Thursday, March 19, 2015

British Army Trail and more

Stream crossing
I sure didn't expect to see sixteen Senior Trailblazers show up on a day when it was forecast to rain all or most of the day, and on a hike that is definitely not one of our favorites, the British Army Trail on Blanchard Mountain. It's rather long and spends a good deal of the day on old logging roads. It's part of the PNT (Pacific Northwest Trail) and was constructed by PNT volunteers and visiting British Army soldiers during the late 1990s. We started from the Upper Trailhead parking lot, after having dropped a car off at our ending point. This would allow us to make a one-way hike, which we did last year. I wrote about it here. It was sunny then, but today we expected any minute to be in rain. We were ready.
Time to strip off some layers
But since the rain didn't seem to be coming, other than a little drop or two (nothing for us seasoned Pacific Northwesterners), we stopped to take off most of our rain gear. It was very mild and I soon realized I too was wearing way too many clothes. After this stop I was much more comfy.
Must be a woodpecker heaven
I saw this tree that looked like a sieve, with all those holes. We speculated that it must have lots of beetles and other tasty treats for the woodpeckers to find under the bark. Our hike took us to Lily and Lizard Lakes, but we didn't see any lilies or lizards today. It was too early to stop for lunch by the time we got to Lily Lake, so we headed on over to Lizard Lake for our lunch stop.
Stopping at Lizard Lake for lunch
By the time we got to Lizard Lake and pulled out our lunch and made ourselves comfortable, it still wasn't raining. Just a few little drops on the lake, but nothing really. I walked around the area and found this recent tree cut down by a beaver or two:
Stump with lots of cuttings and the tree next to it
I looked at this endeavor and wondered whether the tree simply sheared off once they got it close to finished. The top of the stump doesn't have any teeth marks, and the position of the tree makes me think the tree just gave up. I guess beavers must know about the way a tree is going to fall, since I haven't seen any dead bodies lying around, but plenty of felled trees.
Trillium bud
And look! A trillium just getting ready to open. Now I know that spring is really here. I'll be seeing more and more of these as the time goes by. When they are gone in the lowlands, we will be hiking in the High Country and seeing them there. It was so nice to say hello to my first one of the season.
This sign shows the section dedicated to the British Royal Army
By the time we got to this point, we were all ready for the hike to be done. But we still had miles to go before we got to the car, most of it on logging roads. Before it was all over, we had covered more than nine miles and 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. You would think I'd get used to it, but I was very tired by the end. The five drivers piled into the one car and drove to our starting point to get the other cars. Since it wasn't raining, the rest of us didn't mind the wait too much.
It started to rain once we got in the cars
On the way back to the Senior Center, we got rain! Once we were inside the cars, the heavens opened up. Do you think somebody was watching out for the Senior Trailblazers? I do! It was a nice way to end a day where we all got lots of exercise and stayed (mostly) dry!


  1. that's awesome that you avoided rain for the entire hike and was able to get back into the cars before the downpours. woodpeckers and beavers are both happy. laughed at your non-observation of dead beaver carcasses lying about. :)

  2. How very lucky that your walk was barely damp, and the skies waited to open until you were all warm and dry.
    Loved hearing about the woodpeckers and the beavers and seeing that first trillium about to unfurl.

  3. How interesting that the rain didn't come until your hike ended. You hardy folks must emote some powerful juju!

  4. I'm so glad the rain held off for you. You are all true intrepid outdoors people! I know it will keep you as healthy as possible.

  5. After shopping and a walk this morning, I worked in the yard this afternoon. It sprinkled a bit, but the rain held off. I thought of you and wondered if you would be staying dry where you were hiking. The forecast was for rain north of Seattle.
    I'm glad you had another good outing.

  6. It always makes for a big bonus when it was forecast to rain but didn't rain.

  7. Ready for rain but It didn't happen ! I guess you never know. You didn't sound too thrilled about this hike. Hope you are feeling okay:)

  8. Good timing on the weather! I hiked last Sunday and missed all the rain and wind. I did see a trillium.

  9. Very interesting DJan. I love your pictures this morning. The Beavers really had a good chew on that tree didn't they!

  10. Interesting photo of the tree trunk full of holes made by a woodpecker.
    I am glad the heavy rain waited until after you had finished your hike.

  11. If somebody is up there watching out, I'm sure the Senior Trailblazers are on the top of his/her list! P.S. Is the Pacific Northwest Trail part of, or in any way connected with the famous Pacific Crest Trail?

  12. I am always so impressed by the miles you all cover and how great that the rain held off for you. That woodpecker tree was amazing. It must have been riddled with bugs. Doubt there is one bug left now.

  13. That's so nice that the rain waited until you were all done! Love seeing what the beavers are up to. And the trillium--spring has arrived there! :)

  14. Nine miles. Two thousand . feet.... This winter bound couch potato is exhausted just thinking about it. :)

  15. Good to read that the rain held off 'til AFTER the hike. And that tree with 'woodpecker' holes...that is an AMAZING find. I'm glad you stopped to get a photo of it.

    Lots of Seniors taking part...that's nice to read, and a fun group I'm sure.

  16. I enjoyed a nice Saturday evening hike with our neighbor's daughter (visiting from the twin cities and looking for a partner to join her back to her property way way through the woods)- we checked out the work of the beavers, too!
    It was cold and good and tiring.
    Love to see the trillium arriving, and that swiss cheese tree!


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