|On the trail, heading to Sugarloaf first|
Today twelve Senior Trailblazers met on a rainy morning, with hopes that the weather might be a little better south of us, where we were scheduled to hike up Mt. Erie and Sugarloaf in the ACFL (Anacortes Community Forest Land) area. We've done it several times before, and last year
it was in the rain. But this year? We lucked out AGAIN: four hikes in a row, and all in the wettest March we've had in ages. We managed to stay dry.
|View from Sugarloaf|
Usually we hike up Mt. Erie first and visit Sugarloaf second, but today we reversed the order. This is the view from Sugarloaf, and as you can see, it wasn't a beautiful day, even if we were not in the rain. Dark clouds threatened, and a light breeze at this point made up all put our jackets and gloves back on, which we had removed while we were hiking.
|Looking out at the view|
Since it was already after 11:00am, Al suggested we all have a quick snack before we headed off to Mt. Erie, which meant a descent before we would begin the climb to the summit of Mt. Erie. Although there is actually a paved road to the summit, there are also plenty of hiking trails to get us there as well.
|Leaving Sugarloaf, on our way to Erie ahead|
It sure didn't look like it would be very pleasant on the summit of Mt. Erie (as you can see in the picture above), with the top of the mountain shrouded in fog. But what the heck, it wasn't raining on us, and we would reach the summit a little after noon. Off we went.
|Looking down at Campbell Lake, Rosario Strait in the distance|
And what do you know? By the time we reached the summit of Mt. Erie, the clouds, still threatening, had cleared enough for us to have a lovely view as we enjoyed our lunch. There were even spots on the water that showed full sunshine in some places.
|Sunshine on the water|
We looked out at the bay and saw Ala Spit, a place we have visited before, jutting out from the end of Hoypus Hill, just to the north of the sunshine. You can see that there were still plenty of dark clouds overhead, but we had comfortable temperatures and a very nice lunch spot.
An eagle drifted lazily overhead, and try as I might, this was the best shot I could get. As soon as I would pick up my lunch and begin to eat, he would return, and by the time I was ready to capture him, he was headed away from me. His white head and white tail feathers are not visible here, but we knew for sure we were looking at a mature bald eagle.
|Returning to the cars|
By the time we were heading back to our cars, the sun had begun to show through and light up the forest. Our day's exertions were less than in previous weeks; we covered almost eight miles and went up and down around 2,300 feet. I was tired but could tell it was not as strenuous as the previous few weeks. We had a good day, although we did see a monster in the forest.
|Can you see the monster?|
As we made our way back through the forest, Peggy pointed out this mysterious creature, maybe a serpent from days of old, with strange wings on his back. From every angle he was striking, so I decided to end my post with his visage to remind us that, if we look carefully, there might be rare and unusual beings observing as we visit their forests.