Thursday, July 2, 2015

Chain Lakes on a hot sunny day

Ward, Linda, Susan, Roger, Bob, Diane Peggy, Carol, Rich, Chris
Today we had eleven Senior Trailblazers head out for a loop hike of around eight miles. We've done it several times before, but this was the earliest I can remember us attempting the loop, which usually has plenty of snow to deal with. Not this year. Our nonstop sunshine and low snow level from last winter has given us a chance to attempt hikes we usually make at the end of summer. In fact, I found that last year we made this hike at the end of August with plenty of clouds and saw mountain goats!
Mt. Baker from the trail
We decided to make the hike in reverse order from our usual direction, and we went up the Wild Goose Trail (very steep) to Artist Point and then began our trek down to Chain Lakes, with the intention to stop at Iceberg Lake (our usual lunch spot) and then head up Herman Saddle and back down to the cars via the Bagley Lake Trail.
Beautiful wildflowers
We noticed that the wildflowers were only really abundant when they had a water source. And those sources are drying up quickly. We were all very glad we made this hike today, since most of us think that in a month, when we usually try this hike, they will be all gone and it will be totally dry, if conditions continue as expected.
Iceberg Lake and four Trailblazers swimming
As soon as we reached the lake, four intrepid hikers tore off their clothes and jumped in. Since it had been so hot, I believe their shouts of joy and screams of delight made a few of us think that maybe we were missing something. A few of us headed down to the lake to... take off our boots and get our feet wet!
Me, Carol, Linda (taken by Chris)
Although it felt really good, I realized that taking a pair of flip-flops (as Chris had done) was a great idea for walking on slippery rocks. However, my feet were very appreciative anyway and sent little frissons of joy up to the rest of my body. Maybe next time I'll consider actually jumping in.
Lupine and daisies
Right now all around the lake are spectacular fields of wildflowers. There were also a few biting flies and even a stray mosquito or two, but basically that's another benefit of the dry weather, the bugs are not all that bad. That said, we hauled out the repellent while we enjoyed our lunch.
Iceberg Lake with Mt. Baker
And then we headed up to Herman Saddle, an uphill slog in full sun, with a light breeze the only positive element as we climbed up. I stopped to rest and saw this wonderful picture of Mt. Baker, with Iceberg Lake, our lunch spot, looking perfectly serene. And even a little tiny cloud! 
Shuksan Moutain, with Trailblazers in the foreground
We made it to the saddle and then headed down to the Bagley Lake Trail, which would lead us to the cars. Without our usual hike leader Al, we had to take the word of our other hikers as to the distance covered, and we decided that it was an honest eight miles, with somewhere around 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. In this kind of heat, it was not what I would call an easy hike.
Carol and wildflowers
This is the last picture I took, of Carol among the amazing wildflowers, before I just put my head down and placed one foot in front of the other until we reached the cars. I was very tired, but as soon as I got there, I began to feel better. We piled into our respective cars and headed down to Graham's for some ice cream. And then home. Now I am showered, wined, and soon will be dined to celebrate the end of a wonderful day. We missed Al, who was busy getting some medical procedure or other, but I look forward to his return next week. All in all, a very good day.


  1. Oh so beautiful! I'm jealous of your hiking....I want to get out on the trail so bad! Hopefully next week I'll be cleared to start again.

  2. just beautiful views! loved the iceberg lake shot. so sorry about the dry weather, there.

  3. What you're saying is that conditions vary widely in the high country. Small changes in seasonal weather patterns seem to make a big difference. It's a very pretty area.

  4. That was a beautiful hike today, but hard in this hot weather!

  5. What a beautiful photo of Iceberg Lake! Another great hike! Glad you recouped okay after the warm day...we are still coolish especially for July. But I like summer cool:)

  6. I can see why people wanted to jump into the water, which looks so pristine and pure. Lovely photos of the wildflowers, too.

  7. Gorgeous, and some amazing photos. Great job and glad you had so much fun!

  8. Absolutely awesome photos, DJan! I could have jumped in the lake today too. It was 93 degrees by us. I'm always loving the wildflowers. Lupines and daisies! What a great combination.

  9. It looks a truly magical day. Thank you so much for taking us along.
    I am pretty certain I would have swum - always assuming I could get there.

  10. No matter how picturesque I don't think i could swim in such icy cold water. Loved the view of Iceberg Lake with Mt Baker in the distance.

  11. I think I would go dipping in the lake - oh jeepers, it looks so nice. The photos are just amazing and the stop for lunch view brought a smile to my face - Just so beautiful. Thank you DJan for sharing and I hope Al's tests all are good. Take care my friend till your next adventure and have a wonderful day.

  12. Seems to be a drought going on in your neck of the woods>>>huh? That's not good. Hope soon it'll be back to normal.

    But the wildflowers for the day's hike were beautiful. And the icy 'dip' of toes in the little bit of water seemed heavenly.

    Of course stunning scenery...and camaraderie. That makes for a perfect day.

  13. The icy dip does sound wonderful in that heat. I can't imagine how dry it might be on that stretch in a couple of months. Good thing you all went now. :)

  14. Gorgeous photo of Iceberg Lake with Mt Baker in the background. Such beautiful areas to hike in, very envious!

  15. Ooh, think I would have been one of those in the water. What a great way to refresh on a hot day. Sure hope you all get some cooler weather soon.

  16. Yet another wonderful looking hike!

  17. If I had the strength for a hike like thati'd definitely jump into the lake. I love water a lot!
    Your photos are always so gorgeous.
    Happy 4th of July to you:-)


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