|The turnoff to the falls|
Today, three of us set off from the Chuckanut Mountain trailhead for Raptor Ridge, a place we often visit during the winter months. This year, it's been visited more often than usual, but we didn't actually make it there today. As we headed up the Hemlock trail, I began to lose steam and had to make several stops just to catch my breath. Melanie and Sue let me make the call to stop and turn around, rather than continue. I don't know why I was feeling so tired today, but they didn't make me feel too bad. We decided to turn around and make a trip to Chuckanut Falls.
|Melanie, "the Dude," and Sue|
We often stop to visit this interesting little configuration in a tree, which looks like a face, often with a doobie sticking out of his "mouth." The reference is to an old movie, "The Big Lebowski," with Jeff Bridges playing the part of "The Dude." It's fun to watch it again, which I did after we discovered the tree. It's on the trail to the falls.
|Overlooking Chuckanut Falls|
We chatted about the falls for awhile, enjoying the mild weather and lack of the you-know-what coming out of the sky. (Earlier we thought today was going to be very wet, but the front disappeared, thank goodness.)
|We enjoyed seeing the falls|
After spending some time at the falls, we turned around and began our return trip to the cars. However, Sue saw some Christmas decorations that had been forgotten on a tree , and she was concerned about birds mistaking them for something edible.
|A Christmas bell and sign|
Melanie and Sue took down the bells and other Christmas ornaments and placed them in a bag, which was left at the trailhead. They are mostly made of glass, and Sue was concerned about windstorms breaking them and causing harm.
|Doing a good deed|
We then turned around and made our way back to the trailhead. We had a short discussion about the ferns that grow out of trees around here. I had learned they are called "licorice ferns," but I'm not sure exactly why.
|A pretty fern-and-moss bouquet|
Although we didn't go as far as we intended when we began, we did manage to get some five or so miles out of it, with plenty of elevation as well. And we were home early, as opposed to last week's hike when I barely made it back in time for our weekly Zoom call with the other Senior Trailblazers. It wa a fine day out, and now I am feeling quite rested and happy to have been exploring with my friends.