|Leslie amongst bigleaf maple leaves|
Fourteen Senior Trailblazers met at Chuckanut Drive to begin our usual Thursday hike. Well, actually eleven of us were at the Senior Center to carpool, and the other three joined us at the trailhead. The destination would be determined by the weather and our leader, Melanie. If the rain didn't get too bad, we'd go up to Oyster Dome and then head over to Lily and Lizard Lakes. At the beginning, we were rain free (just a spit or two, nothing much) and set out on the steep trail, which starts right off the highway.
|Stopping for a brief photo op|
As we made our way upwards, we enjoyed the mild temperature and the lack of rain, thinking that maybe we'd make it the whole way without any. But nope, by the time we reached the junction that would take us either up to Oyster Dome or off to the lakes, it had begun.
|Huddle to talk about options|
At this point, we decided to skip going up the rest of the way to Oyster Dome, because there would be no view and we had all seen it before anyway. Al also told us about a medical procedure he will undergo at the end of the month, so we were all listening intently.
|The way to Lily Lake|
And then off we went to Lily Lake. The rain was light, but it gave me a chance to try out my new raincoat, which performed admirably in the light rain. I'm sure I'll get a chance to wear it in heavier rain, but not today.
There was still some rain when we got to Lily Lake, and the fog was dense, so we decided to trek on over the Lizard Lake, not a long distance but over a small hill. Everyone was in a good mood and happy to be out in the Chuckanuts with our good friends.
By the time we got to Lizard Lake, the rain had lessened considerably, although it wasn't gone by any means. You can see some recent beaver work in the foreground. After a lunch break, we decided to head back to Lily Lake and take Max's Shortcut to Samish Overlook, rather than take the shorter route back the way we had come.
On the way, Bob pointed out this interesting tree with a distinct fork in it. We discussed what might have caused it. We will never know, but it created a lovely picture in the fog.
By the time we reached Samish Overlook, the clouds had lessened and the rain had stopped. We were able to take the short distance back to the cars (well, maybe a couple of miles isn't quite short) rain free. We covered almost ten miles and 2,600 feet up and down, quite a good workout. Starting out at sunrise and finishing as the sun was setting, we were reminded once again about how short the days are growing as the nights are growing longer, on our way to the winter solstice.
But it could not have been a better way to spend a late autumn day, in a beautiful place with fine company. Next week is Thanksgiving, so there will be no hike, and we will be stuffing ourselves along with the rest of the country. But today, we were virtuous.