it amazing how wine sipped through the mouth can affect the knees!!!!!!


  15. Ironically, it is heartening to me to hear that you have some knee pain, but just keep doing what you're doing! That is inspiring to me!

    I haven't been on any super strenuous hikes yet, but I've been amazed at how much the hiking poles help with going downhill. Thanks again for sharing the information. I love them and never take them out of my car, so I always have them.

    Thanks for your note about Jessica's birthday!

  16. No Mt. Rainier today..he was hiding..still a good hike..I liked the backwards view too..a little bit of where we were. Yes that pink coat is very bold! Have a great weekend. Thanks always for the hikes!:)

  17. I admire you greatly, Djan! I would love to hike but I have a problem with painful feet after a 20 minute walk let alone a hike up a mountain. I'm quite envious. I like the pics you posted even though you're not overly happy with them.

    I've had trouble with back pain this past week so me thinks I'll be having a medicinal glass of wine shortly myself. ;)

  18. Your energy is astonishing. And these photos are just beautiful. I especially like the one that shows you all sitting there, gazing out at the beauty below.

  19. Great vistas! Your region has much natural beauty to enjoy. I wish I had time when I was younger to stop and appreciate the view. I wouldn't test my knees at this point.

  20. The trekking poles are knee savers. You should get a job as spokesperson for trekking pole company.
    You would increase their business I bet.
    My problem is always my back. It hurts so much of the time.

  21. WOW - DJan - I mighta done 4 but I think I might have to have been carried the other 4. You're so strong, I could have hitched a ride on your back. ha,ha
    This was most enjoyable to read. Thankyou and glad to be back.
    I also learned about "Word Verification Free Blog", just this morning, so apologize for all anyone might have had to go through to leave me a comment. Hope it works OK Let me know next time you drop me a line. Thanks and have a great day Kiddo :)

  22. That coat sure would keep you from getting lost in a snowstorm! ROFL!

    "Nothing spectacular"...are you kidding me? Look at my flat vistas for a few years--LOL!

    What a great hike. The views were gorgeous! The trees beautiful. You guys are all amazing. :)


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.