Thursday, October 17, 2019

Half Fast group gets Relaxed

Starting point for today's hike
The title of this post is because our two Senior Trailblazer hiking groups combined into one: the Half-Fast (my usual cohorts) and the Relaxed group went out together today. The weather forecast could hardly have been worse: rain all day and wind to boot. Although both groups were scheduled to head into the High Country, it obviously wasn't a good idea. Only three people showed up for the Relaxed hikers, so the combination of our groups put our heads together and decided to start at the Two Dollar trail and head up the Rock trail to Gates Overlook and back. If the weather got bad, we could turn around at any point.
Lots of golden leaves
Our day started out dry, but we were ready for the expected weather. Starting out at 8:47am, it didn't begin to rain until after 10:00am, and it wasn't more than a few sprinkles at first. The wind was gusty, but I think yesterday's wind was worse than what we faced today. At times, it was calm, and then we'd hear the roar of the wind and rain as it came toward us.
Rain and wind
By the time we reached the South Lost Lake trail on our way to the Rock trail, the rain had found us. It wasn't all that cold, but the wind gusts made it feel that way, once we got rained on.
A carpet of leaves
The trees are losing their leaves quickly, as you can see here. We walked along a carpet of color, and one could easily see where the wind blew and swirled the leaves into deep eddies. It was quite lovely, actually. And then we got to Gates Overlook and decided to hunker down in the trees just before it, so that we would be protected from the fierce wind.
Joy and Dave settling in for lunch
You can see the mist behind Joy and Dave, and since there was no view at the Overlook, it was much nicer just to find a nice place under a tree and enjoy a nice break together. When I took this picture of them, Joy snapped one of me.
Snug and warm, surrounded by friends
We were able to share pictures with each other using AirDrop on our iPhones. Melanie and I do this all the the time, so it was fun to show Joy how it works. Once we packed up and headed back, we ventured out to see if there was any view for us from the Overlook. Nope.
Time to head back
Instead of returning the way we had come, we walked down Cleator Road until we got to the turnoff to Fragrance Lake, which would take us back to the Two Dollar trail. By the time we started back, the rain had pretty much stopped, and the wind had died down to practically nothing.
Fragrance Lake
As we passed by Fragrance Lake, I was able to capture this pretty picture, showing a few little raindrops on the lake, but nothing much to speak of. It's only 1.7 miles from the lake to the trailhead, so off we went, happy to have been able to enjoy such a lovely day.
View of the bay
Although when we were on Gates Overlook, we should have been able to see this view, at least it did appear before we got all the way back down. You can see the weather is beginning to improve. We were so fortunate today, lucking out with the weather, in spite of the forecast, and enjoying a simply lovely hike of almost  nine miles and around 2,100 feet of elevation gain and loss.

For me, it was especially delightful, because I feel all the way back to being fit for hiking after many months of injuries. Yes, I have age-related changes, but for now I am hopeful that I've got some good hiking days ahead of me. I am beyond grateful.


  1. I noticed too that the leases are falling as fast as they turn. I want the beauty to linger.
    It has been stop and start rain here all day, and I keep hearing about gusty winds, but not here south of Seattle.
    I'm glad you had a good hiking experience.

  2. It's always a big challenge to hike in inclement weather. It's miserable and you don't know if it's wise to continue.

  3. Yay you. And how wonderful to be looking forward to more good hiking.

  4. It looks wonderful. A beautiful area with great friends.

  5. Just wonderful that you are all the way back. Been a struggle but you persevered and made it. Kudos.
    Love that carpet of leaves especially the sound they make when dry. Maybe next time.

  6. Even without "views," the scenery is still beautiful,

  7. Your rain gear kept you dry and warm. Good friends and a pretty hike. I guess with some hikes you're meant to observe things close to you and not off in the distance. :)

  8. I am so pleased you are back to full fitness. You did well to walk 9 miles in that weather. More about the good company than the views this week.

  9. I am so happy for you! I know how important the hikes are for you! :)


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