Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chuckanut Ridge 2013

The exciting spot on the trail
Thirteen Senior Trailblazers showed up on a day that could only be called FRIGID in our neck of the woods. It was 23 degrees F (-5C) when we set out to join the others at the Senior Center. We were headed for Chuckanut Ridge, a challenging hike in any conditions, since it's long and has lots of ups and downs. We climbed the same elevation many times today. Clear and cold, but there was little breeze and we were quite comfortable as we set out.
I think I know this guy
Early on, some previous hiker had taken this leaf off the trail and placed it on the signpost for subsequent hikers to enjoy. Such a perfect face! By the time I took this, I was probably beginning to get warm, as the beginning of the hike is uphill for the most part. It was cold enough for hoarfrost to form, after the recent rains we've experienced. I love this pretty angel-hair stuff. Once you touch it, it's gone because of your body heat, but it's extruded out of the wood in fine filaments because of the cold.
Angel dust
The angle of the sun is quite low at this time of year, but we did have sunshine on and off during the day's exertions, and we had some magnificent views of Mt. Baker. But before I finish this post with that picture, I'll show you our lunch spot.
Twelve, with me behind the camera
We arrived at Gates Overlook, which has two picnic tables, right at noon and stopped for lunch. We had already traveled more than 6 miles and more than 2,400 feet of elevation gain and loss. Although we enjoyed ourselves as we "relaxed" in freezing temperatures, we didn't stay long. If you want to know how cold it was, how about a picture of our usually underdressed Trailblazer, Mikey, in the gear he wore today.
Is it really Mikey, or his twin?
Yep, it was that cold. So we didn't linger at our lovely lunch spot but began our trip back to the cars, where warmth and relaxation awaited us. We covered more than eleven miles today, almost 11.5, as well as going up and down close to 3,000 feet elevation. I'm glad to be home now, sitting in my living room writing this post. I think I'll sleep well tonight. And here's the picture of Mt. Baker from Chuckanut Ridge:
Favorite mountain, Mt. Baker
Since our days are not very long at this time of year, the shadows when we get past noon are long on the mountain. But will you look at that sky? Clear, something we don't see all that often. Now that I am home and enjoying my wine, the day looks MUCH better than it did while we were a mile from the cars. I was ready for it to be over at nine miles out, but there's nothing to do but keep going. Now I can say it was a GREAT day spent with wonderful people. My people.


  1. no shorts for mike? it MUST have been frigid! :) looks great, though. sounds invigorating, for sure.

    that angel dust is really cool! never heard of or seen it before!

  2. Yes, hikes always feel much better when you get home. It's surprising how warm you get and also how fast you cool off. that's why lunch has to be fast.
    Your picnic tables are a rarity.

  3. thinking i might be camped out at the fire after that...smiles...the angel hair is cool stuff...intriguing...i would totally be touching it though...ha...the face was cool too...

  4. I have never seen that kind of frost - angel dust. Fascinating.
    I love this cold CLEAR weather. As you saw on my blog, we got lots of work done here, but I don't think I worked as hard as you did on that hike!

  5. DJan, I've been mostly away from connectivity for a week or more..
    Yours is my first blog visit back.
    And an inspiration as always!
    We've had some days in the teens, and then yesterday we had a gorgeous & sunny day in the high 40's.. a wonderful surprise. Back to gray & frozen today.
    Rest well & rest warm!

  6. Ooh, ahh and happy dances. What a sublime hike - incredible scenery even more amazing friends. Though I have no doubt that wine o'clock was more than welcome (and deserved).

  7. That is an imposter..where are the shorts? Good long hike today...I bet you will sleep well. Lovely view!! Cold here to today:(

  8. Gorgeous. That smiley leaf is something to marvel!

  9. You and your friends had a cold day to hike, but you don't let sub-freezing temperatures slow you down! You all are amazing (and if I said this to you in person, it would probably have come out as, "Y'all are amazing!")
    The mountain is beautiful, Jan, as is that clear blue sky.

  10. Such a picture postcard view of Mt Baker. Not sure I could be enticed out in those temperatures although I always enjoy walking in the cold as long as I have enough layers on!

  11. Gee, I was totally impressed that Mikey had all those warm clothes on, for I do not think I have seen him dressed like this in any other photos, unless I missed a post. Nice lunch spot and the "leaf face" looks familiar. he,he Clouds forming here this morning - snow expected late today or tomorrow and it was such a nice sunrise. Have a great day.

  12. Ooh, it would be so hard not to touch that angle dust. I have never seen anything like it. That leaf face was a hoot and neat that you all shared him with the rest of the hikers.
    Mt. Baker was really dressed in its finest. Just lovely. What a great hike.

  13. Beautiful photos, DJan. Your energy and determination never cease to astound me. What a treat!

  14. Wonderful story and photos. I know it's a tough hike when you are ready to be done a couple of miles early. Enjoy your weekend!

  15. How gorgeous is that mountain! Wow! I love that somebody thought to place that leafy character for everyone to enjoy. And I especially love that you are sharing it further. Thank you.

  16. 11.5 miles ... that's impressive. 3000 feet elevation ... even more impressive!

  17. I love seeing that hoarfrost that you get there! And that last picture of the mountain is breathtaking!! It has been unseasonably cold here, too. Feels like January already. :)

  18. That angel dust is really amazing. I've never seen anything like it anywhere. Everything looks so beautiful out there.

  19. What an amazing hike. I would not try 11.5 miles, even in your relatively mild temperatures.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  20. That is a gorgeous shot of Mt. Baker DJan. From the way Mikey is dressed it had to be really cold. We almost got up to 32 on Thursday but not quite.

    The Angel Hair is so pretty, not a sight we see in the valley here.


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