|Waiting for the drivers to arrive|
Fourteen Senior Trailblazers spent a long day on Blanchard Mountain, hiking the entire British Army trail from its beginning, which starts out as the Pacific Crest trail before becoming the British Army trail. (As an aside, I wrote about our first trip up this trail here
in 2012, if you're interested.) Today we did a car shuttle, dropping us off and then all four cars driving to our end point, while the rest of us waited in the cool and lovely weather for them to return in just one. It didn't take very long.
|The first sign affirming we were on the right trail|
We started off on old logging roads, and Al, our leader, used his GPS flawlessly. We never got off the trail and continued on until we found the first sign showing that we were indeed on the correct trail. By this time, the temperature had risen to become very warm, and we shed clothing as the day went on.
|A fine stand of trillium|
We saw lots and lots of trillium, along with bleeding hearts, queen's cup, wild ginger, and much more I couldn't identify. By the time we reached Lizard Lake, our first destination, a very light breeze blew off the lake and cooled us down a tiny bit. Usually, we are at this point donning jackets, but not today.
You can see by the reflection that it was mostly calm and clear. The last time we were here, it was cold and windy, but today was anything but. It was almost too hot at times. Since it was so sunny and clear, Al suggested that we might extend our hike, but first we needed to get to Lily Lake.
By the time we got there, that breeze ruffled the water a little, and we discussed whether or not to stop here for lunch and then make our way to the Lower Trailhead where the cars were parked, or maybe take a trip up to North Butte. You can guess what we decided to do: extend the hike.
|View from North Butte|
It was now time for lunch, and since it was so sunny, I had to work hard to find a nice moderately shady spot to enjoy my own lunch. It was downright hot in the sun, with the breeze barely making it up here. We had hoped for it, but only because some of us are Pacific Northwesterners who wilt in the full sun.
|Feather in his cap|
Frank had found this feather on the trail and stuck it in his cap while we ate our lunch. You have to climb up onto these rocks to make it all the way to the top of the butte, and everyone made it without mishap, including me. I did slide back down on my rear end, because the steepness was a little intimidating in spots.
|Heading to the Lower Trailhead|
Then it was time to make our way down the trail to our cars. It was a long day, but a fruitful one in the sunshine. We covered over nine miles and 2,300 feet up and down. That's one reason why I'm feeling so tired right now, but after a nice cold drink instead of some wine, I'm a little bit recovered. Tomorrow I am scheduled for a massage, which will be wonderful! Another fine day in the Chuckanuts with my best buds.