|The start of our hike on an old logging road|
Since there was so much snow on our last two hikes, with our upward progress severely impeded, Al decided to take us instead of our regularly scheduled hike, up to what we call the "Middle Fork area." We drove up the Mt. Baker Highway to Mosquito Lake Road and then followed an old logging road until we got to where we could walk up to the end, have lunch and then turn around. But we were assured that there would be no snow. Thirteen of us drove in three cars to this spot and began our hike.
|The Twin Sisters behind us, to the right|
Carl took this picture of me (below) at our first viewpoint. It turned out very nice, I think, so I used it to show the Twin Sisters in all their glory. And you can see that the weather was very nice at the beginning of our hike, although it would change later on. You can also see the bandage from my mole removal. Although I could have taken it off today, I figured I would wait until after the day's activities so it would be well protected.
|Me in front of the Twin Sisters|
And what are all those people looking at in the previous picture? Well, we finally got a good view of the Black Buttes and a peek at Mt. Baker, who was busy hiding behind a cloud on the left. But it's still a picture I was happy to see in my cell phone. Most of these pictures are taken with my camera, but I always sneak one or two with my cell phone, so I can compare them. This picture turned out to be FAR superior to the one taken with my camera.
|Mt. Baker and the Black Buttes|
If you compare the sky in this picture with the previous one of me, you can see what I mean. I might just stop carrying my camera and focus on using just the cell phone. I would miss my camera's zoom, but that's just about all.
As we were walking up the road, we saw some flowers (I think these are penstemon) that had taken root on the sheer rock walls. I used my camera with the zoom, so I would have missed this picture with only my cell phone camera.
|Flowers taking root on a sheer rock face|
After a leisurely lunch, we headed back down the same road we traveled up, gaining just about 2,000 feet in three-and-a-half miles to our lunch spot. I got this picture of Jonelle and Carl just before we left to return to our cars. These two intrepid hikers met a while back on one of the hikes Jonelle led in the Palm Springs area (where she winters), and I've learned there will be nuptials at the end of August, joining their two families.
|Jonelle and Carl|
You might remember that Jonelle and I jumped out of an airplane together just about a year ago. You can refresh your memory here
, or if you missed it, read all about it. Not long after this picture was taken, though, as we were heading back down, there were these little drops of something coming out of the sky. As true Pacific Northwesterners, we ignored it for awhile, but then we donned our rain gear, which we all had with us, of course.
|Misty rain, Trailblazers donning rain gear in the foreground|
It was not bad at all, and by the time we reached the cars on our return journey, it had already stopped. I learned that down here in Bellingham it didn't rain at all. Since it was fairly early, we decided to stop at Caffe Refugio
just outside the town of Deming, Washington, for a coffee and/or an ice cream. What a treat it turned out to be!
|Trailblazers enjoying gelato, coffee, and buns|
It turned out that they have lots of gelato of every flavor, and freshly made espresso drinks, as well as huge cinnamon/bacon buns, which several people enjoyed right there or took home for later. There was only one person serving, but he did a great job. He asked how our hike went, saw to all our needs, and we left happy and quite well satisfied.
It was a different kind of day from those we usually experience on Thursdays, and I found it to be just right for today. We didn't need to deal with snow and difficult conditions, we had good company, and a really good treat to end our time together. I look forward to more of these one of these days.