Thursday, May 24, 2018

The 2018 season begins

The Half-Fast hiking group today
It's time to celebrate! I know that my Thursday hiking group goes out all year long, but it won't be long now before we are able to head up to the High Country and leave the nearby haunts alone for the time being. Every Memorial Day weekend, we have a gathering of the two groups (the Half-Fast and the Relaxed hikers) and two hikes, a longer one and a shorter one, on the horse trails behind Lake Padden, before a potluck lunch.
Lake Padden, showing all the trails
The horse trails are the red ones in the lower right. When I go to Lake Padden with the walkers on Saturday, we go twice around the lake for 5.2 miles. Today we covered around seven-ish miles on the horse trails. We also added a short trip up what is called the Padden Gorge, a short and very beautiful section that added maybe a mile total to today's hike.
Beautiful green feast for the eyes
I never tire of looking at the gorgeous place where I live, and when it's mostly overcast and cool (along with dry), the hikes cannot be beat. We maybe climbed up and down under 1,000 feet today, but mostly it was nice and flat, like this. At a place along the Padden Gorge, someone has been cultivating a lovely place of remembrance.
I wonder who did this, and for whom
There are pretty heart-shaped rocks, little painted rocks, some animal statues, and even some flowering plants. It looks well tended, and I'm grateful that vandals don't seem inclined to bother this spot. And then we headed back to our cars to get our goodies and move to the covered pavilion where we would join the other group.
An incredible number of salads
More people came who didn't actually hike with either group, and also brought more food, so we had an enormous amount to share. I was pleasantly surprised to see that if there was any meat, it was minuscule, and the salads were varied and delicious. And the desserts!! Oh my!
More came after this picture was taken
In the foreground is Doug's homemade rhubarb pie, still warm from the oven. Two blueberry pies also showed up, and several more chocolate treats. I must admit that I ate too much, once again. But it was divine, and I'd filled up with salads beforehand.
The covered pavilion
By the time we all sat down to eat, every single bench was filled, and we enjoyed spending time with our dear friends as we ate. Everyone was to bring their own plate and silverware, and those who forgot were able to find someone who brought more than they needed. It was truly a wonderful way to begin the season. I feel incredibly blessed by my hiking community.


  1. It looks absolutely lovely. Thank you for the beauty and calorie free sharing.
    Love that memorial spot too.

  2. The food looks delicious. That memorial looks poignant.

  3. I think you may like more adventurous salads than I do! I would enjoy some rhubarb pie:)

  4. You are so fortunate to have the group and the places to go. Have a great year!

  5. The country is so lush and green. Just gorgeous! And the food looks delicious too. It must be energizing to be in such a wonderful community!

  6. Loved that trail photo. what a pleasure to hike there.
    You are fortunate indeed to have such a great group of hiking companions.

  7. Potlucks are great. Everybody brings their best.

  8. You do have a great hiking community and breathtaking landscapes to explore. Have a good hike this weekend.

  9. Looks beautiful - and all that food! Delicious!

  10. Oh wow! What a way to get the hiking year into full swing! :)

  11. That pie looks delicious! Happy trails this Summer. Your readers never tire of the scenery either.

  12. That trail looks like my kind of trail and I always chuckle at "half fast". Wow, you all really put on a spread. Good thing you walk it off first.

  13. I am always impressed by the crowd of folks you manage to mingle with weekly. It is such a stark contrst to how I live week to week with Buddy.
    What a meal selection and so many to share with.

  14. Hmm. And now I can't remember if you tend toward the fast of slow group. I always been slow especially in the woods where I like to suck up every detail from flora to fauna...:)


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