Thursday, September 1, 2016

A fine substitute hike

Victoria, Ellen, Kirk, Peggy, Al, Chris (waiting for Rich and Carol)
Ten intrepid Senior Trailblazers met today for our usual Thursday hike, although it rained most of the night and more rain was predicted for the day, especially in the mountains. What to do? Our scheduled hike would take us far south to walk in the rain, so after some discussion we decided to drive up the Mt. Baker Highway to the Excelsior Pass trailhead, even if it would be raining. This is the harder way to get to the pass, going ever upward on a wooded trail, but the easier way is not accessible because the road is closed.
Mist and the occasional sun break
The forest is really lovely, especially when it's glistening with raindrops, and since we are all hardy Pacific Northwesterners, we walked in light rain up the trail and didn't mind a bit. Plus it never really poured, just a light rain now and then.
Mushrooms, not flowers
I saw these pretty mushrooms that must have sprouted with the rain. I wonder what kind they are. We saw others, but these were the most interesting. Each "flower" is about the size of a small serving plate.
Our lunch spot
Finally, we broke out of the trees and by this time the rain had lessened considerably. We sat down to enjoy a nice lunch and speculate about going the rest of the way to the pass, but since there would be no view, we decided this would do just fine.
Ellen and Victoria looking out into the mist
Normally, we would be able to see Mt. Baker and it would have been very rewarding to climb the half-mile to the actual pass. Today, not so much. By this time, we had climbed almost four miles and more than 3,200 feet (1,000 meters) and were quite ready to stop.
Carol took this picture of me
I asked for a photo of me with our lovely non-view, and Carol was quite willing. I'm wearing my Snoqualmie Sombrero — my third rain hat this year and hopefully I won't be losing this one any time soon. And then after a nice lunch, it was time to turn around and head back down all that elevation.
Darth Vader—I mean Kirk—Ellen, Al
My knees did pretty well on the downhill, but I was careful to use my trekking poles to take much of the weight as I lowered myself down steep sections. Although we are still wearing our rain gear in this picture, it was mostly to keep ourselves warm after having stopped for lunch; it took awhile to warm up going downhill, but we finally did.
Moss and fern garden by Mother Nature
I saw Carol stop to take a picture of this beautiful scene on the side of the trail, so I did, too. It really does look like a master gardener decided how to arrange it so it would be perfect, doesn't it?
Our return to the cars
And finally we were all warm enough and dry enough to remove our rain gear as we made our way back down the trail. Although we had little view, it was truly a wonderful day, spent in company I always enjoy, and in a beautiful place. And it was relatively dry, too. Now that I am home and sitting in my favorite chair, I realize that my knees got a real workout but considering what they just did, they are going to be just fine!


  1. Mother Nature is a great decorator! Another great hike. Good photo of you in the fog:)

  2. Love that garden.
    And am super impressed (as always) at your stamina.

  3. The photos today are exceptional, the mushrooms, the mist, the garden, and especially the people!

  4. i like the photo of you. the 'non-view' was really pretty, too. those ferns! the moss! the flower shrooms! loved it all. thank you for sharing your most beautiful world.

  5. That is a lovely pic of the mossy rocks and ferns! Just as well you stayed closer to home on a day like that. :) Hope the knees are okay.

  6. Love the pictures, especially the one with the moss and fern garden. I always wondered about trekking poles. I can see where they would help to take the pressure off the knees, especially downhill. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

  7. You feel great from just challenging a down day. Now I have to be careful with rain gear. If I'm not careful I'm much wetter inside than outside. I wear a gortex.

  8. You have such a pretty sombrero and waterproof, too. Excellent!

  9. LOVE your hat DJ!!!
    And even tho the background scenes were obscured with stormy weather, it's still a beautiful hike!!!

    Good to hear your knees did okay.

  10. Walking through that lovely forest would have been view enough for me. I love a light rain for working or walking. Kind of brings out the kid in me. Cool hat.

  11. I love hiking in the rain (as long as it's not coming down too hard!) Good for you and your friends for braving the weather.

  12. Such lush, green vegetation. Pleasure to see that it's that way somewhere.

  13. Just another amazing hike in the mountains! DJan, it hasn't eacaped my notice that Bellingham is almost straight south of Abbotsford, and you have a favourite coffee shop you often mention. Maybe some day.....?

  14. Lovely plants !
    I'm doubly impressed by you all having happily spent the day in rain gear . Perhaps I should spend more than $1 on a decent poncho before I set off anywhere next time .

  15. A hardy Pacific Northwesterner, to be sure. I like the Snoqualmie Sombrero.

  16. I guess I missed this post earlier. We had a bit of rain here, but not much. That hike through the greenness looks wonderful.

  17. What a great hike! I love those mushrooms and I love your hat! Your hikes are so pretty.


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