Thursday, February 27, 2020

A wonderful day on Stewart Mountain

Owen, today's hike leader
Fifteen Senior Trailblazers decided to do the scheduled hike for the day, the Chanterelle trail, even though Mel, our leader, is sick with what sounds like a bad cold or the flu, and Al (who leads most of our hikes) was also out with what he called "the sniffles." I am glad both of them decided to stay home. We may be doing more of that, considering the anxiety we are all feeling over the coronavirus. In any event, Owen was a wonderful leader, setting a good pace.
The "slow" group (plus me behind the camera)
Before we left the Senior Center, we decided to break up into groups of faster and slower hikers in separate cars, so that the people who wanted to zip up the Chanterelle trail would not be slowed down by the others (meaning people like me who hike at a slower pace), and it turned out to be seven in the "fast" group and eight in the "slow" group. As we were making our way up the trail, we ran  into the fast group on their way back to the overlook for lunch.
Hikers on the trail
The Chanterelle trail on Stewart Mountain is broken into two parts: 2.4 miles to the overlook, and 2.6 miles to the trail terminus, which makes exactly five miles altogether, one way. Each of the two segments gains about a thousand feet of elevation.
Signs of spring
Although I couldn't seem to get these little pink buds in focus, you can sure see that it won't be long before they are full-fledged flowers. After a short break at the overlook, we continued on up the second segment.
Some patches of snow
As we gained in elevation, we did run into a few patches of some fairly significant snow. Although it didn't last long, I was sure happy I had my trekking poles, making it a much easier ascent and descent over these spots.
Our lunch spot
We had a nice lunch at the end of the trail, before returning the way we had come. By the time it was over, we had covered ten miles and boy, do my feet feel all those miles! I decided that once I got home and wrote this blog post, I'll take it easy for the rest of the day.
Collie wearing his bodyguard outfit
We saw some other people on the trail today, and one of them was this gorgeous collie wearing a curious-looking getup. We found that it is called "Bodyguard all-weather protective dog pants." (I added a link to the company, FouFou Brands.) They come in different sizes, but I didn't see anything that tells whether you can get them for shorter-legged dogs. A very clever item!
Beautiful tree bark
I saw this tree bark as we were standing around towards the end of the day's hike, and I was taken by its lovely natural designs. We live in a really delightful part of the country, and the trees bring me so much enjoyment.
Licorice ferns growing out of the trees
Every time we reach this part of the trail, I stop to enjoy these trees that are covered with ferns. We were almost back to our starting point, and I was glad to reach the cars and take off my boots. If a hike is eight miles or less, my feet don't bother me much, but any longer and I am hurting by the end. Today was no exception.

However, all in all it was a wonderful day, filled with fresh air, no rain after the first few minutes, and pretty much perfect temperatures. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed being out on the trail.


  1. I loved the pictures and thank you from the bottom of my much less active heart.

  2. With a two thousand foot elevation you saw everything from snow to ferns. As usual you get back and your enthusiasm is high.

  3. As someone who has a bad foot, I remain in awe of your hikers.

  4. Great photos, Jan. Ten miles is a lot, especially with the change in elevation. You should be proud of your ability!

  5. 10 miles and 2000 feet of elevation ... thru the snow? I'm impressed!

  6. Absolutely magnificent today! You live in paradise. I can feel your feet pain. And hope you actually DID relax after a job well done.

    Some day, the snoopy mode that I am in with your seniors...tell us what's for lunch?

  7. Lovely pictures, as always. It's good that 2 of the hikers stayed home because of illness. Why spread germs?

  8. So interesting to see flower buds and snow on the same hike. No lack of diversity. Glad your hikers who weren't feeling well stayed home. Now if we can get everyone to do that.

  9. Nice hike, other than the snow the trail looks great! I bet that doggie suit helps with all the fringes that a Collie has...and every little hair on their leg and underbelly pick up moisture and dirt!
    My best to John I have been thinking of him:)

  10. What a hike--from snow to little blossoms. Love the tree ferns, too. That is a clever thing for dogs to wear...but I can't help but wonder what it is protecting them from exactly? Burrs, ticks, wet weeds?

  11. The collie particularly appeals to me, as we had one when I was growing up.

  12. The bark, the fern covered trunks, the pink buds, all lovely finds. And that dog suit is ingenious.

  13. I would love those fern covered trees!

  14. I’m sure being out in the open air of nature will keep you healthier with all that wonderful exercise. It’s so beautiful! That’s a very interesting set of dog pants. I can’t imagine my granddog wearing one though.

  15. Dear DJan, I find you intrepid! And I so enjoy your posted descriptions of your trails and pathway and the flora all around you.

    The weather is warming here and so I am beginning to walk again. Just 10 minutes a day, but as the year moves into Spring, then Summer, and then Autumn, I hope to increase my time. I want to get back into shape after being pretty well house-bound for several years. I also have a DVD of senior yoga that I'm trying to do 2 or 3 times a week and I'm enjoying it. Wish me luck! Peace.


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