Thursday, September 20, 2018

Another local hike

Start of today's outing
Our Senior Trailblazers group was scheduled to drive over an hour to Artist Point to begin our annual hike to Ptarmigan Ridge, a very special one I've done once a year with this group. The other group was also scheduled to head up there, to do the Chain Lakes loop hike, which we accomplished a few weeks ago. Since the weather was iffy, we decided to go local, while the other group went ahead with their original plans. That meant several of our regulars went with them instead of us, but we were still thirteen.
Heading up to Raptor Ridge
The nice thing about the Pine & Cedar trail is that we can make it longer or shorter, depending on the weather. It was cloudy but not raining, and we knew we would get a good workout. We decided to include a side trip to Raptor Ridge before heading to the lakes.
The non-view from Raptor Ridge
Nope, no view, but we didn't expect one. After this stop, we headed back to the Pine & Cedar Lakes trail and made our way first to the Cedar Lake overlook (nope, no view there either) and then to Cedar Lake.
The usual Cedar Lake lunch spot
The weather was pretty perfect, with no rain and a light breeze, cool weather and happy hikers. Although we could have stopped here, it was still early, and Al suggested we push on to Pine Lake before stopping for lunch.
Cedar Lake
Although the only way I could tell the difference between these two lakes today is where they appeared in the lineup of pictures, they are both quite picturesque, and as you can see, the green leaves in the foreground are not yet beginning to turn.
Pretty mushrooms
Since the rains have returned for the season, everywhere we looked we could see mushrooms springing up. I don't have a clue what these are, but I like their pretty dotted swiss look. We discussed the efficacy of eating wild mushrooms. It would take someone with a lot more knowledge (and bravery) than I before I would even consider it.
Pine Lake
And then we arrived at Pine Lake, where we made ourselves comfy and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. There was still no rain, and the wind we felt on Raptor Ridge was not evident here at all. It was perfect, once we put on extra clothing because of our earlier exertions.
Woodpecker work?
Melanie took this picture of some big holes in an old tree, and we speculated what had made them. She thought they might be too big for woodpeckers, but that's what I think caused them. What do you think?
More mushrooms
We saw another species of mushroom, this one having been disturbed on the upper left by something, probably critters, but entirely different in shape and form from the earlier ones. It amazes me how quickly they appear once the ground is once again wet from the rains.
Return trip
And then it was time to return to our cars and head back home. Since we didn't have a long drive, it was still early, compared to when we would have come back from the High Country. The cars from the other group were still there when we returned, and I pictured them on the trail, hoping that their day was as good as ours turned out to be. We covered seven-and-a-half miles and 2,200 feet or so up and down. It didn't begin to rain until we were on our final leg, and even that was just a few drops. More rain is expected later today.

So we were more than happy with our day's excursion, and I look forward to better weather and some views when we finally make a Ptarmigan Ridge attempt this year!


  1. a great hike! Yes, those mushrooms are pretty to look at, and definitely best to keep it to just looking. :)

  2. It looks beautiful. Love the mushrooms, and the trees.

  3. Looks like woodpecker work to me, Jan. Lots of mushrooms in the woods here now too. I wouldn’t eat them either though a friend of ours does. He’s braver than I am.

  4. I really enjoyed your photos today. It was a great weather day for hiking, and the mushrooms are so cool.

  5. It's great that you can hike such long miles. I am glad the weather cooperated.

  6. The holes in the tree were made by a pileated woodpecker. they tend to make rectangular holes.

  7. Seems like "go local" was the right thing to do ... or at least the dry thing to do. Nice photos!

  8. Great photos. Either of those lakes looks like a wonderful spot for lunch!

  9. I remember reading about mushrooms and their secret underground life, tentacles reaching out everywhere. I was fascinated.

    I can no longer hike so enjoy yours immensely.


  10. Love those dotted mushrooms the best. Not knowing anything about wild mushrooms I have always been an observer, too. What a perfect day, despite the "no views", as you say. (You guys are spoiled if you call those no view days--LOL!)

  11. Pine lake sure looks peaceful. Mushrooms scare me also but those were quite interesting looking.

  12. That pine lake pic is my favorite, but the one where you'all are heading up to Raptor Ridge is impressive too. As for the holes, with my limited knowledge of such things, I'd say woodpecker.

  13. Yet another glorious hike and beautiful scenery! I have a question tho. Several times I've meant ask any of the other seniors blog about the group hikes? If so, care to share some links sometime?

    Ps...yep, I'd say woodpecker!

  14. Yet another glorious hike and beautiful scenery! I have a question tho. Several times I've meant ask any of the other seniors blog about the group hikes? If so, care to share some links sometime?

    Ps...yep, I'd say woodpecker!

    1. No, I'm the official "blogger" for the group, although Melanie Wylie posts pictures on Facebook after a hike. :-)

  15. Those brown mushrooms look pretty enough to eat! Gulp. I haven't taken a good old-fashioned mushroom photo safari in awhile. Maybe too long.

  16. I don't eat any fungi! I would pick the wrong kind but I always admire them! Looks like a good hike! :)

  17. I guess the animals know not to eat the mushrooms? I'm wondering if the pretty ones are poisonous.


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