Thursday, November 17, 2016

Not my favorite hike, but still a great day

Getting ready to start our hike at the trailhead
I was astounded that nineteen Senior Trailblazers showed up at the Senior Center for a hike we call both "Cub Creek" (there isn't one) and "Smith Creek" (because there is one). I've done this hike several times, in rain and sun, as well as just this past March. We had a view then; you can check it out here. The weather forecast was all over the place for today, but we expected that it would continue to improve during the day, and that by lunchtime we might actually have sun and some views.
First view of Lake Whatcom
We start at the level of Lake Whatcom and climb upwards for more than 2,000 feet of elevation, on trails and old logging roads. This was the first time we could see the lake below us, and you can see that the skies were anything but clear. At this point, it wasn't very cold, but we were glad when the light rain finally stopped as we worked our way ever upwards.
This was much easier going
There are sections of this particular hike where we must navigate a nearly nonexistent trail, covered with lots of bushes blocking our way and catching us with their thorns, while watching our step through fallen leaves that are busy hiding obstacles underneath. Once we made our way through that part, it was more like what the above picture shows. No views up here, so there was no reason to climb the mountain as we did in March.
Do we look cold? We certainly were!
When we stopped for lunch, everyone bundled up in whatever they had brought for warmth. I was just fine, except my hands got pretty cold. Nobody wanted to spend much time at lunch, for some reason. And then it was time to leave.
Walking into the fog
As we began our descent, making a loop for part of it (so that we didn't need to go back through the swampy thorny part), we began to warm up again. Nobody was quite ready to take off any warm clothes though, until we saw Lake Whatcom again, from a much higher vantage point.
Lake Whatcom from higher up
You might also notice that the clouds have cleared a little, and we began to get a sun break or two. I've mentioned before that I never knew that phrase until I moved here (sun breaks is entirely accurate), and between the fog and the mist, we got some nice views.
A drop of golden sun
See? A sun break! We were also under the power lines at this point, which were buzzing loudly. Ellen said she once lived under power lines like these, and if she took a fluorescent light bulb and stood under them, it would light up! That made me want to hustle right on by.
Kirk crossing a bridge
As we retraced our steps and finally made it back to the cars, we had a little discussion about how much distance we covered. Of course everyone's devices had a different number, with Al's (as usual) being the lowest number and Melanie's being the highest. I would guess we covered somewhere between nine and ten miles, probably closer to the lower number, but we also climbed 2,300 feet of elevation.

All in all, it was a fine day with little actual rain, not the best views, but frankly some of the finest company in the world. We are all happy to have gone out today and gotten some great exercise. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, so we won't meet again for two weeks. I think everyone is glad they went today. I know I am.


  1. A swampy, thorny section? I am in awe at your perserverance. And good friends make everything better. Including a long walk with limited views.

  2. Well, if it's the "finest company in the world", you can't complain about the hike much! You don't know how lucky you are.

  3. Yes, the swampy, thorny section doesn't sound very appealing. We had clear weather most of the day. We got our walk in, made a trip to Costco - more walking- and then worked in the yard. A good outdoor day.

  4. Any day spent in the woods is a good day!

  5. Nine or ten should be a tad tired! We were gloomy here today and snowing now:(

  6. Glorious! Invorgorating and stress free! The picture with the group walking into the fog is a great shot, Jan.

  7. you toughed it out and did get some wonderful views! loved the gray sky and the sun breaks, too. those electrical lines buzzing... and the fluorescent light bulb story?!!? yikes!

  8. I enjoyed looking at your view from the top of Lake Whatcom. Also, the rest of the trail. I love how fall transforms the whole view. I don't think I would live under a power l9ine ....I have read what that can do to people, although I think the light bulb story is KOOL.

  9. you are a fitness rock star. Totally.

  10. That walking into the fog shot was spooky like a Stephen King novel. You really are a dedicated bunch that doesn't let a little thing like thorns keep you from having a good time. Enjoy the break though I'll bet you will be glad to get back hiking after the holiday.

  11. I absolutely love the "Walking in the Fog" photograph.
    You have a keen eye with that camera, my friend.
    Your hiking trail is beautiful....but it does look cold.
    We are still running the air conditioner here in South Georgia....and we need rain.
    Love and hugs to you,

  12. Your theme song must be "Walkin' in the Rain." But you seem to enjoy it ... and it sure is pretty up there!

  13. Walking without a trail wouldn't bother me a bit....more rustic and natural. I'm odd that way. As long as I don't twist my ankle on some unseen divot in the ground. Love the views. Oh, and I'd take the cold wet more than I would having ticks thick in the branches, bushes, and thorns!!


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