|Al starting the counter-clockwise loop|
Today the Senior Trailblazers made our last hike for the summer of 2012. Sixteen of us headed up to the Chain Lakes wilderness area, after having been admonished by the Forest Service to keep our numbers lower than the maximum number of 12 in wilderness areas. So we broke into two groups to do the loop hike, going in opposite directions. Nine went clockwise, and seven went counter-clockwise over the almost-eight-mile loop.
At the last minute, I joined Al's group, the smaller one. As you can see in the picture above, we had incredible views, but some haze as well, probably from the forest fires burning on the eastern side of the Cascades. That's Shuksan fading into the mist, looking wonderful nevertheless.
We met the other group as they were coming up from Iceberg Lake after having lunch. They had seen the calving of an iceberg as it sent out floes into the lake. We stopped to enjoy our own lunch somewhere around the same place they had stopped earlier. Two youngsters nearby (not in our group, obviously) decide to strip to their underwear and take a dip in Iceberg Lake. They didn't stay long, but it was fun to watch them. It's a beautiful place to stop and enjoy yourself for awhile.
We contemplated the beauty and noticed that a few ice floes were still floating in the middle of the lake. After lunch, we started our upward hike back to join the others. We moved from this idyllic spot to begin our final push up to Artist Point. Although we had to drop into this area to visit the lakes, our hike out was much less difficult, but we still had to deal with the sun and heat after we left Iceberg. I noticed that we had a fair amount of wildflowers, even on our last summer hike, as you can see here.
You can see the wildflowers on either side of the trail, and the last of the Chain Lakes below. At this point we knew we would be heading upwards and onto the final trail that would lead us up to Artist Point. The view of both of our favorite mountains, Baker and Shuksan, were simply breathtaking.
This would be our last full view of Mt. Baker (on the left) before we exited from the wilderness area on our way back to join the others. The light was flat, as you can see here, and we speculated that it was most likely caused by the forest fires. It didn't really matter to us, as we had enjoyed a wonderful day in the wilderness with good friends. When we rejoined the others, Amy (our social secretary) had made cupcakes to celebrate the birthdays of two of our members, Diane and Steve.
|Trailblazers enjoying Amy's celebratory cupcakes|
Although we were tired from our exertions, we were ready to call it a day after less than eight miles and less than 2,000 feet up and down. For hikers of our caliber, it was a "moderate" day. What I can't figure out is why I feel like I did more than twice that amount! Tired and happy as I write this, I am pleased to give a final THANK YOU to the Trailblazers for another wonderful summer!
It's really cool to see large chunks of ice fall from a glacier into a lake. About 2:00 PM things rally start ti happen. Have been in to Mount Assinaboine and there's a huge glacier on the side of the mountain. Huge chunks fall. Some chunks larger than house size. It's pretty spectacular. So I know you had fun on his walk.ReplyDelete
I cannot believe you will not continue hiking through the winter DJan. Perhaps not up into this beautiful wilderness but at least down here on earth. What beautiful country!!!ReplyDelete
wow...wow...that view of the lake is pretty amazing...this is one i def wish i would have been on...you got the best of both worlds with the glacier and the wild flowers...ReplyDelete
sounds like a good day for both halves. the cupcakes sound like a great reward, too! :)ReplyDelete
Sounds and looks like a perfect end to the summer hikes. It must have been much clearer up north! We were socked in most of the day, with little sun, in fact, I don't think I ever saw the sun today! It was drizzling when I left for work!ReplyDelete
I was amazed at the amount of wildflowers. What a treat!
This is so beautiful. I really appreciate your sharing your hikes with us. I didn't realize that the park service asks hiking groups to keep the number to a certain size.ReplyDelete
That was beautiful. I am so grateful to you for posting these so that I can enjoy them vicariously. Why does the ranger limit group size? Is it a safety issue or a degradation of the trail issue?ReplyDelete
Beauty abounds on your hikes, DJan! How beautiful and fresh the air must be there. As always, I enjoyed your photos immensely!ReplyDelete
I am going to miss coming with you on your weekly hikes in that beautiful, breath-taking scenery.ReplyDelete
The view of the mountains in the second photo is spectacular. Nice hike, nice summer of hikes, good for you!ReplyDelete
Why is it that you must limit your groups to 12 - is it a safety thing? I think a video of ice crashing into water would be a great video to watch - you are so fortunate DJan to view nature in all its beauty all summer long. Thank you for giving us all this in your posts.ReplyDelete
That photo of the lake....it's spectacular. From the way everyone is dressed, it looks as if the temperatures there are still moderate. Is fall in the air yet?ReplyDelete
DJan, I was telling someone about your wonderful pictures and your hiking experiences this past weekend in Baton Rouge. They go to Seattle on business and asked me what part of Washington state? Of course I didn't remember Billingham... so I just said that I didn't know, but it certainly was a beautiful area.ReplyDelete
I think the reason for your fatigue is your decision to hike twice a week instead of just one. Maybe, if you reduced it back to one hike, you wouldn't feel so tired.ReplyDelete
Love your photos, as usual, DJan.
Dear DJan, indeed, Mounts Baker and Shuksan are breathtakingly beautiful. They stand tall and resolute it seems to me. I'm so glad to have accompanied you on your hikes this years. We've seen such enticing trails and beautiful wildflowers. The lakes, the trees, and your text make for a wonderful blog-visit! Peace.ReplyDelete
Another great hike! Now the Fall Hikes begin! This was a beautiful hike..I enjoyed your photos ..very much:)ReplyDelete
Hazy or smoky....that is still some GORGEOUS scenery. I think I'd sit at the rendezvous spot tho....just to keep an 'eye' on those cupcakes!!! You know me!!!ReplyDelete
Well, you have had a wonderful sumer of hiking. Thank you for taking us along to see the trails, and the sights.ReplyDelete
Time to break out the cross-country skis, and get ready to hike the trails after the show falls.
What? You don't hike on cross-country skis? Really. Oh, well. Curling, perhaps; ice hockey for the more adventurous.
Your moderate would be my grueling. What beautiful views you experience and thankfully share on your hikes. I imaging that water would be cold.ReplyDelete
LOL! Aftereffects of moving probably. ;)ReplyDelete
Looks like a wonderful day again. And fall is officially here. :)