Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lily, Lizard and lots of laughter

Our group of thirteen today (me taking the picture)
What a great day! We had thirteen Senior Trailblazers hike up the south side of Blanchard Mountain, from the Upper Trailhead. We hiked up a gentle slope until we got to the first trail junction. We decided to go ahead and hike to Lizard Lake first and then take the connector trail from there to Lily Lake and Max's Shortcut, and then head back down. Al calls these hikes "lollipops" because we start and end on the same trail, but have a loop in between.
Misty trees
We expected rain at some point during the day, but the forecast didn't indicate heavy rain, just showers. Although we have been fooled now and then, we only had a few little raindrops fall on us for the entire time we were out playing in the woods.
Lizard Lake today
Lizard Lake was shrouded in mist, but it was quite pretty as we bundled up against the breeze coming off the lake. It was still early for a lunch stop, so we decided to head up towards North Butte, which is where the connector trail is going to Lily Lake. As we climbed (which was welcome, since we'd all gotten a bit chilly standing around discussing our options), a few light sprinkles caused us to don our rain gear. For my friends who like maps, here's a map of the Blanchard Mountain trails.
Yep, it's time for a little rain gear, all right
We didn't have Al with us today, but Ward (who we haven't seen in quite awhile) set a very nice pace on the entire hike. We ascended from Lizard Lake to the connector trail. And then off we went towards Lily Lake after having made our decision not to go up to the viewpoint.
Lily Lake in the mist
It was getting close to lunchtime when we reached Lily Lake, but the same cool breeze we felt while at Lizard Lake made the possibility of stopping here not too appealing. We decided to head down Max's Shortcut and possibly find a place out of the wind to stop for lunch. That's just what we did. I bundled up with all the warm clothing I had brought with me, and I was just fine. We climb somewhere around 2,000 feet of elevation on this hike, so we had both the humidity and the breeze to contend with as we ate a rather quick lunch.
Our canopy of trees
We spent a lot of time laughing and carrying on like a bunch of teenagers rather than old folks, and I had a moment when I just had to stop to give thanks for this wonderful group and the lovely place I live. Bob had just returned from a trip to Asia, and he also said he is grateful for being able to come home to such a lovely part of the world. We are indeed blessed.
Heading back down the mountain
And then it was time to gather up our stuff and head back down. Once we reached the final turn back to the cars, we had descended enough altitude and been hiking quickly enough to begin to take off some of our extra clothes. No rain at all for the last part of the journey back.
Me, almost back to the beginning
Melanie took this picture of me just before we reached the cars. Back at the trailhead, we discussed how far we had gone once we changed into our comfy shoes and shed our rain gear. We finally agreed it was somewhere around eight miles or so. It was a simply lovely day, and everyone wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving and several of the the Trailblazers wished me a successful surgery before we meet again. Another fine day!
:-)

11 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous photos today, Jan. It sounds like a wonderful hike with great people inspiring moments of gratitude for all you have. Sounds perfect!

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  2. It looks amazing. Love, love, love the photo of the tree canopy.
    And your attitude. Hugs.

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  3. You have to be prepared for anything when you hike in these areas and conditions. Yes, I remember layers and I use clothing layers all the time.

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  4. Just back from a week out there, and I'm understanding more and more what the rainforest is! Maybe November isn't the best time to visit!

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  5. Another wonderful Thursday hike!

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  6. I can just feel the cool, crisp air! :)

    Glad you had a great time!

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  7. How I LOVE the one of you! And the misty lake views!!
    Now, lollipop trails. I was anticipating how many licks y'all would take to get to the center of the tootsie roll pop. Oh....never mind.

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  8. You really are lucky to live in such a beautiful area, DJan. I love the pictures... especially the lake ones. I may have to use one as a screen saver. When is your cataract surgery? I know it's coming up soon, yes?

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  9. Neat shot of you and that canopy of trees is suitable for framing. Sounds like a really great hike.

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  10. Another great hike! I love visiting all these places with you! :)

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