Thursday, May 14, 2020

Raptor Ridge

Hemlock trail
Today my friend Melanie and I went from the North Chuckanut Mountain trailhead up to Raptor Ridge and back. Thanks to some gentle nudging from Mel, I was actually able to make it the entire distance without needing to turn around and make my way back to the safety of the car. This is probably the hardest hike I've done in awhile, and it was almost enough to bring out a whimper or two. Okay, I will admit I did really whimper a little.
Two-toned trillium
We saw lots and lots of trillium, most of them past their prime but still very beautiful. As they age, they turn from pure white to purple. We had to stop and admire them every time we saw these gorgeous flowers, since by the time we hike together, next week probably, they will be gone. If we have a chance to make it to the High Country this year, we will see them at higher elevations. But there is still no assurance that we'll be able to go into federal lands this summer.
Purple beauty
This is the prettiest one I saw today, and I had to share it, so you can see how really dark they get before the petals shrivel and fall. We had a little sprinkle of rain every now and then, but mostly it was just overcast with a few sunbreaks.
Me on Raptor Ridge
Mel took this picture of  me on Raptor Ridge. I had to laugh when I saw the picture, because it's not obvious to me that it isn't an alien come to conquer the world. Frankly, just making it there and back, more than seven miles and 1,600 feet up and down, made me feel tired enough that the rest of the world will have to wait.
More of our trail today
Mel also took this one while I wasn't looking (obviously). By this time, I was getting tired and wishing for it to be over. But once you get out there, the only option is to keep going. Mel is in much better shape than me and really did keep encouraging me.
Banana slug crossing the trail
We saw three large banana slugs today, which are native to the area. If Peggy had been with us, I know she would have moved this critter to the side of the trail, but I did try that once and learned how slimy they are. I just wished him well and kept going.

All in all, it was a truly wonderful outing, and I know I'll sleep well tonight. It's a little disheartening to think that it wasn't that long ago an outing like today's wouldn't have fazed me. But I am still very happy to have been able to make it home in one piece and will very much enjoy a glass of wine while I relax in my favorite chair tonight.


  1. Good for you! I managed to mile and a half on the beach road today, where we spent the day at the would-be cabin to do a little gardening and just relax.

  2. Thank you (and Mel) for sharing the incredible beauty which still goes on. And please accept a grateful (and non contagious) hug.

  3. It sounds daunting but you persisted! Well done!

  4. Sounds like it was a great day to have a hike.

  5. Sounds like an amazing hike!!!
    I'm awed by the fact you can do it while wearing a facemask. I tried a few days ago to go for a long walk wearing one (just have the surgical masks). Was driving me NUTS!!! Labored breathing (am a heavy breather), made my face itchy and it was all I could do to not touch my face... Have decided that for exercise will have to do without, and just make sure to stay at least 2m away from anyone else. And take a mask with me in case I get in a spot where that is impossible.

  6. And you DID keep on going! Your will and stamina continues to amaze me. And, of all colors ... a purple face mask!!! Yes indeed.

  7. You are totally unrecognizable in that get up. You do amaze me lady and am pretty sure when the urge to turn around hit, I'd have done it. It is good that you have Mel to inspire you and hit the trails with you.

  8. Yeah for Mel and you too for having a great hike. The Trillium are so beautiful. Ours are not up yet, we need rain:)

  9. Nice hike even though it was arduous for you.

  10. I'd think it would be extra hard to make those seven miles trying to breathe thru a mask. But obviously ... you're ready to conquer the world!

  11. That slug is huge! You could be a bandita, DJan!

  12. You were very well protected! So beautiful there. Glad you made it all the way. I bet you did sleep very well. :)

  13. I love the color of your mask! I wish I had purple material. You’re not wearing that while you climb, are you? Then again, if you’re walking with a friend, I can see why you would. How wonderful to be out in nature.


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