Thursday, January 14, 2021

A fine day and windstorm aftermath

Forest sunlight

 Melanie and I went up to Blanchard Mountain for one of our favorite hikes, where we might visit Lily and Lizard Lakes and return. The trails were a little muddy in places, to be expected after all the rain we've been having. Two days ago we had quite a windstorm in the area, too, which caused lots of people to lose power, but we were fortunate and only had some flickering lights during the worst of it. As you can see from the picture above, it looked like the forest had been spared.

Samish Overlook

We decided to extend the distance a little by taking the trail to Samish Overlook to see if we might have a view under the clouds. As you can see, we certainly did, looking out over the Samish Valley, and if you use your imagination, you can see a dim bump along the horizon, which is actually Mt. Rainier, seen through the clouds. We don't usually get to see it at all. And lots of evidence of recent rainfall with all that standing water.

Samish Bay

Also visible from the Overlook is this delightful view of Samish Bay. We had just about perfect weather, with those high clouds and little wind. Although we had hiked several miles by this time, we had seen little evidence of the windstorm. That was about to change, as we continued on the trail towards Oyster Dome, on our way to the junction with the Lily and Lizard Lakes trail.

Mel in front of downed trees

As we ascended, we saw plenty of uprooted and downed trees, and there were times when the trail was completely obscured. All of this happened just the day before yesterday, and the crews have not begun the cleanup.

Plenty of mangled trees

It seemed odd, since the damage only seemed to be in one part of the forest, in the area heading up towards Oyster Dome. We lost the trail several times and had to work hard to find our way to the junction, but we did. As we continued towards Lily Lake, the wind damage became less and less.

Lily Lake

By the time we made it to Lily Lake, there was little destruction to be seen, but considering that we had lost perhaps a full hour by having to climb over and under trees, and that we still had plenty to distance to cover, we decided to skip Lizard Lake and just head back to the car, given the shortness of our January daylight.

Although it was difficult in some ways, it was also a wonderful way to spend the day, with my friend Mel in rather perfect weather. We covered almost nine miles and more than 2,000 feet up and down. I'm tired right now, but feeling pretty good now that I'm home and finishing my blog post, albeit a little late!



  1. Straight-line wind gusts can do that-- bring down trees in a small swatch. Sad to see them taken down like that. Sounds like it was a good day, though. :)

  2. Whoa! That seems to show quite a bit of damage in the ONE area. I'd would have had my ears wide open for any "cracking" in the tree-lined trails. Even tho the storms have passed, the chance of weakened trees & loosened roots is possible. That Lily Lake photo is gorgeous.

  3. An wonderful hike Jan. You amaze me.

  4. We haven watching those winds they are supposed to be here today. North Dakota has then now, hope they fizzle out before they get here. You had a good hike!! Nice views!

  5. I like that photo of Samish Bay. So serene and beautiful.

  6. From peaceful to violent during your hike. Part normal, part almost destroyed. Quite the hike of opposites.

  7. Beautiful shots of the lakes! Especially Lily Lake. It would make for a wonderful picture puzzle.

  8. Those winds must have been ferocious to uproot so many trees. Despite the damage it looked an enjoyable walk.

  9. That must have been a doozy of a windstorm .

  10. Quite a contrast between the last two photos - the destructive and the calm.

  11. That looks like some serious wind damage!

  12. Those are some big trees! Everything in Washington seems larger than life.

  13. That's incredible wind damage. We just saw footage of a roof being blown off by high winds today in Hawaii. And it's not even a hurricane. You sure did get a lot of exercise because of it.


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