|Walking around Cranberry Lake|
I decided this morning to go with the "relaxed" group of Senior Trailblazers, rather than do Oyster Dome again so soon after our last visit. My knee complained mightily then, and today's group had decided to drive to Anacortes to make a hike up Goose Rock, one of my favorites in the area. We started the trip with a short loop around the Cranberry Lake trail, with this wonderful moss hanging from the trees. In other years, I've seen eagles here, but not today.
|Discussing alternate route plans|
When we went through the gate into the park, we were informed that a rock slide has occurred near the Deception Pass bridge, closing part of the trail, and that meant we would not be able to make our usual excursion from West Beach to the Goose Rock trailhead. Instead, we had to make a detour in order to get to the other side of the bridge highway.
|This detour took us under the highway|
We walked through the many campsites in the park, on our way to the other side of the closed trail, so that we could start our hike up to Goose Rock.
|Magnificent trees everywhere|
I love the wonderful trees that grace this park, big cedars and firs that have been around a long, long time. This one appealed to me, so I added it to my collection of favorite tree photos.
|Can you see Mt Rainier?|
It is not often that we have a good view of Mt Rainier once we get to the top of Goose Rock, but today, you can see it on the horizon. You can also see one of those pesky Growler aircraft that we had to endure all day long.
|More of the Goose Rock view|
The Navy base where the aircraft take off and land is visible in this picture, in the topmost part of the bay. Another Growler is also visible in the air.
|Our lunch break|
We had a nice place to have lunch, once we reached the top. The weather was mild, but the noise from the aircraft was intolerable. I've been coming on this hike for years, but I have never before experienced such loud and constant noise, the kind that hurts your ears and vibrates through your body. On the way back, we did a little research and found that several dozens more of these aircraft were added earlier this year, and they are also definitely louder. The Whidbey Island residents have filed a lawsuit
over the increased noise.
|Our Trailblazer crew today|
This picture was taken as we headed back down the trail. Andre is the photographer, since I managed to mess up the one I took of the group. Anyway, once we were on the portion of the trail that puts us with some terrain between us and the Navy base, it was much quieter. I cannot think how people manage to live here these days.
|Pretty little mushrooms|
On our way back, we saw many beautiful forest mushrooms of every size and shape. Not knowing what they are, I cannot name them, but I can tell you they make beautiful little forest scenes.
|Mt Baker in the distance|
On the return trail, we had a lovely view of another one of our favorite mountains. Although we didn't get to enjoy our usual walk along the beach on the way back to the cars, we did appreciate both the scenery and the company. Many of the people in this group are ones I have known for a long time, but others were new to me. We covered more than eight miles and about 1,200 feet up and down, less than half what the other group did, I'm sure. My knees were very happy with my decision, and we got a good workout. too. I'm ready to kick back and put my feet up. Another good day!