Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pine and Cedar Lakes, plus Raptor Ridge

Peggy, Kirk, Chris, Rich, Jacqueline, Doug, Al
Eight of the Senior Trailblazers met to hike up to Pine and Cedar Lakes, with a two-mile side jaunt up to Raptor Ridge today. It was raining when we met, but not more than a little sprinkle when we started out, and we were ready for just about anything. It's back to our usual fall weather: instead of cold and dry, we are now warm and damp. Perfect for the Pacific Northwest hardy bunch that we are.
The sign at the trailhead
We've done this hike many times before, and I remember well the first part: pretty much straight up, gaining 1,300 feet in 1.6 miles to start out. Enough to get us nice and warm, and by the time we had gained that altitude, the rain was gone. During the day we had a few light sprinkles, but nothing much, really. The fog came and went.
No sun today, with intervals of fog
After so many really cold days, it seemed balmy to have the temperature in the forties and fifties as we hiked along. Pine and Cedar Lakes look almost the same, and although I took pictures at both places, they are unremarkable. Here's a look at Cedar Lake.
A few forlorn lily pads and bare trees on the other side

The round trip from our start was only five miles, so of course we decided to add a little bit more by taking a short side trip to Raptor Ridge. As we approached the ridge, we could hear the wind blowing hard. Although we took a quick trip to the overlook once we reached the ridge, there was little reason to stay, as there was enough wind to make us feel cold immediately.
View of Raptor Ridge today
I  know you can't see the wind in this picture, and I fully expected us to have no view at all, so I was pleased to see that we actually could see a few ridges away under the dark clouds. We quickly went down to a nice dry spot out of the wind and had our lunch.
Big leaf maple leaves underfoot
Then it was time to head back the way we had come, through the fallen leaves and downward toward the cars. That steep part on the way up was pretty hard to navigate on my less-than-happy knees, but since we went slowly, it wasn't too bad. We covered somewhere under eight miles and more than 2,100 feet of elevation before we got back. There was a little rain as we covered our last few hundred feet, but it was otherwise almost dry for the entire excursion.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I'll be missing the hike and my friends this time next week. It is a wonderful community here in Bellingham, and I've grown quite accustomed to spending time outdoors with these folks. We each will be doing our own version of the holiday, and I will be giving thanks for many things, not the least of which is this group and the many wonderful trails we hike together.


  1. glad you had almost no rain and warmer temps, too! love the shot of the stick-straight tree trunks. :)

  2. You have so much to be thankful for, Jan. Your friends and your surroundings are treasures, and I thank you for sharing your blogposts and your photos with us.
    Continue to take care of your knees. May your Thanksgiving be a blessed one.
    Hugs and love,

  3. You often get me to think back to experiences in my hiking. Wind whipping over a ridge is something I'll not forget. We were on a narrow ridge( 5-6 ft wide0 and a sudden gust hit us. We hit the ground in a hurry.

  4. LOVE those trees - and the view.
    And you are one of the people I am thankful for. An inspiration.

  5. As you described that initial steep part going up, all I could think about was having to come back down! Ouch!
    A good walk in the woods sounds great, but I think I'm going to limit my elevation gain now.

  6. Looks like it has returned to Fall there! Another fine hike. Surely you will get something organized for a hike next week...Monday or Tuesday:)

  7. It looks wonderful. Love those tall, skinny trees, the lake, the fallen leaves, all of it. Thanks for being in the blog universe, DJan. I love hiking with you.

  8. Oh my....what gorgeous wonderful surroundings you put yourself into DJ....LOVE!! that photo of the tall pine trees in the fog.

    If, by chance, you won't be blogging during the holiday, have a great celebration on Thursday.

  9. Glad you had a good hike - well, Thanksgiving - we already had ours - will you be over run on black Friday? I stay away from all that craziness. I like the fog in the forest. Have a wonderful day DJan :)

  10. Sounds like a fascinating hike. But did you see any Raptors on the Ridge? Or above it?

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We Canadians celebrated in early October, but I don't suppose that really matters.

    Blessings and Bear hugs, DJan!!

  11. There seems to be no end to the beautiful places that you and your group have to explore. Such wonderful scenery and camaraderie you share. Much to be thankful for, indeed.

  12. Glad your weather is more normal now. Puts the fun back in hiking. That wind sounded rough. I can take it really cold till wind is added. What a difference it makes.

  13. I guess the main thing to have while hiking are sturdy shoes. I hiked up to Manoa Falls back in the 1970s and wore rubber slippers which broke in the sticky mud. Ugh. Had to walk barefoot the rest of the way. Lol.

  14. I'm liking the photos you're getting out of your new iPhone.


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