Thursday, March 14, 2019

Oyster Dome 2019

Samish Bay
Twelve Senior Trailblazers met this morning to hike up to Oyster Dome, one of our annual favorites. It's a very steep trail up to the top, almost 2,000 feet (around 600 meters) in 3-and-a-half miles. I've done this many times, but it's not often we get such nice views of Samish Bay as we make our way upwards.
Lots of snow
Although it was steep, the trail was clear of snow when we started, but it didn't stay that way as we gained altitude. At first, I thought it was just a local phenomenon, but no, the higher we climbed, the more snow, and the slippier it got.
Time for the spikes
Finally, we stopped to get our boots outfitted with traction for the trail ahead. It just got more and more treacherous, but once we got our yaxtrax and spikes on, it was much better, but still difficult, since the climb just doesn't let up for the whole distance to the top.
Worth the effort and time for lunch
We had a glorious view of the bay once we got to the top, and although it was just a tad early, we decided to have lunch before deciding how to make our return journey. We had a couple of options: one, go back the way we came, or two, head over to Lily Lake and take Max's Shortcut down. The second is longer, and the amount of snow unknown, but it had been hard enough to make it up the packed ice and snow that some of us didn't want to go back that way.
Heading towards Lily Lake
We finally decided to take the longer but possibly less difficult way back. I was really surprised by the amount of snow we had to go through as we hiked. It was more than I've ever seen in this area, at any time of the year.
At least a foot of snow
I took this picture just before we got to the cutoff to Max's Shortcut. We decided to skip actually going all the way to the lake and began our descent along the Shortcut, which is actually not so short. It takes us to Samish Overlook and then it's another two miles back to our cars.
The sign at Samish Overlook
This will show you our hike today. The blue arrow is showing where we were when I took it (Samish Overlook), after coming down Max's Shortcut. We still must navigate the red line to get back to our starting point. The entire trip covered around nine miles and 2,400 feet up and down. Not an easy day, especially since plowing through the snow was like walking on sand: my knees took the brunt of it, but they'll be fine once I rest them.
The last section of that red line
We turned the final corner to see our cars parked along Chuckanut Drive, knowing that we had completed another successful outing, and everyone did fine, including me! I'm going to sleep well tonight, that's for sure.


  1. It's surprising how slippery things can get. It's good that there were no mishaps.

  2. That's a lot of hard work. Glad you enjoyed it and stayed safe.

  3. Walking in snow is not easy. Hope you feel okay tomorrow:)

  4. Quite a hike. The view is magnificent.

  5. Snow is not easy to hike through. YakTraks sound like a wonderful invention! :)

  6. The view was lovely but that had to have been a grind with all that snow. You are all quite a determined group.

  7. Ugh. Good grief! You are one tough cookie. I thought I was doing well to get over 10,000 steps in yesterday - on flat Florida ground. I do love walking Florida trails. I would need an elevator to see the sights your amazing feet take you to.

  8. Ha ha ... I bet you had a good night's sleep!

  9. Such a difficult trek but fun by the sound of it!

  10. Wow, all that snow. It's a good thing you did not slip and fall.

  11. I'm sure you'll be happy when spring finally arrives! That's a whole lot of snow to trek through.

  12. That sure looks like a cold hike. You are a brave woman.

  13. Now THAT hike was too much for me to handle! Tho, the views, incredble. I'm glad I stayed back and kept the home fires burning for y'all.

  14. I’m so glad you had your gorgeous views again and I’m relieved you returned safely with no injuries or aches. You all are such intrepid hikers.


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