Thursday, February 18, 2016

Oyster Dome 2016

Me, Rich, Chris, Noriko, Peggy
This was our group today. No leader, as you can see here, so nobody did any paperwork and we set off to be a rogue group of Senior Trailblazers!
Keys on a stump at the beginning of the trailhead
Another one of those days when it rained all night and the weather forecast for Thursday was iffy. The five of us showed up this morning, and today, as you will see, we had a bit of everything. Except rain. These keys had been left on a soggy stump right at the beginning of the hike, probably lost the day before (since it was so early). Nice of someone to leave them; there seem to be a LOT of car keys.
Crew still working on the trail
It was November when we last went up this trail, and the trail crew had improved it immensely back then, as you can see from this post. Today I was pleased to see that all the worst parts have been completely replaced with a much better version, adding switchbacks and smoothing out the most treacherous spots. This worker is almost finished removing the rock from this section of the new trail. The temperature was perfect for hiking but a bit windy, as we made our way up to Oyster Dome.
Samish Bay from Oyster Dome
 When we reached the Dome, it was suddenly very windy and cold. As you can see from the overcast sky, we also didn't have any indication that the day would improve. It was early, so we scurried down from Oyster Dome and set off for Lily Lake where we would be in the trees and protected from the wind.
Lunchtime at Lily Lake
Most of the time as we ate our lunch, we didn't have much wind, but every once in awhile a gust would find us, so we didn't exactly linger long. We've been here when it's been sunny and warm, but this wasn't one of those days. But still, no rain made us feel like we were incredibly lucky. Plus the small group made it easy to enjoy each other's company.
Map showing where we went today
After lunch at Lily Lake, rather than turning around and heading back the way we had come, we decided to do our usual loop/lollipop hike. (Al calls it a "lollipop" when we make a loop but return on the same trail we started on.) See the red steep lines on the left? That's where we started up to Oyster Dome, and then we took the light green line up, then backtracked a little to the blue line that took us to Lily Lake. See the "You Are Here" indicator? From there we headed south to Max's Shortcut and the Larry Reed trail to Samish Overlook.
The view of Samish Flats and Samish Bay from the Overlook
This is probably the wettest I've ever seen Samish Flats, because of all the rain we've been having lately. But there is another thing we noticed immediately: blue sky beginning to appear. It was windy here, too, so we didn't stay long but headed back to the cars via the red line on the map.
Chris and Noriko basking in the sunshine
And on the way back down to the cars, on that final stretch, we saw plenty of sunshine! What a treat that nobody expected. All we hoped for was a hike with the rain not being too bad. Peggy said it was all her fault: she wore her rain pants, rain hat, and rain boots. How could it possibly rain on us?
Red currants in bloom
When we reached the cars, I took this picture of a sure sign of spring: a sprig of pretty pink blossoms! We had covered somewhere around nine miles and 2,500 feet up and down, so we were all tired but so pleased that we'd had such a great day. I know that some of my hiking buddies will read this and be sorry they didn't come because of the forecast. Another day when we beat the odds! Yessirree!


  1. Red currant blooming already? Ours here at home is just budding out.
    I really like the way you framed your Samish Bay photo.

  2. Yet another Thursday with no rain? How do you do it? I do like the map you provided.

  3. I love how often you DO beat the odds. And am still smiling at the rogue group of Senior Trailblazers.

  4. At this time of year in the PNW a hike without rain is a lucky thing!

  5. Another great hike...and blooms to boot WOW! You made a good bunch of rogues:)

  6. That's a great hike with great views again. I'm so amazed that you're already starting to get spring blooms. We didn't see spring until the end of April in Chicago.

  7. The beauty of your surroundings would surpass getting a "little" wet here and there. And I DO love the idea for me, personally, a smaller hiking group.

    That's a new one for currants blooming!

  8. Well, you beat the rain DJan and had sunshine afterall. Truly lovely shots up there on your hike. I especially like the Samish Flats n Bay - reminds me of my view from Frost Mountain not too far from here. Lovely to see blooms out, but won't be for a while here?? Maybe.

  9. Nine miles and 2500 feet elevation? Now that's a hike!

  10. You do find the most intriguing sites, so beautiful. It looks like there are more than just car keys on that ring, and someone is looking for them desparately.

  11. You really have had the weather luck lately. Glad they have people working on those trails--and loved the blossoms! :)

  12. What beautiful flowers to cap a great day!

  13. Think that might have been your smallest group but you were rewarded for your determination. Great how you usually defy the weatherman and have a good day anyway.
    Those flowers are so Springy.

  14. yay for no rain again! loved the bay shots!


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