Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oyster Dome 2012

Steve, me, Amy, Karen (Mike was out exploring) on Oyster Dome
What a day we had! Although there were only five of us on the Senior Trailblazers hike today, we couldn't have asked for a better day. No wind, sunshine, a hard day's work, and good company. Al was out of town, the Ferndale group didn't show, but the day could not have been more pleasant. Although there was a 30% chance of rain, when I looked outside this morning, the blue skies gave me hope for a nice day. Steve was our day's leader. He made sure we were happy with our intended schedule and we took off in Mike's car, since we could all fit.
Spring is out in full force! Look at the ferns, the green plants all leafing out, the sun shining through. This hike starts up quite steeply from Chuckanut Drive. Since Steve kept going much faster than I was comfortable with, I finally ended up setting the pace for all of us (Al usually does this). It was disconcerting sometimes to see nobody in front of me, but we all knew the way and Steve kept making sure at each possible juncture that we all stayed in agreement. The trail as we approach the dome is nothing to be sneezed at:
The trail goes straight up and gets muddier and rockier as we climbed. Since I was now in the lead, we had to slow considerably, as I grunted and groaned my way up this terrain. In past years it's been icy and cold, but today it was just... tough going at times. Here's my description of last year's fall hike. Anyway, we made it to the Dome and decided to have a quick snack, enjoy the view and sit in the sunshine. It was a bit early for a lunch break, so we decided to have lunch at Lilly Lake. (We don't go back down the same way we came up, since it's more treacherous to go back down this stuff.)
The view of Samish Bay was simply spectacular. By the time we got there, it was High Tide, the sky was incredibly beautiful, and we basked in the sunshine until we decided to head to Lilly Lake. On the way, we saw lots of skunk cabbage making its first appearance of the year. (If you look at last year's hike to Oyster Dome in late April, you can see that skunk cabbage was in lots of snow.) It's a different experience this year. Take a look at today's skunk cabbage:
This was taken just before we reached Lilly Lake. There is a shortcut back to the trailhead, called "Max's Shortcut," which we almost took, before Steve asked if we wanted to go to Lizard Lake before heading back. We looked to Mike, who knows the area well. We asked him how much distance it would add to our overall mileage, and he said, "Well, it's probably about a half mile or so, round trip." We decided to go ahead and add an out-and-back to Lizard Lake before heading out onto the shortcut, but guess what? That "or so" ended up to be another almost two miles! By the time we got back down to the car, we had traveled more than 11 miles, and up and down more than 2,500 feet of elevation. A very full day, I'd say.
Some of you have asked me previously why it's called "Oyster Dome." Well, this picture tells you why: those squares out in the bay are an oyster farm, which you can see from the Dome. I looked it up online, and here's a link to Taylor Farm's Samish Bay shellfish. That's what you're looking at. It turns out that oyster farming is actually good for the environment, not harmful. I enjoyed learning about what I was seeing out there, as well as ending a very full and satisfying day. I hope you enjoyed it a little bit, too!


  1. A view of a beautiful bay makes the hike well worth the effort. I wonder how many people are fortunate enough to see the bay from this point.
    I think about this when I'm in remote places. I can remember sitting high over the Trans Canada highway at Banff looking down at the traffic and feeling sorry for the folks in the cars.

  2. def inspire me with your distance...even some unplanned...smiles...the reward though of views like that one are def a reward...

  3. an actual oyster farm, that's amazing.

    The ferns and redwoods remind me of where I used to live in northern California. So very beautiful!

  4. There's nothing prettier than the Pacific Northwest in springtime.

  5. 11 miles of hiking? Incredible! Great exercise, fresh air, and nice camaraderie. Who could ask for more!

  6. Always enjoyable to join you 'virtually'... :))
    I wouldn't have been able to make the trek that you did. Amazing!
    I loved looking at the oyster farm and will go online and read more about it.
    I'm glad that you all had a good day!!

  7. oyster farming. who'da thunkit! :) that photo w/ the ferns is just beautiful. you are amazing!

  8. You certainly go your workout today! We got rain by about 11:30 on our outing. I'm glad you had clear skies. I'm also glad you didn't have to come back down over those roots and rocks!

  9. What a lovely day.. in a beautiful area. If the dome resembled a hat, do you figure they'd call it the Oyster Bonnet? ;)

  10. What a beautiful day! And I have to admit I'm glad you got to set the pace and slow down.

  11. Another great hike DJan. I'm wondering if your skunk cabbage and mine are the same plant. Maybe it was the light (color) that threw me off... :)

  12. Wow sweetie it looks like a very taxin' and most beautiful hike!!!

    I love that first pic, it looks like a tropical paradise!!!

    Skunk Cabbage....never heard of it. I'll have to look that one up.

    Thanks for the beautiful shots of your hike sweetie!

    God bless ya and have a wonderful weekend my friend!!! :o)

  13. Gorgeous trek today DJan!!! Y'know one of the best things in nature hikes is walking in the heavily wooded area....only to walk up on a wonderful outcropping for lush, green, ferns!!!

    But, must say, 11 miles is about 4 days worth of hiking for us two. LOL

    I have an award waiting for you

    Have a great day.

  14. What a day! You even got to be the trailblazer, but I don't know as I'd trust Mike's estimations in the future--LOL!

    Glad it was a wonderful day weather-wise and spring was flashing her colors. :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

  15. I read something the other day about oyster farming, and now I don't want to look it up, instead opting to go with your "good for the environment." It was probably something that was screwing up the oysters anyway, not the other way around.

    I can't bring myself to eat one, though. Sea Loogies.

    You had a better day than I. I put in 16 miles, all on pavement. It's a long way to walk for some Columbia clothes on sale.

  16. The view of Samish Bay is gorgeous, that alone would have be worth the trip to me. Your weather looks beautiful DJan. Maybe spring has finally reached our state. It was actually nice enough to mow my lawn today.

  17. I enjoyed that a lot. I am so grateful to you for taking us along. It looked really hard work at times but those views were spectacular. Thank you.

  18. We have mussell farming and salmon farming here round us. Never heard of Oyster Farming - will check that out.
    Wow - 11 miles - GREAT - love the views and remember that trek up the hill - YIKES - looks steep to me - Lilly Lake n Lizard Lake - beautiful scenery.
    Never saw skunk cabbage shoots before or heard of it - does the name mean skunks eat it? ha,ha
    Again, DJan you have thrilled our house with your hikes, even though you have been here before, it is always a new adventure. Gee, I'm still thinking about you jumping out of a plane. You are going to have to attach your ipad to your helmet and turn on the video, so we can really see the jump. OK
    Have a great day girlie n take care :)

  19. What a spectacular view of the bay..another great hike..the path looked like a hard one to hike..I am sure down would be no fun at all:)


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