|On the logging road
Today nine Senior Trailblazers went on a familiar hike up what we call both Cub Creek and Smith Creek. Nobody really knows where the former name came from, but it didn't matter. When we got to the Senior Center, it was great to see Al show up, since he missed last week because of a cold. (I didn't go either.) But, alas, he was only there to give us maps of the area so we wouldn't get lost. Last week's hapless foursome did just that, and Al wanted to make sure we knew where we would be going today. Although we've done it many times, there are several decision spots that he knew we would puzzle over.
|Where we first met snow
So nine of us gamely began our hike with Ward setting the pace and leading, but still we had to stop several times to make sure we were going the right way. After a couple of hours of uphill-ness, we ran into snow that stayed with us the rest of the way to our summit. I have to say I really miss Al's pace; as much as he tried, Ward is naturally a bit faster and I found myself struggling to keep up at times. He would slow down and then slowly speed up again.
|Steve, Carol, Sue, Linda, Ward, Peggy, Rich, Chris
Finally! We reached our summit, one of the many Stewart Mountain summits, with views of Mt. Baker and the Sisters behind us. And simply glorious weather: there was a light breeze, and it wasn't exactly warm once we stopped, but nobody was complaining.
|Today's lunch spot
We spent about a half hour here, and we knew that we had our return journey ahead but nobody was in any hurry; once you're here, there's nothing to do but descend the 2,700 feet we had gained to this spot. We knew that somewhere down below us we would leave the snow behind and return to springtime. We decided to make a loop, which adds about another mile on logging roads but allows us to skip some of the slow going through the snow.
|There was a nurse log there once upon a time
On the way down, I saw this wonderful tree that looks a little like an alien, but the story is that long ago there was an old stump that served as nutrition for this tree until it was absorbed. The tree is still growing, and it's probably going to be a little less sturdy in a windstorm, but it seems quite happy today.
By the time the Nine returned to our cars, tired but happy, we had covered more than ten miles and more than a half mile up and down. I have a right to be a little exhausted as I sit here with my laptop and my wine, glad to have had such a great day, with the spring sunshine and the company just the best.