Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hoypus Hill

Eleven Senior Trailblazers carpooled south to Deception Pass State Park to hike around in the Hoypus Hill area. We have been having cool and unsettled weather in our part of the world, but today we expected it to be nice, and it was. Although not as warm as we hoped, we saw no other hikers all day long on the many trails in this section of the park. We visited this place last year in late April. I wrote about it here.
Most of the trails are marked, and as you may have guessed, that first picture was taken in Fern Gully. As you might be able to see behind Peggy, some of the trails were a bit boggy, but nothing like last year's experience. Anyway, as we trekked along, we were getting warmed up and shed our jackets, and I was so pleased and surprised to see lots of signs that spring is indeed coming to my part of the world. Here is a picture of an Indian Plum in full bloom.
After walking on the trails for a while, Al decided he'd like to make it over to see Ala Spit, a peninsula near Hoypus Hill that would give us a place to settle in for lunch. We walked on a paved road past private residences until we reached the parking area for the spit. There was only one car there, so we walked along the peninsula and found a nice place for lunch.
Here you see Peggy, Linda and Ward all settled down out of the breeze to enjoy their lunch in the sunshine at Ala Spit. I did ask them to please stop munching down their sandwiches for a minute, which they were happy to do (I have caught everyone in various unflattering poses with food in their mouths and posted the pictures anyway). Seagulls were out during the low tide catching up mussels and/or clams and dropping them onto the rocks to open them. I wandered around and snapped pictures but they were way too fast for me.
As we donned our gear and readied ourselves for the return trip back to the cars, I got this shot of some of our hikers on the beach, showing that we are actually casting shadows onto the ground. Nobody was really tremendously warm, but the sunshine was a lovely addition to our day. It didn't take long after we began the return trip before many of the jackets came off.
I got down in the leaves on the return trail to get this picture of some stinging nettles that are coming up, too. A sure sign of spring. If you enlarge this picture you can see those little hairs coming out of the leaves, and if I were to inadvertently brush up against one, I would be itching still, but I was careful to avoid them. By the time we returned to our cars, we had hiked more than nine miles and covered around 1,000 feet up and down. Not one of our difficult hikes, but it was a very satisfying day spent with good friends.

On the way home, while sitting in the back seat of Al's car, I happened to see an amazing sight out the window. I couldn't understand what I was seeing, at first, because it looked like something tumbling rapidly out of the sky, turning and whirling, until suddenly two bald eagles separated. I realized that I was seeing an eagle mating display. These were either two rivals for a female, or a pair trying to decide if they want to get hitched for a lifetime. After I pointed out the eagles to the others, we watched them until they were out of sight. They hitched up one more time before they disappeared in the trees. I found this information online about what I saw. It was truly amazing. Yes, spring is here; mating has begun, and the air is filled with anticipation of the delights of springtime.


  1. Lovely post DJan! I've been watching the eagles too, but haven't seen a display like the one you described. We drove east yesterday for an overnight getaway at Harrison Hot Springs (highly recommended by the way) and saw several eagles high up in the winter-naked trees. Just watching the world go by...they are magnificent aren't they?
    I'm glad your hike wasn't as muddy as last years.

  2. WOW on the eagle sighting! and i love those ferns. don't get to see them here. i like that big old log you all took shelter behind, too. :)

  3. and, did you do a new header? i know i'm relatively new here, but it looked shiny and new to me!

  4. Aw, how wonderful to see 2 eagles apparently mating in the sky. I have never seen that happen. What an awesome sight.

    Glad you got out today and had a good hike with friends. Nice weather, too.

  5. I like the new header!
    I've seen the eagles do that on a documentary. Like they are testing each other's strength or just plain acting crazy--as love will make you do sometimes--LOL!
    Looks like a wonderful walk. I love it when you have lots of pictures. Watch out for the nettles! :)

  6. I love Fren gully, and lunch on the beach!
    It reached 60 here late in the afternoon. I got out for a walk and Tom and I both worked in the yard.
    I know spring is coming because my eyes are itchy amd I'm sneezing. I recent years I have developed an allergy to evergreen tree pollen. and of course our house is surrounded with cedar and fir. The pollen is beginning to coat the patio and outdoor furniture. time for eye drops, I guess.

