Thursday, December 3, 2020

Decisions, decisions


Where to first?

I went out to Blanchard Mountain with two of my best hiking buddies, Melanie and Terry. We started at the Upper Trailhead and decided we'd go to both lakes and come back down the Alternate Incline Trail, which made for a pretty wonderful day.

Nice dry trail with no wind

We were actually amazed at how mild it was, although the temperature probably didn't reach much more than 39°F (3.8°C). There was plenty of sunshine when we started out, and the wind was nonexistent. Both of those factors changed over the course of our adventure, with high clouds coming in and a bit of a breeze, but nothing major.

Boardwalk to Lily Lake

We decided to go to Lily Lake first, and then take the loop trail behind the lake, which would take us to Lizard. Both Lily and Lizard Lakes look very similar, but there was something a bit different with both of them today.

Lily Lake

If you look carefully, you can see a thin film of ice beginning to form on the lake. Before long, when we visit these two favorite destinations, we'll be seeing much more ice, and even snow. Today, however, there was only a hit of ice. It never fails to astonish me, however, how different the environment can be from visit to visit. After a quick view, we went up the loop trail to Lizard Lake.

Lizard Lake

You can see just a bit more ice has formed on Lizard Lake, and I'm not sure whether it's because it's a little bit higher elevation or not. You can see that the high clouds are beginning to form already. We stopped here to have a quick lunch and explore the area a little.

Fresh beaver action

Although we never see any beaver here, it's obvious that they have been busy. Here at Lizard, this tree looks to have been felled not long ago by the industrious critters. I'd love to see them one day. And then it was time to head back to the cars. We decided to make it an entire loop hike and return via the Alternate Incline Trail, which heads down to a service road instead of giving us the more scenic forest. However, there is one place on the road that gives us a view.

Mt. Baker

Yes, there is our beautiful Mt. Baker, easily seen from the road, and almost back to the cars. We covered around seven miles and ascended and descended 2,300 feet of elevation, making it more than just a "walk in the park." I am happy to know that even at my advanced age I am able to continue to enjoy this activity. I'll keep going until that changes.

None of us knows what the future holds for any of us, from one day to the next. For now, this is where I'll find serenity and hope for the best. We saw very few people on the trail, and everyone was masked, even if they were donned at the first sign of someone coming by. I feel very fortunate to live in a state where the vast majority of the population honors the rules put in place by our governor. 

It was truly a lovely day, and my company helped me to get some good quality conversation. In a short while, I'll join a Zoom call with my other Senior Trailblazers and find out what others are doing during this fine weather.


  1. Thank you for taking us on yet another glorious walk. As our temperatures ramp up it is a relief to know that somewhere ice is forming and cooler temperatures abound.

  2. Your pictures are stunning, and all that green! We've had temps in the 20s & a half-foot of snow dumped on us here in Pittsburgh. But I have to say, that picture of Mt.Baker... I can't imagine seeing something like that in person. DJan, I sure envy you those views. Thanks for sharing them here.

  3. A perfect hike, even though the temperature sounds cold! My younger daughter used to live on the Mt. Baker Highway and skied and snowboarded at Baker. Beautiful mountain.

  4. One of your hiking buddies posted on Facebook so I got a preview before finally getting to your post. what a great hike you had again today! I did at least get my short walk in.

  5. That’s so wonderful, DJan. I think you’re in much better condition than some folks half your age. How wonderful to be outdoors and enjoying the beautiful scenery. However 39 degrees? I don’t know... that’s a bit too nippy for me.

  6. Stopping to show us My. Baker was truly a highlight of the trek!!

  7. I think I recently came across something about beavers being reintroduced to some place in Europe, perhaps the UK. One comes across so much information that I didn't notice the particulars in passing.

  8. I enjoy your pictures of the trails you've been on & the interesting things you see.

  9. The weather sounds perfect and so does the hike. My. Baker is just glorious! That sight alone was worth the effort. I miss mountains.

  10. No wind and sunshine make all the difference. Wonderful hike with good friends. Thanks for taking us along. :)

  11. I agree, it would really be neat to see a beaver in action. They are quite the lumberjacks and engineers.
    Sounds like almost a perfect day and loved that view of Mt. Baker.

  12. I can never get tired of views of Mt. Baker.

  13. I am glad you had fine weather. I am sorry that those beavers always destroy the trees, but that is what beavers do.

  14. You had a great day out and about! I always think of you on Thursdays...:)

  15. Another great hike in your beautiful PNW!


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