Thursday, December 17, 2020

Madrone Crest on a dark day

Melanie, Terry, and me in a selfie

We didn't know what we might face today as we pondered our choices for a hike. Last night and most of yesterday, the rain fell and the wind roared. We decided to head for the Chuckanut trailhead, which would give us many different choices, depending on what the weather might throw at us. We were ready for anything.

It was very dark and threatening, with dark clouds overhead but mild temperatures. And guess what? It didn't rain on us at all in the first part of our adventure. And we were in uncommonly good spirits, as you can see from the selfie I took of us as we started out.

The waterfall with plenty of water

Just as I thought, the waterfall at the beginning of our hike to Madrone Crest was flowing fast and showed us how all that rain had filled it up. It made the waterfall a delight to see. Sometimes it dries almost to a trickle, but not today.

Fern forest

We walked through many places where the ferns are incredibly abundant. They are with us year round, but because they are so ubiquitous, I forget to appreciate them and how much green abounds here, even in the winter.

Lower Salal trail

My favorite trail these days is the Lower Salal that takes us on a winding and hilly trek as we intersect other trails on Chuckanut Mountain as we made our way to Madrone Crest. Today is was wetter than I've ever seen it, with plenty of puddles and squishy spots. That said, it was still quite pleasant just to be out.

Madrone Crest trail

I didn't get any pictures from the "viewpoint" today, since we were in a misty and rather damp fog by this time. It was just nice to be only experiencing a little bit of the wet stuff, compared to how it could have been, considering the weather forecast. Just another reminder that you need to go out anyway, even when it looks bad. In the Pacific Northwest, you deal with the weather and decide when you might need to turn around and head home. Today was not one of those days.

Strange fungi

We saw these fungi growing out of a tree. They were soft and rather alien looking, but certainly worth a picture and speculation whether those tucked into the bark of the tree will grow into bizarre critters one day (let's hope not). In any event, the day was a real success, and we covered seven miles and around 1,500 feet of elevation gain and loss. Not a bad day at all, and the best part for me is that by the time I finished, I didn't hurt anywhere! My hip has been bothering me and I worried a little that I might be attempting more than I should. Apparently not. Another satisfying day with great friends.


  1. What a wonderful treat for you and your friends. We were hapy to have a dry, short walk this afternoon, after I got my bread baking done.

  2. You all look happy to be out hiking! Glad you had a good day! :)

  3. Yes I like that first photo best; you were clearly in your element. :) Meanwhile, I keep studying that last photo, it looks like that weird fungi is holding a fuzzy duckling?? Anyway, appreciated all your green today DJan.

  4. A seven mile walk is good on any day. Just before I got to the last paragraph I was thinking that you haven't had any problems for the last few months. So your last paragraph says keep on hiking.

  5. A big hooray. And an even bigger hooray for a pain free day.

  6. If you're like me, my joints & muscles are affected by weather. It's good to hear of no I'll after effects!!

    Love the selfie (the three amigos!...or should that be three amigas?)

  7. Love those bright colors. Makes a dark day a bit brighter and no one could lose you on the trail.

  8. Glad your hip didn't bother you!
    That tree fungus is really creepy.
    LOVE the selfie! :)

  9. So glad you hip is behaving and you had such a nice hike with a neat waterfall and fungi.

  10. That's terrific! I always admire your ability to hike despite pain.

  11. Dear DJan, do you keep a "Gratitude Journal"? I've kept one since about 1994. Each night I write five happenings--events, talks with friends/family, words, actions, whatever--in my journal. If you have one, I suspect that on Thursday night you wrote about this walk and the delight of being out and about when exercise is essential to your well-being. Peace.

  12. Love that first photo. Oh how I would love a wander through those forests. You are so fortunate to live nearby.

  13. Such wonderful trails you have to choose from!

  14. I admire you for hiking in December. I'm still doing a lot of walking, but just around my neighborhood.

  15. Wow! That is certainly an interesting looking fungi. I'm glad you could get a happy walk in, but it sure does look muddy and wet.


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