Thursday, February 25, 2016

Is it really still February?

Today's trail on Fidalgo Island
We saw from the weather forecast that we were likely to have a wonderful sunny hike on Fidalgo Island near Deception Pass State Park, where we spend a fair amount of our winter hikes that are not in the Chuckanuts. Ten Senior Trailblazers drove south from Bellingham for about an hour to start our hike.
Fidalgo Island is north of Deception Pass
I've been adding maps lately, since I have a few bloggers who seem to really appreciate them, and it also helps me when I'm trying to orient myself. I guess it's time that I started to pay attention. This map (which I snapped while at the trailhead) shows that Fidalgo Island has both Bowman Bay (our starting point) and Ginette Hill. W've often hiked up to an old orchard and then headed back down to Bowman Bay and taken some short treks from there. Today, however, we went up to Ginnette Hill and tried out some new trails that are being created in the area. We went to some places we hadn't visited before.
An old log cabin
We found an old log cabin that has been abandoned for a long time, but we didn't really know who lived there, until we continued farther along the trail. We found a tunnel to an old mine. We looked into it, using our iPhone cameras to see farther in. A spooky place with a foot of water in the bottom.
The mine opening
Although it isn't easy to see from the picture, there really is plenty of water on the floor of the opening, and we couldn't see much except that it was definitely a mine entrance. What they were looking for when it was operative is not obvious, but probably the miners had created that log cabin and used it while the mine was in use. We followed the new trail for awhile, but it began to get very sketchy and so we decided to backtrack and find the orchard that we have visited  before.
Bob taking a turn on the swing
There is an old ancient apple tree in this orchard with a swing. We've loved to play on it on previous trips, but this was a first time for Bob and Chris (and me!). It was such a lovely day that when we stopped for lunch, nobody would have thought it would be the LONGEST time we have ever spent in a lunch spot. It was warm and beautiful and sunny, so we stayed for way more than an hour.
Elder teenagers having a blast
In this orchard area, where we know an old farmhouse must have stood sometime in the past, we spied several non-native plants in bloom, starting with violets and snowdrops.
violets and snowdrops in the middle
As we enjoyed our leisurely lunch, every once in awhile we would get a waft of the smell of violets, which were all around us. I found this lovely spot that also included some snowdrops in the middle, all in bloom. Isn't it still February? This seems awfully early, but nobody was complaining.
Daffodils in bloom, with more to come
Around the corner we found some daffodils already reaching for the sun, with plenty more to come in the near future. Look at all those green sprouts! It was just lovely, but finally we had to gather ourselves together for our return journey. By the time we had reached the cars, nobody was all that interested in our usual trips to increase our distance. We had covered just under seven miles and around 1,600 feet up and down, less than usual, but nobody was complaining.
As I sit here writing this post, with my face aflame from all the sunshine it absorbed today, I will leave you with this picture that Chris took of me on the swing. In all these prior years I have not taken the plunge, but this year I did! It was fun!


  1. Interesting walk and discoveries that make the imagination work overtime. In places like this I always wonder who toiled away and what hardships they endured.

  2. This was such a delightful post. You are giving me spring fever! What fun you must have had on this hike.

  3. You look so young on that swing! And I do enjoy the maps.

  4. Awwww... What a great day. You are all the most fun loving, adventurous, cheerful group of people I know. I wish I lived close enough and was strong enough to join you.

  5. What a wonderful, wonderful day.
    I am smiling (broadly) thinking of it.
    Yay you. And all the other trekkers.

  6. I love that flowers remain in the old orchard. As I was down on my hands and knees in my garden today, I saw the first violet in bloom. They always remind me of my mother. Her name was Violet.
    I thought of you as I was working in the sun, knowing you would be having a lovely hike today.

  7. A swing on the trail! Now that's a hike I'd totally love (you probably wouldn't be able to get me off it)

  8. I just hope the swing rope was 'new' enough to not be rotten as the cabin remnants are. I don't think I'd brave getting on it.

    Love the wildflowers. the cave entrance [I used to go spelunking when I lived in Colorado!!!] and the scenery of all.

    Wonderful day...beautiful.

  9. Now that sounds like a hike I could have gotten in to. Adventure with the old home and mine and fun time on a swing. You could sell tickets for that kind of day.

  10. Looks like fun. Don't know about the sunburn, though.

  11. Goodness! It looks like April or May there! Love that you went swinging! :)

  12. Just a bunch of kids, playing hooky, and having fun.

  13. You might be seniors but you're like kids when you see a swing! I can't believe you're seeing spring blooms already! It's been warmish here too but the forecast is calling for a change back to winter in March.

  14. What a beautiful day. It definitely brought out the child within.

  15. I wouldn't have been able to resist the swing either! I love that picture of you!

  16. Good for you swinging! Looks like Spring is there already!! Lucky you, although we have 50 F ++++ today, unusual for February. If it is above zero I am happy. :)


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