|Melanie, Richard, Chris, Richard, Mike, Frank (and me of course)|
We knew today would be wet. Only one day this week with 100% chance of rain, and of course it is on a Thursday. When we arrived at the Senior Center, I was surprised that there would be this many hard core hikers show up. Al didn't join us, as he is coming down with a cold. It was a good call.
It was nice to see Frank, since he's been missing for a few weeks. Come to find out that two weeks ago today he had his appendix removed. He was getting ready to come on our hike but didn't feel well and finally went to the hospital and ended up having surgery. He's fine now, however, and it was great to see him back.
Mike is a new guy, first time today. He is a good hiker and was well prepared for the weather. We all were, as it turns out, and we sure needed it. Starting at the North Chuckanut trailhead, we headed up to Cedar Lake in dry conditions, to start at least.
|Richard, Melanie, Mike, Frank, Richard, Chris|
You can see that most of the big-leaf maple leaves are now on the ground (one jumped up on Frank, it seems), and it made for some wonderful scenery, and also some fun shushing through them, as they were sometimes ankle deep. At this point they were also mostly dry.
|Piles of leaves|
That was about to change, however. The first two hours of our hike to Cedar Lake were only intermittently wet, with just a few sprinkles to keep us in our rain gear. But then about 11:00am, right on schedule, the rain began to pick up. Those who still didn't have all their rain gear on stopped to fix that.
|Ponchos, rain pants, and rain skirts|
Compared with last week's glorious hike in the high country, this one didn't have much to take pictures of, and as the rain kept on becoming more widespread, we decided that once we got to Cedar Lake, we'd stop for lunch.
|As far as we got around Cedar Lake|
By the time we reached this spot, it was both windy and rainy, so we decided to find a nice place out of the wind to have a quick lunch. I didn't get any pictures of the spot, because it was, well, raining, and I didn't want to pull out my camera. As we ate, someone reminded me of a phrase our friend Carol once said about us: "We may be crazy, but we aren't lazy." That was particularly true for today.
This picture of Cedar Lake is the best shot I captured all day. After we packed up after a lunch where some people didn't even sit down to eat, we headed back the way we had come. And the rain got heavier and heavier until suddenly the rain was making noise! Pellets of hail begin to fall, creating a thunderous sound on my rain hat and on the surrounding forest. It continued for at least ten minutes before letting up somewhat.
I never took my camera out of my pocket again for the entire trip down to the cars. We covered around eight+ miles and who knows how much elevation gain and loss. It was so lovely to be back inside a place where it was warm and dry, and we are now happily ensconced in our homes listening to the continuing rain outside. A good day indeed!