|Today's destination: Mud Lake|
Starting from Old Samish Highway, nine Senior Trailblazers went on our regularly scheduled hike, even though it was raining, as we didn't have to travel far to begin our hike to Mud Lake. It starts at the Pine & Cedar trailhead, but once you get to Pine Lake, you take a side trail that is unmarked to get there. We do this one every year, and it is nobody's favorite, but it's a good workout, for sure.
|Misty view from the trail|
We saw no sign of the sun today, but the rain wasn't terrible, more like the usual Pacific Northwest drizzle instead of a downpour. We were, of course, prepared for it. Plus, this trail has a good canopy of trees that blocks some of the rain.
|Trees and ferns|
I am very familiar with the Pine & Cedar trail and have traveled it often, but once we turn off the regular trail to Mud Lake, it's much less familiar. Fortunately, our hike leader Richard (along with Al, who was also with us) kept us on the right track. There are many side trails and you have to pay attention.
|Mud Lake in a light rain|
And then we reached the lake, took a quick look around and had a snack, since it was still too early for lunch. If you look carefully at the enlarged picture, you can see a triangle shape just about in the middle. Someone had rigged up a makeshift zipline and we figured that handle was probably how one might get started on it.
|Frank thinking twice|
Frank examined this ramp and actually thought about stepping on it and taking a look at how it all might work, but he discovered it was incredibly slippery from the rain and backed off. We speculated about it all and then returned the way we had come.
|Our lunch spot overlooking Pine Lake|
We made our way to Pine Lake, a short distance from the trail, and settled in for a fairly quick lunch. It was raining lightly, but we were sheltered among the trees and nevertheless enjoyed ourselves and the lovely view as we ate. We thought about going out on the boardwalk, but again it was slippery and not very appealing.
|Swamp lanterns popping up out of the muck|
I walked a short distance toward the lake and saw that the swamp lanterns
(also known as skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus
) have begun to emerge. Spring may not be in full swing up there yet, but it's starting. They grow to an enormous size by summer. The link tells you all about the plant.
By the time we returned to our cars, I was very tired and sore from the steep downhill, the nine miles and almost 3,000 feet of elevation. Although this hike is rated "moderate," I myself find it more challenging than that description. However, I'll be fine by tomorrow. I think riding the stationary bike at the gym has strengthened the ligaments around my knees and helps me recover more quickly. Another good day with some good company!