Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mt. Erie and Sugarloaf 2018

Anacortes Community Forest Lands
Thirteen Senior Trailblazers drove the forty miles from Bellingham to Heart Lake, located in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, to trek up both Sugarloaf and Mt. Erie. We do this hike once a year, and it had been rescheduled several times because of rain. Today was simply gorgeous, full sunshine and cool temperatures (58°F for a high), making it a wonderful day. We did our usual route, hiking from the trailhead at Heart Lake to Sugarloaf, before going on to Mt. Erie.
The view from Sugarloaf
Because of the recent precipitation, clouds began to form as the land heated up, but it didn't spoil the view, only adding another dimension to the photographs, making them a bit more interesting.
LouAnn and Paul
I saw the sun behind the heads of these hikers, giving them an angelic look. They are fun people, which you can probably tell from their expressions. Everybody was in a good mood as we made our way around the ACFL today.
View from the top of Mt. Erie
There were too many clouds to see Mt. Rainier in the distance here, but we've seen it before; it's spectacular even without the mountain. Mt. Erie has an interesting history, which you can read about here. From that link:
At 1,273 feet (388 meters) tall, Mount Erie is the highest point on Fidalgo Island. Mount Baker, which lies about 43 miles to the northeast, can easily be seen from Mount Erie. On a clear day, Mount Rainier can be seen in the southeast, approximately 117 miles distant.
Our lunch spot gazing out at the view
 We went back down a different trail, making a loop hike instead of traveling back the way we had come. And as I was hiking along the trail, looking down, I saw a calypso orchid, which was in full bloom. I ended up taking a bit of time trying to get it in focus, but I finally did.
Calypso orchid
It's also known as a fairy slipper, and although we saw one last week, I was unable to capture a picture in focus. This time I took plenty of pictures, determined to succeed. The orchid is very fragile and doesn't live long; you can read all about it here. So lovely!

We finally returned to the cars, and I was pretty tired after having hiked eight miles and 2,200 feet up and down. The really good thing for me is that my knees behaved. It was a couple of years ago when I tore a meniscus in one of my knees on this very hike, but today they both felt the effort but were just fine. All in all, I am happy to be home but so very glad I was able to play in the sunshine with my friends.


  1. Good weather, good views, good friends. What a day!

  2. Good hike and I haven't seen a fairy slipper since I was a teen in the 50's. So pretty.

  3. Such a beautiful, delicate orchid.

    I love the idea of such an experience as “play in the sunshine with my friends.” It’s how I feel about it too!

  4. The sunshine has been so wonderful! What a treat to have such fun in the sun today. And that orchid! We just called any such orchid a ladyslipper, although I'm sure there are distinctions. They are rare and hard to find anymore.

  5. It looks like a truly glorious day, with the orchid the icing on the cake.

  6. Beautiful,fragile flower. So glad you were able to play in the sunshine with your friends!! :)

  7. Wow, that day was worth the wait. Beautiful weather and actual views. Your patience has been rewarded.

  8. Nice to have a strenuous hike now and then with compatible friends.

  9. Your hikes are always worthy of your effort, with spectacular views and accompanied by the company of good friends.
    Perfect !
    Thank you for sharing your magical days.

  10. What a beautiful orchid! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Looks like some great high country!


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