Thursday, September 14, 2017

A great day in the sunshine

Me, Kathy, Tani, Mike, Susie, Richard, Kirk, Joy, Dave, Mel (Al in front)
A passerby took this picture of the eleven of us Senior Trailblazers who decided to take the shorter trip today on Ptarmigan Ridge. There were seven others who made the decision to hike all the way to the Portals, while we would only go to our usual lunch spot, a little more than four miles from the trailhead. Once the other group took off, and we never saw them again all day. They would hike another couple of miles along the same trail.
Me in front of beautiful Mt. Baker
This spot is as far as we got last week when I hiked with the other group. Today this was a resting spot before heading on up the trail towards the portals but stopping far short of them. I hoped to show the difference from today's hike to last week's smoky and very different day. Today we had magnificent views of all the surrounding mountains.
Mt. Shuksan behind us
Since Al was with us once again, we followed his lead and decided to go on farther, but we did stop and rest much longer and much more often than usual. I figured it was partly because Al was not in a hurry to leave these wonderful spots after so much time away.
Our lunch spot
We finally reached our lunch spot and we couldn't have had a better day. With clear skies and a slight breeze, cool and delightful, we were not in a hurry to leave our magnificent view of Mt. Baker. We looked for signs of the others but found nothing. We knew they were all capable people and didn't worry about them.
Kirk with Mt. Baker behind him
I got this great shot of Kirk while we enjoyed our lunch. The portals are visible at about Kirk's collar, and they (the portals) are close to one of Mt. Baker's many glaciers. There is much more snow than we expected and observed last year.
Al and Kirk heading back down the trail
Then it was time for us to head back the way we had come, and the beautiful vistas just did not stop. Here is a tarn in the middle of the picture that is usually snow free by this time of the year, but today we saw that much of it is still covered with snow. On the horizon we could see Glacier Peak, which is only visible from hikes; you cannot drive anywhere to see it any better.
When we got back to the spot where we took the group photo, I captured this picture of Melanie, who I noticed also reflected back to me in her sunglasses what she was seeing. Although it is very dry right now, the intense sunlight on this late summer's day made it seem like it could have been any time of the year and belied the many snow fields we had to cross.
Final traverse to the parking lot at Artist Point
And then we were almost back to the trailhead, having traveled more than eight miles and almost 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. Many of the beautiful flowers I captured last week are already gone, but the mountains that were missing last week had returned in all their magnificence. And now I am finished, it's 8:00pm and I still need a shower before calling it a day. What a wonderful one it was!


  1. It sure was! The scenery is breath taking! There is a great deal of snow left this year! You deserve a rest now!

  2. I looks absolutely glorious - and a huge welcome back to Al.

  3. Your outings are so inspiring!!
    We have had gorgeous days this week. Time to be out and about ...

  4. Trading flowers for a view of the magnificent mountains is a good bargain. It's surprising that there is still so much snow considering our hot summer.

  5. Great blue skies that set off the snow. What is your overall elevation at these locations. here the Rockies had new snow this week.

  6. Wow, what a great trail! I'm surprised and delighted to see the snow after hearing about the heat wave that hit the Northwest this summer.

  7. Hooray for cooler temperatures! Lovely mountain views. Hoping for some rain on Sunday.

  8. So different on a clear day. Glad Al was back. :)

  9. Beautiful pictures and beautiful day! Thanks for sharing it...

  10. You continue to find such amazing photos on your hikes. I admire your steadfastness.

  11. Look at those beautiful skies and clear views. What a treat for you and also to have Al back as your leader.All is good again.

  12. What a spectacular hike you had today! Beautiful weather, and wonderful mountain scenery. It looks like you got up quite high, and close to Mount Baker.

  13. The one of the entire group taken by the passerby and the one of Kirk are my favorites. Of course, the one of you just goes without's the best!!

    My sister in Colorado said the San Juan Mtn. Range had the first dusting of snow yesterday when she got up from her night's sleep. It's that time of year already!!

    How is your sister? Irma didn't affect her then?

    1. Hi Anni, my sister had minimal damage on her mobile home from Irma. She's back to normal already! Thanks for asking.

  14. Another great hike! So glad the smoke was gone at least for the day! Beautiful photos! :)


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