Thursday, August 10, 2017

Totally unexpected great hike

A chilly start to our hike today
Twelve Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center to talk about our hike with me as the leader, no Al, wondering where to go since it's hot and the air quality is still bad from the forest fires in BC. Linda and Peggy decided to go up to Church Mountain on their own, because they only wanted to go part way and not to the top. The rest of us realized that we didn't have enough cars capable of navigating the bumpy forest road to the trailhead, so we considered options. Melanie said she saw that the air quality near the coast was better than anywhere else today, so we decided to go to Deception Pass and hike up to Goose Rock, one of our winter hikes.
Fog and mist without smoky skies
We started out in heavy fog, which is one reason it was so chilly, but before long we could see it begin to lift, and as we exerted ourselves it was downright perfect hiking weather and we were able to shed a layer of clothes.
Madrone tree
This area has lots of beautiful madrone trees, which I never fail to appreciate when we're there. Notice the green layer under the red on this magnificent tree. We had a pleasant trip to the top of Goose Rock, even though I took us on an unscheduled detour. I was forgiven once we got to the summit. Although it was early, we decided to have lunch, since it was sunny and rather glorious.
Melanie telling us about her parachute jump
Melanie, it turns out, had quite an experience during her first parachute jump (she had a malfunction) and is explaining here how she fixed the problem. Behind her you can see the remaining fog over the water, which is also obscuring the Naval Base in the middle distance. Maybe it was because of the fog that the usual touch-and-go activity of the jets was much less than normal.
Looking at Victoria, you can tell she was quite comfortable in just a shirt, standing in front of a madrone tree with fog and sky behind her. The awful smoke that we have been dealing with was completely gone today in this area, and we all appreciated the clean air, the mild temperatures, and the absence of any bugs!
Our lovely trail
We took a meandering way back so that we could cover a little extra distance, rather than head straight back to the cars. Nobody was in any hurry to have today's lovely hike end too soon. Once we got close to the area where we started, we decided to finish our day walking along the beach.
Ambling slowly along the beach
Here you can see the Deception Pass bridge in the background, with a shallow layer of fog still remaining over the water. It was still early in the day, and we knew that when we returned to Bellingham, we'd be leaving this lovely air and cool temperatures behind, so we decided not to hurry.
Boys will be boys
Of course, you can't find a beach where the young men in the group wouldn't want to skip rocks! Although there weren't too many good ones, that didn't deter our two guys from trying. The rest of us scrambled to find some decent ones for them to play with. Finally we decided to finish our hike (more  like a stroll at this point) and head back home.
Boat and fog
I saw this boat emerge from the fog and managed to get a pretty good picture, I thought. While we were walking along the beach, I had forgotten how much my feet don't really like tromping through loose sand and rocks, so I was glad to get back to the trail. We had covered somewhere around a short seven miles by the time we returned to our starting point, happy to have had a respite from the smoke and heat.

One funny story I forgot to mention: when we arrived at the trailhead, Ellen realized she had forgotten her boots. Fortunately the trail was fairly easy to navigate, so Frank decided to hike in his sneakers and gave his boots to Ellen for the day. Although they were a bit on the large side, they worked perfectly for this particular hike, so I think this was where we were meant to be today!


  1. You always seem to be exactly where you're meant to be... in action and enjoying life. Those Madrone trees are amazing and so are you!

  2. I have never seen Madrone trees. Thanks for pointing them out.

    It looks like you did a great job. Well done. No need to be anxious about it after all, Jan.

  3. Aha! There's a new hike leader for the Senior Trailblazers!

  4. Good job! There was variety in this hike and not a long hard slog.

  5. Isn't it wonderful when things work out perfectly? You're a good hike leader!

  6. It sounds wonderful and can add another string to your bow.

  7. You sound like many here in Fresno, when it gets hot, go to the coast. You certainly got some beautiful photos, and I bet that fog felt good after your hot temperatures.

  8. And you were worried. Ya done good and what a delightful day. So glad the smoke is gone. Liked the variety and that beach cool down--play time. Neat idea.

  9. You excelled as head of the pack! Looks like a gorgeous hike.

  10. That sounded like a perfect hike--no bugs, smoke, or heat. Just perfect! :)

  11. Yeah I knew you would be a good leader! :) Love the Madrone trees:)

  12. Great photo of the men throwing pebbles. Glad the hike was such a success.

  13. I had no doubts that you would be an amazing hike leader, DJan! I love fog. So glad you had such a lovely day.


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