|On the logging road, our first viewpoint|
We really don't know what to call this hike, since (as I have said before), there is no "Cub Creek" but there is a Smith Creek, but we always referred to it as the former, until recently. We last went up this hike in November, just before Thanksgiving. Here's a link
, if you're interested. Seventeen of us met today, I think because the weather is so fine, not because we love this hike. Okay, some of us might, but I'm not one of them.
|Making our way through the branches|
We travel up Stewart Mountain on trails until we get to the logging road and the power lines. That's a lot of uphill, but then we must make our way through some heavy underbrush. It was slow going because Al in front stopped to snip branches out of the way and make the trail more usable. It was cloudy at this time, but we could see the clouds would probably not be lasting much longer.
|Salmonberry in the dense forest|
I took this picture of the pretty salmonberry while I was waiting in the long line to move forward. I was towards the end of the group, which meant I had some time to enjoy my surroundings. The weather was perfect for hiking, and after all the uphill we had done, I was glad to rest a bit.
|Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters|
And then we reached our destination for lunch, with a magnificent view of the mountains in one direction. I knew from previous trips that we had climbed more than 2,500 feet of elevation, which is one reason why I felt rather tired. The clouds cleared out, as you can see here, and with a light breeze and full sun, we enjoyed a nice relaxed lunch.
|Spreading out and taking a nice break for lunch|
We were all busy snapping pictures after our lunch break, and I got Bob to take this picture of Carol and me. There were a few other people in the picture, but I was desperate to crop the picture so that my muffin top wouldn't show. I know, I'm not fooling anybody.
|Me, Carol, and our beloved mountains behind|
After lunch, we descended from our mountain views and headed back down to the logging road. We didn't have to navigate the tough parts again, as we made a loop back down. We were also treated to a lovely view of Lake Whatcom and the clearcut that was made for the power lines.
|Looking down at Lake Whatcom|
That's Lake Whatcom below us, and the white strip on the middle right is the clearing for power lines, obviously still quite a visible part of our environment. I suppose they must need to keep that strip cleared in order to give our city its required electricity.
|Descending through the lush forest|
Our descent reminded me how steeply upwards we had come. My knees felt better than usual, but the tops of my toes began to get sore from the downhill, and I was again extremely grateful for my trekking poles, which make it possible for me to do more than nine miles and 2,600 feet up and down.
|It only walks at night, when nobody's around|
I have taken pictures of these tree roots before, but I am always impressed by them when I see them. There was a "nurse log" in there once upon a time, which gave the tree the chance to establish itself, and then it decayed away. But I swear I always think that living tree looks like it could walk away.
|Carol's two bumper stickers|
And then we were back at the cars and ready to change our boots and head back home. I saw these wonderful bumper stickers on the back of Carol's car and felt I must share them. The one is obvious in its appropriateness, and the other is the Bellingham flag: two stars to represent our two Native American tribes, the Nooksack and the Lummi. The waves represent Whatcom Falls, and the four stripes represent the four cities that combined to make our home: Sehome, Whatcom, Fairhaven, and Bellingham. It was a magnificent day in our wonderful home town!