|(back row) Ward, Peggy, Linda, Rita, Maggie, Diane|
(front row) Amy, Al, Noriko, Steve (I took the picture)
On a glorious day with sunshine, perfect temperatures and a light breeze, eleven Senior Trailblazers headed up the hike we call "Cub Creek." We attempted this hike three times last year, and only the last one was really good. You can read about them all right here
, if you want. It's a link to our November hike, with links included to the two previous ones. Today was simply stellar, one of the best of the year so far. It's hard to compare them, but I'm sitting here feeling very happy that I went out today.
This hike is definitely uphill all the way to the south summit of Stewart mountain. But it's on pretty trails like this one, as well as old logging roads for other parts of it. Five years ago when I first started taking this route with the Trailblazers, it was almost all on logging roads, but now we have more than half of the distance on these trails.
Logging roads are nowhere near as pleasant to hike on, but to get any good views, we do need to navigate some of them, as well as a few places where we had to bushwhack through some heavy brush. Steve and Al went on ahead and managed to snip and saw some of the larger pieces so that those of us following would be able to make it through without getting whacked by the branches.
A couple of times they even sawed through some smaller logs to make it easier for others who will be following us to find the trail. That's Al in the hat and Steve in the blue, working away at that fallen tree. I, of course, was busy documenting the action. Not to mention being grateful for being able to walk through rather than having to straddle the tree.
By the time we stopped for lunch, we had spectacular 360-degree views from our summit spot. Here you can see the Twin Sisters range, with Mt. Baker hidden by clouds to the left of the picture. It was simply splendid, and we all settled in to have a nice lunch. Because there was a breeze, we donned our coats, but it was only because when you've been sweating and working hard, any breeze at all makes you feel the chill.
In this direction, we had views of the bay and the Olympic Mountains of Canada. By this time I was very happy to rest a while, since I'm still recovering from the bad cold I got last week. In fact, yesterday I went to my doctor to be treated for a severe sore throat. I know I shouldn't have gone today, but the weather was so fine that I couldn't help myself. My friends were all solicitous and helpful. Although I should have been the one doing this, Peggy made perfect use of the nice slope and basked in the sunshine.
|Ah, sunshine and a full tummy!|
Afterwards, we headed back down. Since we ascended more than 2,700 feet in elevation, going back down was much quicker, if not so pleasant on my knees. Without the trekking poles, I could not do this kind of hike, but I was not alone. We were all thinking it must be a very long hike as we descended.
But it wasn't all that long, really. I would have thought it was ten miles, but it was under nine. Al says it was eight-and-a-half miles, but Steve said that must be for one way! The elevation gain and loss contributed to the sense that it was longer, but now as I sit in my favorite chair, sipping my wine, I'm thinking it was just right.