Thursday, September 26, 2019

Oyster Dome

Heading up from the highway to Oyster Dome
We were scheduled to head up the Mt. Baker Highway today and make our way up Hannegan Pass. After an all-night rainstorm and rain early on, eleven Senior Trailblazers decided instead to change our hike to a local one. Oyster Dome is a favorite, although it didn't look as though there would be much view. But it's a real workout, gaining more than 2,000 feet and with lots of other ways to lengthen the hike if one wanted to.
First chance for a view
After hiking uphill for about a mile, we reach a nice little overlook, where you can look out on Samish Bay. It wasn't until we reached this spot that we were pretty sure it wasn't going to rain on us. Lots of drippy trees did get us a little wet, but we didn't let that deter us.
Our first view
Although this is somewhat of a loop hike (or as Al calls it, a lollipop), we would come back to this spot on our way back to the cars. Even though it's very lovely, on our way back, it would be even better, since unbeknownst to us at the time, the skies would brighten.
Lots of maidenhair ferns
We crossed several streams, which were flowing merrily along, after all the rain we've been having. I took this picture because I love these ferns, and I thought it made for a nice scene, with Melanie's purple rain jacket adding a bit of color.
Lily Lake
We decided to skip the final push to Oyster Dome, figuring there would be little to no view, and took the trail to Lily Lake instead. It was smooth and quiet, and although it was a little bit on the early side, we decided to go ahead and stop for lunch. A first lunch, anyway. Some would save their lunch for Samish Overlook.
Today's motley crew
We gathered in our usual spot, sitting on the wet benches and having a nice snack (or lunch, if you were like me and already hungry). From here, we hiked to Samish Overlook, which is an alternate starting point for the trip to Oyster Dome. We always do the harder trek up from the highway, partly because we want more distance, and also several people would feel we cheated a little.
Samish Overlook
By the time we reached the Overlook, the skies had begun to clear, and we sat in this lovely area, munched down our remaining lunch, and basked in the sunlight. Nobody was in a big hurry to head back down the steep trail, so we took our time.
Blue skies!
This is what we had on our return journey: beautiful blue skies, sunshine galore, and an early end to our hiking day. When we take the long trip up into the mountains, it adds around three hours of travel to the day. Today, we were back to the Senior Center early, with lots of daylight still to come.

And now, as I finish my post and relax in my easy chair, I'm glad I went. There were a few moments towards the end of the steep downhill that my knees were complaining, but I was careful to watch my step so I wouldn't fall and re-injure anything. We covered almost nine miles and 2,200 feet of elevation gain and loss. Another wonderful day!


  1. The clearing skies give terrific views!

  2. Incredible vistas, the first picture seems like a really steep incline, I would be on my bum in no time :)
    What a fantastic hike !

  3. Amazing views - and hooray for a sunny return.

  4. Nine miles is a good long walk. I'm glad you made it without any problems.

  5. Yes, no more falls & re-injuring!

    Beautiful area.

  6. It sounds perfect and exhausting! I am sure I couldn’t do it. I am too accustomed to hikes on this flat island.

  7. I could never hike 9 miles. Not sure I can hike one mile. But, good for you. You've got stamina that's for sure.

  8. So glad you are back in the routine again. I know how much you have missed it. You were certainly rewarded with some great views and a really nice day.

  9. Judging from all those happy smiles, everyone enjoyed the day. You were definitely hiking through some beautiful country with amazing views!

  10. Dear DJan, it is so wonderful that you can walk again and enjoy the blue skies and the maidenhair ferns and your friends. Your move to the Pacific Northwest has turned out to be so rewarding. Peace.

  11. Turned out a better day that expected with sunny skies. Love the ferns!! I hope you knee will be okay. You'll know the next day for sure. ;)

  12. You did well with this walk. Nine miles is enough to stretch anyone's legs. Glad you have recovered enough to be taking part in these walks again.

  13. Nine miles is a bunch! That and the sunshine should keep you happy for a while.

  14. Wow! Such dramatic and beautiful scenery!

  15. What a difference a day makes ... and glad your knees held out.

  16. You always get the most amazing scenery. I'm glad to sit in my chair and look at your photos. I don't think I could do that climb. Ummm... I know I couldn't do that climb.

  17. Yeah for a good hike with no injuries!!:)


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