Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wonderful and windy Oyster Dome

Al, Kirk and Joy leading the group
Twelve intrepid Senior Trailblazers decided to brave today's discouraging forecast and hike up to Oyster Dome. The rain was forecast to start around 10:00am and keep up for days. Not to mention high winds, so I was a little surprised that so many of us decided to brave the elements. We go out rain or shine but our numbers are usually fewer when the weather looks bad. I went to that little search box on my sidebar and looked up previous trips up Oyster Dome, searching particularly for one time when we got drenched and didn't even stop for lunch. It was in November 2013.
Big leaf maple leaves littered the trail
It wasn't exactly warm, with a cold wind and the temperature in the mid-forties (8 C), and we were expected at any moment to encounter rain. I noticed that we have always done this hike in April and November, at the beginning and end of our winter season in the Chuckanuts. The trail has been improved greatly over the past few years, and we saw that construction is still continuing. It's almost easy (other than the elevation gain) to get to Oyster Dome.
At the Dome and the wind was fierce
It was still not raining by the time we reached the Dome around 10:30am, so we decided to descend to get out of the wind and make our way over to Lily Lake. We've almost always done a nice loop hike so that we don't have to go back down the steep and slippery trail to the Dome. They have added some signage that sort of tells the tale of Oyster Dome.
It's pretty graphic, don't you think?
At Lily Lake, we stopped for lunch. We looked for some place out of the wind, but we weren't really successful. It was tolerable, but nobody wanted to lounge around at lunch time, as you can see from this picture.
Al, Joy, Dave, Roger, Steve
Although it wasn't warm, you might be wondering about a missing element: rain. No rain! We couldn't believe our luck, but the hike wasn't over yet, since we were only at the halfway point here and still needed to head back via Max's Shortcut and Samish Overlook. We packed up and took off through the trees, where we could hear the wind howling overhead but only occasionally reaching us. You might notice there are no pictures at the Overlook: there were times we could barely stand up in the intense wind, so we scurried back into the trees to hike the final leg back to the cars.
Lots of yellow leaves
On this section of the trail, we continued to hear howling wind above us but felt protected from it, except for the possibility of a tree being uprooted and falling on us. But it was really rather strange: all that weather seemed very removed from us. Still no rain. Occasionally we had a drop or two, thinking it was the beginning, but then it stopped.
Carol and big leaf maple leaves
When we reached our cars, Carol decided to gather some of the beautiful leaves to take home to a friend, and I was delighted to take this picture. We had covered more than nine miles and up and down around 2,500 feet of elevation, so you might guess we were all tired. But the fact that the rain didn't impede our enjoyment and that we had so much fun together today reminds me why I love this group so much.


  1. So from one extreme (Florida) to another (PNW). Lol.
    Glad you managed to do this hike after the flight home.
    You must be tired.

  2. LOVE those leaves. Arboreal fireworks.
    Rain I love. Wind turns me, like cats and small children, feral.
    Not surprised you are a tired puppy, but a determined and resilient one too. As usual you more than deserve wine o'clock.

  3. There's always a little tension when rain is expected. You say when is the rain going to start? You brace yourself for rain for the whole day. Each hike is so different.

  4. Love that last photo of your friend with the leaves. Yes, I went hiking yesterday and only got rained on the last half mile. Win!

  5. You are home safely! I too like the bouquet of leaves:)

  6. Obviously you had a safe trip home! Thanks for all your comments on my blog. I did at one point go back and read your entire Eye on the Edge blog from the beginning, so i knew about your sons. You have been an inspiration to me the past few months, knowing that you survived and continued to find love and joy in life.

  7. A wonderful account of a beautiful afternoon. I haven't hiked for a long time, and after reading this post, longed to do so again!

  8. Great Sign! Very graphic...
    And those leaves look gigantic! Don't think we have leaves like that around here. Glad you had a good hike... and no rain.

  9. Glad you are back home. Those are some fantastic maple leaves! :)

  10. Out of he heat and into the cold and the wind. The only thing missing was the rain. You must be in heaven!

  11. Wow.. what a fabulous hike. Those leaves.. I've never seen anything that huge. And that graphic sign.. ack!

  12. I love the big maple leaves. I never occurred to me until I read the comments that not everyone who has maple trees would have big leaf maples.
    Nine miles! You did well on your first day back.

  13. I admire your resilience to go walking in high winds. Rain and wind do not make for a pleasant walk but the good company of friends makes up for the poor weather. The bunch of large maple leaves make a beautiful bouquet.

  14. so glad you had a good (unexpectedly good) hike! what GORGEOUS leaves! i'm wondering how they could be pressed and saved, they're so huge! and i miss maple leaves like crazy. even the normal sized ones. :)

  15. You are definitely an intrepid bunch and those are the biggest leaves I've ever seen. Wow!


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