|Today's group; Melanie took the picture|
Twelve Senior Trailblazers went on a rather hard hike today, to one of my least favorite places, Mud Lake. Why is that, you ask? Let me tell you about our day. It starts out at the Pine and Cedar trailhead and starts going straight up: in 1.6 miles, you gain 1,300 feet of elevation (almost 400 meters) before you get to the junction with the Hemlock trail. And that's just the start.
|Woodpeckers did this? |
We passed this amazing dead tree, where it appears that woodpeckers have been mining it for bugs and making it into a work of art. The trail is very nice at the beginning, even if steep, as you can see here.
Instead of going to Pine and Cedar Lakes, at least at first, we kept going on the trail until we ran into an old logging road. This road takes us down around 800 feet to the lake, where we considered having lunch, but some of us really don't like to hike back uphill after lunch, so we decided to head to Pine Lake first. So we turned around and hiked back up.
|Boardwalks to Pine Lake|
By the time we got to Pine Lake, we ran into our first snow of the day. It was pretty slippery on the boardwalks that take you over to our usual lunch spot. And when we looked at the lake, this is what we saw.
The lake is still mostly covered with ice! On the far shore you can see a bit of open water, and in the foreground some slushy ice, but all the rest of the lake is still frozen. And this is after a week of very warm weather.
|Our lunch spot|
Once we made it safely to our usual place for lunch, we settled in for a lovely break from all that strenuous work. By this time we had covered well over six miles and lots of elevation, so it was nice to rest for awhile.
After lunch, we headed over to Cedar Lake, because a few of us wanted to get to the Cedar Lake viewpoint. This did add some distance to our hike, which made me a bit grumpy, as I was already feeling well worked out. I mislaid my sense of humor but was able to find it again once we made it to the viewpoint.
|Mt. Baker and the Sisters|
What a spectacular view! As you can see, the weather was perfect, and the high clouds only made it more beautiful. Now it was time to head back to the cars. We still had a fair amount of distance to cover, most of it downhill, which always makes my knees complain. I couldn't have done it without my trekking poles to lean on.
|Melanie looking for the other hikers|
In this picture, we were almost down, and Melanie, our leader for the day, was conscientiously looking to see the last person before we went on any farther. I was glad to stop for a minute. But finally, we were back down, having covered well over nine miles and 2,900 feet of elevation (almost 900 meters)! No wonder I feel so tired.
But it was a really good day, and once my knees and bunion stop hurting, I'll be very glad I did it. The company was once again delightful, and the fact that I can still do this makes me very happy.