|Sign in parking lot|
Fourteen Senior Trailblazers made our way from the Senior Center to the Lower Trailhead on Blanchard Mountain. I wasn't expecting so many of us to show up on a dreary overcast day, with rain expected, but we are a hardy group, ready for pretty much anything. Al had come up with a fairly new way to hike on the mountain, going up the Alternate Incline Trail to Lizard Lake. Usually we go up the other trail to Lily and Lizard Lakes, but we wanted to do something a little easier with a possible escape route if the weather really deteriorated.
|A well pecked tree|
It was foggy when we started out, with fairly warm temperatures and a rather steep trail (the Alternate Incline Trail) once we navigated about a mile on the access road. And with moderate temperatures and only a heavy mist instead of rain, we began our upward trek to Lizard Lake.
|Map to show where we went today|
We had originally planned to only go to Lizard, but when we got there it was still too early and nobody really wanted to stop quite yet. The mist had grown so heavy that I could actually call it rain, and several of us donned our rain gear.
|Lizard Lake in the mist|
When I took this picture, I thought it looked like an alien planet, instead of several stumps sticking up out of the lake. You cannot see the far shore, but I know it is there; I've seen it on other trips. Anyway, off we went to Lily Lake. If you look carefully at the above map, you can see both lakes and the short trail that joins them. We decided that we would have lunch there.
As you can see, it wasn't quite as foggy at Lily Lake, but there was also no sign of the sun. Every now and then, it began to rain lightly, but since we were all geared up for it, and it wasn't cold, we had a nice place to stop and enjoy our lunch.
|Some in rain gear, some without, having lunch|
Some of us stayed in our rain gear, but others weren't comfortable encased in plastic with the on-again, off-again moisture. When it got a little heavier, Victoria pulled out her umbrella. (Mikey was already under his.)
|Melanie, Ellen and Victoria dealing with the rain|
We didn't stay very long after this, and it was time to get moving again before anybody got too cold. Our surroundings were wonderful, with lush greenery everywhere, and abundant flowers wherever we looked.
|Lush and green|
The trip back was pretty much downhill, and we remarked often that even though we never saw the sun and it was foggy, the rain wasn't really much of a problem. We're used to it. But does it ever make it green in our part of the country.
|Fog makes everything look soft|
I took lots of pictures of the trees in the fog; this is probably the best of them, with a mysterious feeling and ferns in the foreground. On the way back down, we also saw some beautiful columbines growing in a few spots. It seems early for them (to me), and I couldn't keep myself from capturing this batch for posterity.
We also saw some wildflowers I couldn't identify, along with many of the usual variety. I miss Peggy, our plant identifier, when she's not here, and today I mentioned that she would have known their names. In any event, we had a wonderful day and walked more than eight miles and covered around 1,700 feet up and down. Not bad, not bad at all.
And about that lost latte? In the morning, when I went to pick up my latte at the store, along with a few other things, somehow I managed to walk out of the store without it. I didn't miss it right away, it took until I was at the Senior Center to realize I hadn't brought it with me. Since I kept lamenting its loss, Al offered to have a short service in remembrance of my lost latte, but I declined. I hope I don't do that again soon!