Thursday, August 17, 2017

A hike good for the soul

Victoria, Frank, Halina, MaryLou, Carol, Melanie (and me)
Sixteen Senior Trailblazers showed up for a hike to Scott Paul, a favorite every year, with the weather almost perfect. It's a long drive: 125 miles round trip, and with such a large group, we drove five cars to the trailhead and broke up into two groups. One would take the loop trail clockwise; the other counter-clockwise. We stayed with the car passengers we drove up with, so we were seven and the other group was nine.
Carol and MaryLou among the flowers
My group went around the loop clockwise, and that meant a fairly hefty uphill climb for two miles until we got to the turnoff. I struggled, since we didn't have Al to set the pace, and these two strong women did, and I thought at first I could keep up. But I couldn't. Victoria and Frank stayed back with me while the others went on ahead. The scenery was magnificent, even if we had cloud cover for most of the day (which kept the temperatures down).
MaryLou and Carol, with Mt. Baker peeking out behind
Mt. Baker wasn't showing much during the first part of our hike, but I was happy for the mild temperatures. Not long after this picture was taken, we ran into our first fields of lupines.
Carpets of lupines
Just look at that incredible show of pretty purple wildflowers! But they were not the only beautiful wildflowers we saw today. It reminded me, however, that last year we didn't see very many at all; this year they were as abundant as I ever remember seeing them.
Victoria among the purple lupines
Victoria decided to put purple streaks in her hair a while back, and I couldn't resist this picture of her sitting among the lupines and showing off her hair. This picture makes me smile just to see her there! We were having lots of fun, too, as you can see.
Flowers, mountains, and trees
This mountain had just emerged from the clouds when I captured it, and I do think this scene shows how beautiful our Scott Paul loop hike was today: filled with incredible scenery, flowers, and great company. Not long after I took this picture, we ran into the other group.
Fifteen Trailblazers plus me
They had just settled in for lunch, so we joined them, and here you can see the entire group. We spent some time enjoying our lunch before separating and heading off into opposite directions. Everyone was enjoying themselves as much as we were. A few people wished for clearer skies, but there were others of us happy to have some shade as we hiked.
Mt. Baker emerging from the clouds
And we did finally get to see the mountain, and as we got closer to the end of the hike, there were plenty of moments of full sun, reminding me how happy I was to have some overcast skies for most of the day. We continued on around the loop, emerging into a beautiful forest toward the end of the hike.
Identifying flowers
Before the end, we tried to identify all the flowers we had seen today. That's MaryLou, taking pictures (I think) of some so that we could try to identify them with Melanie's flower book, back at the car. By this time, we had much more sun than clouds, but we were not far from the shady forest, so I didn't mind too much.

Just as we were finishing our loop, we ran into the other group, which was just reaching the trailhead at the same time! It was wonderful to all be together at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. We had covered around eight miles (maybe a little more) and around 2,200 feet elevation gain and loss. A fine day, not too hard, but certainly not too easy, and everyone was happy to have been out on this fine, fine day. Really a good day indeed.


  1. I am not into hiking.... but reading about these wonderful experiences, I wish I could be involved as well. A friend told me about a hiking group in the city. Maybe I should contact them before the rigorous winter comes... Maybe they still have a slow beginner group!! Slow and steady... : )

  2. What a beautiful hike! I think it was about 2:00 before the sun finally broke out here. The cloudy morning was good for walking and working in the yard. It eventually warmed up to 78, just right for sitting and reading on the patio under the shade umbrella. Ah, summer!

  3. I'm surprised there are so many flowers at this date. Our flowers would be frost bitten by now. ...I've had frost on my tent in early July.

  4. It sounds, and looks, like an absolutely FABULOUS day. Something to treausre in your memory banks.

  5. I love the photos. So much to appreciate on this hike.

  6. Oh, I love these photos and the wonderful description of your hike. Sounds like it was perfect! So happy for you DJan that this brings such joy to your life.

  7. I saw a research study recently which supported how you feel about your experiences in nature. The greatest impact on human health and wellness is wilderness adventures. All levels of interaction with nature, from a room with a natural view, to planting and tending a garden all help us. I never feel as well as I do when I am out on an excursion in nature. We are kindred spirits, as Ann of Green Gables said.

  8. Looks like a beautiful hike! And all those purple flowers- wow.

  9. That lupine patch is lovely! It's sure been a good year for lupine. And I totally agree with you - hiking is good for the soul.

  10. Great pics. Sounds like a really good day. Love the picture of Victoria with her matching hair. ;)

  11. The flowers were gorgeous and like you, I'd have enjoyed the mostly overcast day. Interesting how you had the three meet ups. Well planned.

  12. Ive always wondered how far you have to drive to get to your hiking spots. Here it takes quite awhile to get up in the mountains, especially on the winding roads. It's a good thing you had lots of willing drivers for your trip.

  13. I enjoyed your hike ! What a lovely pic of Victoria in the Lupines! I also enjoyed the flowers tree and mountain photo , it looks like a painting. I am glad you had a good day, tell the gals to slow down! :)

  14. Another great hike in those mountains. And purple hair among the purple Lupines.


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