Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goat Mountain, second time in 2015

Goat Mountain trail
Fourteen Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center to head up the Mt. Baker Highway to what might be our last High Country hike of the season, to the Goat Mountain overlook. We went on this trail back in June, at the beginning of the season, and it had already been so abnormally warm that we saw no snow. In June! As you can see from this picture, it was quite dry today, with much of the usual fall colors muted by the drought.
Framed perfectly by the trees
As we gained altitude (more than 2,500 feet in all) we got some great views of my favorite mountain, which I have begun to call Komo Kulshan, the Native American name for Mt. Baker. It was cold when we started out on the hike, but as we gained altitude we also gained quite a bit of warmth. The full sun and lack of a breeze made it seem like a midsummer's day.
Our lunch spot
Usually, when we get to our lunch spot, we have to put on more clothes, but today we actually had to take some of them off, since it was so warm. I wished I had worn a short-sleeved shirt, like Lisa has on in this picture, because I was too hot in my long sleeves. Who would have guessed it would be like this at 5,100 feet (more than 1,500 meters high)? In October??
Bob and Richard watching a soaring eagle
We saw an eagle making some gentle swoops using a thermal uplift right over the valley, and we were mesmerized, as you can see here from Bob and Richard watching in awe. The eagle didn't have to make even one wingbeat, with the warm air keeping him aloft. His eagle eye was probably making note of the two-legged beasts who were not the lunch he was looking for.
Peggy and Dave admiring Mts. Sefrit on the left, Shuksan on the right
It was hard to leave this idyllic spot, sun and warmth and beautiful views galore, so we ended up staying over an hour before we reluctantly headed back down to our cars. I took this picture with my cellphone (actually, all of these are iPhone 6 shots), but this time (below) I used the digital zoom to capture the trees in front of Mt. Shuksan.
Trees and Mt. Shuksan
I am really impressed with the digital zoom capabilities on my phone, but this one I will probably take to Costco and get it printed out, and we'll see how much (if any) quality I lost. This is a favorite shot already.
Heading back down
And then we started down, covering the same ground but this time we're going back to our cars. I took this picture to compare to last year's mid-October visit to Goat Mountain. If you follow that link, you'll see that last year at the same time, we had lots of fall color. Not so this year, but what can you expect of a summer like we had? I hope we don't have another one like it for many a year.
Another fine day together
What can I say to finish this wonderful day? Only that I hope that whether it's in sun or rain or anything in between, I'll have more time in the High Country with my best friends next year. I know I have been blessed with good health and knees that are hanging in there for another season, so I'm going to be greedy and ask for more! It's too much fun to stop now.


  1. Looking back on your previous post, I see what you mean about the lack of color. Last year's was gorgeous. But the sun and warmth made up for it, I'm sure.

  2. Sounds like exceptional conditions for a hike in mid-October!

  3. Yes you are missing lots of color this yewar. Isn't it wonderful that we can look back and see what we were doing a few years back? Great hike and I hope you soaked up some of the Vitamin D :)

  4. Watching a powerful bird like an eagle is fascinating. You'll take all the warm weather you can.

  5. Gorgeous views! So worth the climb. Yes, this continually dry weather is getting old. I'm ready to resume our normal cool, rainy fall.

  6. I really, really hope you get your wish. For you, and selfishly for me. I love travelling with you - and marvelling at the beauty you share.

  7. What a fantastic hike for us!!! Oh those photos. Wow. I especially liked the view at your lunch spot AND the framed peaked mountain within the pine. Wow.

    And, why NOT ask for more good times ahead? Only natural, and with your good health, I'm sure your dream will be true next year.

  8. gorgeous views! the trees framing the mountain is especially beautiful. and warm! yeah, texas knows warm these days. hitting upper 90s and breaking records. we need that rain, too. central texas battling wildfires again. i hope your drought is over and i hope rains come to soothe things here, too.

  9. Such a robust group! I love the picture through the trees.

  10. I really love your pics, DJan. I enlarge them every time... feels like I'm right there. Especially like that second one of Mt Baker framed by the the trees.

  11. Yes, really brown compared to last years visit! But that shot of the trees and Mt. Shuksan is spot on! Definitely get that one blown up.

    Lately all my pics have been taken with my cell phone. During the move I discovered that it was a lot easier to grab a photo off Dropbox for my blog rather than the longer process with my camera. I haven't tried a video yet, though, with my cell phone. :)

  12. Yours is a very good attitude to have. To take each day as it comes and to extract as much joy and happiness as you can.

  13. Can't remember seeing you all in short sleeves before with out rain hats and coats. I do like the Native American name also. Wonder if they will ever change it.
    Keep having fun lady, you inspire us all.

  14. Technology sure has come a long way. What a beautiful hike. And photos!

  15. Art finally broke down and got me the 6s. Yae! I'm really loving it. I hope my photos will turn out as nice as yours. What an amazing view.


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