|Mikey, Peggy, Linda, Ward, Steve|
We were a small group of six today, for reasons I'll tell you about in a minute. First, our weather forecast was again not exactly positive, and we knew it wouldn't be a completely dry day, but we hoped our luck would hold. It did; we had some rain, some wind, muddy trails, but nothing we couldn't handle. You might notice a Trailblazer in that picture we haven't seen much of lately: Mikey, who is hoping his health has returned enough for him to join us now and then. He hasn't been a regular for well over a year, so it was wonderful to see him. Al didn't join us again today, this time because of an arthritic hip that is acting up. I was willing to lead in order to set the pace.
|Well worn sign|
We start this hike from the Larrabee State Park parking lot and head up some steep logging roads to Burnout Point. On the way, Steve pointed out this sign to us, which shows frequent wear from cougars using it to sharpen their claws. Either that or marking territory to warn off others. It was quite impressive to see the deep gouges in the wood.
|Looking out at Samish Bay|
This is our first viewpoint and, as it turned out, the only one we had today. I've taken this silhouette picture before, but I never tire of it. As you can see from the clouds, we played tag with rain all day. We never had a downpour so we consider ourselves lucky. But it had rained plenty during the previous night, making our trail muddy in many spots. Once we reached the top, Burnout Point, there was no view and the wind was blowing, not to mention it was raining at that point. We hustled back into the trees.
As you can see from this picture, it was rather damp, but our trusty rain pants and gaiters kept us (mostly) dry. By the time we were on the return trail, we weren't anxious to make the hike too much longer, so we skipped Fragrance Lake where we usually stop for lunch and found a nice place to hunker down for a quick snack to keep us going. Our "lunch stop" was brief and truncated in order to get back to the cars before any more rain.
I am always delighted to see these licorice ferns growing from rock crevices. In the foreground are sword ferns with the small pretty licorice ferns behind. One thing we have plenty of here in the Pacific Northwest are ferns of all kinds!
|Trees that found a way|
These tree roots that have found their way to the ground in order to grow, and even flourish, amaze me every time I see them. They were slightly wet and shiny when I took this picture, which still doesn't do them justice. This Fragrance Lake trail is well used, and I suspect these roots are often photographed.
About our small group: I got an email yesterday from Chris, telling me that she and Richard would not be joining us today because she fell from her bike yesterday, breaking her wrist. On the way back with five us of piled in a car together, I called her to find out how bad it is. Bad: she will have surgery tomorrow, Friday, as her wrist is shattered and will require a plate inserted to hold the bones together. It's her right hand, so Richard is having to do everything for her. She says she's going to have to teach him to cook!
So with Al absent and Chris injured, our numbers fell to a few hardy souls today. However, we had a really good time anyway, covering more than eight miles and more than 2,000 feet up and down before it was all said and done. It's still early enough that I've got to wait for wine o'clock a bit longer. Until then, I'll settle into my chair and relax!