Thursday, May 30, 2019

First visit to Church 2019

Today's hikers up to Church Mountain meadow
Sixteen Senior Trailblazers showed up for our first hike into the High Country this year. The weather was glorious, with fog at first, clearing off to perfect blue skies.
Fog as we moved uphill
This is one of the earliest times we have attempted this hike, because Al said he learned that the snow is clearing out quickly, and this south-facing hike usually has only small amounts of snow on the trail, until we meet the meadow.
First view of the meadow
We saw no snow at all on the way up, very unusual, and when we got to the meadow after about three miles hiking steeply uphill, this is what greeted us: huge areas clear of snow and plants beginning to come alive, now that the snow is almost gone.
A huge tree blown down
While we hiked in the forest on the way to the meadow, we saw several trees that were blown down during the winter. Several of them caused quite a bit of struggle to safely navigate, but we managed to get everyone across the obstacles, with the help of some of the stronger hikers.
Our lunch spot
We found a nice place without any snow for us to have our lunch. There was such a great view of Mt. Baker and the warm weather caused us to be on the hot side, rather than having to bundle up from the wind and cold, as we usually do when we stop for lunch. Just an amazing day.
The high spot for the day
I climbed up the hill a ways above the others, so I could answer the call of nature, but once I got there, I was joined by Melanie and Owen, and since there was no place to hide, the two of them acted as a curtain for me.
Melanie and Owen
Once I was done, they looked so cute standing there I had to take this picture. The sun was blazing down on us, so we had to take some drastic measures to keep ourselves from getting damaged by the sun.
Ken and Roger
Ken has to keep his skin as covered as possible, and Roger's glacier glasses made the two of them an irresistible photo op. We were just finishing our lunch break and getting ready to start back into the forest when I took this.
Glacier lilies
These pretty yellow flowers only appear for a short while after the snow is gone. They are always a favorite, partly because of their short life cycle, and also because the delicate lily is so beautiful. I found this one alone and looking like it's holding its petals out in bliss.
Blissful sunshine
And then it was time to return to the forest and make our way back down the steep descent. Although this is not a long hike, it is unremittingly uphill and then unremittingly downhill. No messing around here. We hiked somewhere between a little over six and maybe closer to seven miles today, but we also climbed and descended 2,400 feet of elevation in that distance.
Almost back down
The lower elevations are filled with lush greenery and flowers, and we all enjoyed the day very much, our first trip to the High Country this season. There will be plenty more to come, and we will definitely be returning to Church Mountain later in the season in order to climb to the top. A great day today!


  1. Absolutely GLORIOUS.
    Thank you so much for taking my much more sendentary self with you (though I have been working in the garden).

  2. Wow! You have so many breathtaking hiking trails. This is what is keeping you so amazingly fit.

  3. Yes, flowers are one of the est things about the high country. It's amazing how little time it takes for flowers to bloom and also the density of flowers. People don't know what they're missing when they don't get any experience above the tree line.

  4. Nice to have a human curtain when nature calls. Ha

  5. I had to chuckle at how you all plunked down in the meadow as close to the snow line as you could.
    Glacier lilies already! Lovely, but not a great sign for our snow pack.

  6. This was quite the entertaining post--from the odd outfits to the human privacy shield--LOL! Loved it! :)

  7. Quite an adventure and a marvelous picnic spot. The lack of snow pack is worrisome.

  8. The vegetation at the different elevations is so interesting. You are having warm weather to be rid of the snow so early. Just beautiful.

  9. Hi DJan, Wow, your nearly 7 mile hike, plus elevation changes, makes my 3 mile walk around Green Lake seem like a piece of cake. You have my admiration. Enjoyed all your photos. My favorite is the one you snapped of the lunch spot. Neat post! Have a happy weekend ahead! John

  10. Odd it was still hot so near the snow for your lunch. Had to laugh at your privacy curtain. We use to say "make a crowd" when we needed a bit of privacy.

  11. What a great spot for lunch! I also enjoyed seeing the Lilies:)

  12. Beautiful lilies! And what a glorious view for lunch!! Love the nature call curtain. 😁

  13. Good for you! In the high country already. So beautiful❤️


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