|Kirk, Cathy, Melanie (and me)|
Today is the first day that the Senior Trailblazers gathered in the (still closed) Senior Center parking lot to carpool to a hike in the wilderness together. There were thirteen of us, and most of the group decided to make the journey up the Mt. Baker Highway to tackle the first attempt of the season on Church Mountain. But some of us weren't too keen on it, since rain was in the forecast, and there is still plenty of snow on the trail to the meadow.
So, four of us went "rogue" and headed off to Maple Grove instead. This is a long drive south to Baker Lake, but it's also one of the prettiest hikes around. Kirk just didn't want to walk on snow while hiking in possible rain, and the other three of us were very happy to hop in Mel's car and drive off to see what awaited us.
This lovely hike along Baker Lake is so beautiful, and has some easy challenges, but no snow, and lots of incredibly lush scenery. It's like being in a fairyland. One of my favorite ferns, the maidenhair, is abundant all along the four-mile trail. I could not resist a few pictures.
|Me beside a magnificent old tree|
I was simply amazed at the sheer size of this old tree, and I stood next to it so you can appreciate how gigantic it is. I'll bet it's hundreds of years old, and I'm glad it was spared from being cut down for its wood. Now it can be appreciated for years to come by many admirers.
|Moss-covered trees next to lush greenery|
As we walked along the trail, we enjoyed so many ferns, flowers, and plant life that it was truly magical. Although the place changes from season to season, it also has a sameness that brings joy to my heart.
|Baker Lake and hidden mountains|
And then we were at the lake, which in past years has shown us wonderful views of Mt. Baker and Shuksan, but not today. Just low clouds and peeks of a view now and then. It was time for lunch, so we sat down at a picnic table in a light rain, just the four of us, before heading back the way we had come.
|Turquoise lake below us|
At one point we were some distance above the lake and could see its pretty color through the trees. I had hoped to capture the loveliness, but this is all I could manage. It's a very weak attempt, but perhaps you can use your imagination to embellish it a bit.
There were lots of bunchberries, pretty little white flowers that are in the dogwood family. It is also called creeping dogwood or dwarf dogwood, and you can find all about it on that link. In any event, we finally made it back to the car and drove back to Bellingham, replete with eight miles of hiking (and even a little elevation), plenty of good conversation, and looking forward to another fine season of hiking!