|We were seventeen all together|
Today seventeen Senior Trailblazers met at the Lost Lake trailhead, our first real gathering since the pandemic began. Since the Senior Center is still closed, we drove either alone or with friends, all of us now completely vaccinated and able to gather in larger groups outdoors without masks. Earlier in the week we had been led to expect rain today, but we learned it had decided to wait until later in the afternoon before moving in. So we had a lot of interest in getting out and about.
|My group of nine (I took the picture)|
We broke into two groups, one of 8 and the other of 9, and I joined the group that would go more slowly and not travel as far as the other one. We walked up the service road to Fragrance Lake, figuring we'd take the hiking trail back and make a loop out of it.
|A meagre waterfall today|
Since we haven't had much rain lately, you can see that our waterfall is looking much less impressive than usual, but it's still very beautiful. Our group decided to make our way to Fragrance Lake and make a trip around in and head back to the parking lot. But that is not how it turned out.
|At the lake|
|Trail up to Fiona Ridge|
|A calypso orchid|
One bright spot on the trail was the discovery of some gorgeous and rather rare pink orchids, right by the seldom used trail. Melanie got this picture, since mine was out of focus. These are also called fairy slippers, but their actual name is Calypso bulbosa. That article tells us that they are a perennial member of the orchid family found in undisturbed northern and montane forests.
|Trail to Fragrance Lake|
Once we came off the ridge, we were on Cleator Road, which we had to walk for about a mile until we got to this trail that would take us either to the service road or the longer but more lovely trail back to the parking lot. Since by this time we were pretty tired, we chose to take the shorter and more direct route back.
In any event by the time we finished, we compared our devices and worked out that we had covered around eight miles up and down, which explains why I feel so tired right now! It was a good day, and a great way to begin our post-pandemic season. It was nice not to have to worry about masks or social distancing, since we are all fully vaccinated now and our options are opening up.
I'm glad I had the chance to do this "short" hike and to learn that I am still capable of making longer trips into the wilderness. It was a good day indeed. And even now, after 3:00pm, the rain has still not started!