Thursday, October 29, 2015

Waterfalls and Waterloos

Halloween hunchbacks and goblins on the trail today
Twelve Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center this morning, after having experienced heavy rain all night long. We were hoping for a break in the weather in between storm systems, and as we studied the weather forecasts, it seemed quite possible that we might have just such a chance.
Is that a view emerging through those trees?
We decided to head up to the High Country once again, and see if we could enjoy another trip up Heliotrope Ridge. We went at the end of July this summer, in the heat and dry conditions and had some wonderful views of the glacier on Mt. Baker. Al wasn't with us then. It's a favorite summer hike, but today when we reached the trailhead, it was raining. Not sprinkling: raining.
Doug, Rich, Al
I didn't have much to take pictures of, other than a bunch of wet hikers making our way up the trail. It was fairly warm, and as long as we didn't stop for long, nobody minded a bit. Then we came to a really beautiful waterfall!
Beautiful waterfall
This told us several things: one, it has been raining here for awhile, rather hard. (We learned it rained all night long in this area and the rain was intense at times.) When we saw this spot in summer, it was dry, with not so much as a trickle coming down. This did not bode well for the upcoming streams, which have no bridges and one just has to cross the wet rocks very carefully.
Al and Doug studying the situation; here comes Rich
This stream isn't even the most treacherous one to cross, and every other year when I've been here we managed to get across this one. These three Trailblazers went up and down looking for a place we might cross safely, and after awhile they decided it was too risky. We had met our Waterloo. If we took the chance and crossed, we would have been able to make our way up the climbers' route even if we couldn't get across the final stream. But there really was no view, it was still raining off and on, and it didn't seem worth it.
Ward and Carol looking at the roaring stream
The only place with a bridge is near the beginning of the hike. Here we are after having given up on our hope for a nice break in the weather and an enjoyable hike. Once we got back to the parking lot, with no more than three miles covered in total, it was nearly noon so we stopped for lunch and then decided to head home early. It was raining again anyway, so nobody minded all that much.

We sort of knew our chances of getting another High Country hike were marginal, but I'm glad we tried anyway. The company was wonderful, as usual, and my rain gear worked perfectly!


  1. Crossing a creek on rocks is risky business. For younger people if you fall you get wet. For older people you may do some damage to yourself and remain in the creek for a while.I'm pretty black eh?

  2. You hearty souls seem to be prepared for just about anything!

  3. i'm glad you played it safe and no one was hurt. that makes for a good outing, even if it was short and wet. loved your hunchbacks. :)

  4. That is a gorgeous waterfall. You do go on the most amazing hikes, DJan! I'm glad you are being careful too and I'm glad you're always prepared for the weather.

  5. At least you and your friends got out there and hiked. I have tomorrow off, and I'm planning to do the same, rain or no rain!

  6. With taking care of internet business and communication, doing the grocery shopping and generally catching up, we only got in a half hour walk today, and then we got rained on almost as soon as we started out. We then went to Isaac's track meet, which was wet too, and then we were all hearded under the stadium into the locker rooms for what turned out to be a lockdown, due to a shooting in the area. I guess we met our Waterloos also. That was the end of the track meet.

  7. Good to hear your gear is good in rain:)

  8. How I love your positive attitude.
    And that you finally are getting real rain - inconvenient as it can be.

  9. I'm glad you passed on the rushing water and the rocks. Next time. ;)

  10. Better to be safe than sorry. As you said the company was good and you all made the effort. Hope the rain stops soon.

  11. It's too bad you couldn't reach your destination, but as you said, you enjoyed the camaraderie.

  12. Good choice with the slippery rocks. My felt waders help in this situation but then I'm flyfishing in Montana...:)


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