  7. love the signs of spring...actually hiked a bit yesterday myself...loving the downed trees that you all ate against...and great on the eagle...def great to see...

  8. Ooooh re the eagle, and the walk, and the lunch sheltered behind the log. I am glad that you avoided the stinging nettles - they leave me v uncomfortable for days.
    Thank you for taking us on another hike.

  9. You have to live in the PNW to understand why seeing your shadow can be an exciting event. We also had a nice day today and saw the sun.

  10. Lovely hike that's for sure. I've seen eagles do that number several time now. It's a wow! I never get tired of it... :)

  11. My heart skips a beat when I see a solitary eagle just flying overhead . . . if I ever saw two of them whirling that way I don't know what I would do!
    What a fortunate sight!
    I am so happy that you saw them.

  12. Great Post. Nice NEW Header :) -
    Love the ferns, nice shot. That big old log certainly was handy to eat lunch out of the wind.
    We drive up to Greens Point Lighthouse (approx 45 minutes), pack a picnic lunch, take our chairs and watch the eagles for the afternoon - great entertainment, although have not yet seen them mating.
    Yesterday, it was so warm here again, I am wondering if somehow the weather from Spain has crept across this little nook of Canada - like a summer day :)

  13. How fantastic to sight an eagle !
    Love those ferns, so lush and green, it looks like everything is greening up even in the mountains.
    That is one huge log !
    Another awesome hike :)

  14. It must be spring if the Stinging Nettle is growing! Love that big old log..looks like a great place to rest and have lunch. I wonder if it washed ashore in a storm.
    Informative Eagle article..they can see a rabbit two miles wonder they were checking out Little Elvis.( he went safely home in the arms of a smiling grandson)
    Wonderful Hike as usual! :)

  15. So lush and green. Looks like it was a wonderful trek. That would really be something to see those Eagles overhead.

  16. Great post! I get a kick out the way you talk about these hikes...9 miles, 1000 feet up and down...but not difficult. I need a nap after reading this!

    And eagles mating: wow. How often do humans get to see something like that?

  17. Eagles always wow me no matter where I see them or what they are doing. The ferns are very lush in your forests.

    Delicate question--are there facilities on your hikes for nature calls? Maybe you have discussed it before and I missed it. I always wonder how you ladies cope on those long hikes. The guys don't have the same problem--a tree will do.

  18. I envy your sight of the Eagles, DJan! Enjoy the Nature link also!

  19. Looks, I had all kinds of smart remarks about women our age and Deception Pass...but I'll just keep 'em to myself!!

    Glad you had such a pleasant day!

  20. Looks like you had a gorgeous day. Everything is starting to warm up and green up over there. The Spit looks like the perfect place for lunch.

    Congrats on the eagle sighting. I have only seen the mating ritual once in AK and it was amazing. We don't see a lot of eagles in this area.

  21. I swear...I would love to go on these hikes with your group. Wish we had one that I could join...around here. That one photo at the top...with all the ferns...simply gorgeous!!! And your lunch stop looks like a great place to explore

  22. the purple petals in the previous post are pretty :)

    I love the shot of the lunchers!! they look so small

  23. You look so happy in the photo on the right in your header. I really like that picture.

    Watching the eagles in flight would be such a memory for the personal recollection book, stored to retrieve occasionally. You had quite a nice hike and found signs of spring on the ground and in the air. What do you take for lunch on your hikes?

  24. Isn't it nice to see signs of Spring at last. We're all ready for it. Lovely pictures of your friends eating their lunch and enjoying the scenery. The ferns are beautiful.

  25. Dear DJan,
    These virtual hikes you take us on are deeply satisfying to me. They must be soul-enriching for you.

    Thank you for the link to eagles. I learned a lot.


  26. Ala Spit is one of our favorite places to go, usually uncrowded.
    I am in awe of your hiking abilities and look to you for inspiration for myself.
    K in Bham

  27. WOW! What luck to see those bald eagles in such a display! I doubt many people get to see that!

    Looks like another lovely hike. I loved the spot you guys stopped for lunch! :o)


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