Thursday, August 16, 2018

Goose Rock in the summer

Frank, Sue, Al, Ranger Rick, Cathy, Heather, Peggy, me, Mel
Our Senior Trailblazers group split into two today: the earlier group went into the Mt. Baker wilderness to tackle Lake Ann (which was on the schedule), and several of the rest of us didn't want to make the rather difficult hike with less-than-optimal air quality. Although it had improved somewhat, it was still not good in the mountains. So eight of us set off south to the Deception Pass area, on the water where the marine air helped with the air quality, to one of our usual winter hikes, Goose Rock. Fog greeted us, along with Ranger Rick, who (it turns out) is a good friend of Heather's. He joined us for a picture and then set off for his duties.
West Beach as the day's hike began
Even before we set off to hike up Goose Rock from West Beach, the fog had begun to lift a little. It was cool and delightful, after all the heat and bad air we've suffered through lately, it seemed like a different world.
The view from Goose Rock
By the time we hiked up to the top of Goose Rock, it was time for an early lunch, and some of the fog still lingered, but it was still really lovely. Lots of other people joined us on the top, but none of them stayed for long, because I think they weren't prepared for how cool it was. Not many even had a jacket.
Getting ready for lunch
You can see that there are still a few clouds in the sky, but we had a pretty good view looking toward Whidbey Island Naval Base, and of course we could hear the jets as they flew overhead. We needed our sun hats at the top.
Madrona tree
We saw lots of these beautiful trees, the madrona (Arbutus menziesii), with bright red bark that peels away to show a pistachio color underneath. Goose Rock and the area around it has more of these beautiful trees than I have seen anywhere else.
Map of the area
After lunch, we decided to do a little exploring and walked across the Deception Pass bridge. If you enlarge this picture, you can see a "You Are Here" sign between the two islands. We walked down the steps and got acquainted (along with lots of other people) with the many footpaths on the little island.
The bridge from underneath
I got an unusual angle to snap the Deception Pass bridge as we walked down to explore the area. The water is always turbulent like that because of the tides constantly coming and going.
West Beach at the end of the day
Finally, we returned to our cars and saw people photographing a rock covered with seagulls. You can see that the fog has pretty much lifted, and we congratulated ourselves on having had a good day, covering around seven miles and more than 1,500 feet up and down. Not too shabby, but I'm sure the others were still going strong when we climbed in our cars, with a much shorter drive home than they had. It was a good day in just about every way!


  1. Another great hike Jan. Glad the smoke wasn’t bad. BC is ablaze it seems.

  2. I love hiking along the PNW coastline. What a fabulous day for a hike!

  3. Choosing better air quality AND a delightful walk sounds like a very big win to me.

  4. Oh, I like your choice. I've never explored that island. Might have to do that. I do kike exploring.

  5. Nice summary, "It was a good day in every way." It's difficult to have to divide a group. I think both groups had a satisfying day.

  6. Think you took the best hike. You could breathe (kind of important), had great scenery to enjoy and happy knees at the end.

  7. So wonderful to have a group who wanted a little calmer hike with the smoke and all. Love that tree! :)

  8. Sounds like a relatively easy hike. That Goose Rock with all the birds was awesome.

  9. Glad it turned out so well for you all.

  10. I think I remember Dection Pass bridge!

  11. I really like the pic of West Beach at the beginning of your hike. I can imagine sitting on one of those logs by the beach. DH gave me my engagement ring on a log by the Mississippi River.

  12. 7 mile hike...that sounds like Colorado trail!! But definitely not the beautiful views you shared with us. My favorite today is the pic of the bridge. Awesome angle.

  13. Yeah for a hike that didn't exhaust you! :)


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