|Holiday Senior Trailblazer hikers|
Today Melanie and I drove to the trailhead for the Hertz trail that used to be an old railroad bed for a holiday walk with many of our old friends, not seen for awhile because of the pandemic. Not that the pandemic is over or even going away anytime soon. We didn't ever go inside and really enjoyed catching up. A holiday party had been scheduled but canceled because nobody wanted to be inside with so much Covid still going on.
|Al and Nancy|
I noticed that Al still has his Covid ponytail, which might not be cut anytime soon, but now it's long enough to look like he's always had it. Nancy is a newer Trailblazer, and I was glad to have a chance to spend some time learning about several new Trailblazers who have joined since I stopped hiking with them regularly. The last time I joined the group was during the summer, and now the winter solstice is right around the corner: next week, in fact.
|Crossing the first of two covered bridges|
This trail is an old friend, traveled many times with just one or two of us, and often the place where we would have a nice six-mile walk before gathering for a party. I'll be glad when we are able to do that again. I was reminded about how much I care about all these dear friends.
|Trail crews have cleaned up a lot of debris (Mel's pic)|
There were several places where recent windstorms have caused some big trees to fall, and the trail crews have done a good job of clearing his well-used route. There were several places like this one.
Mostly the trail looked like this: lots of wet and muddy places, but because of the hard work of the trail crews, quite passable, except for a few places that needed to be tiptoed through.
|End of the trail|
After just over three miles, we came to the turnaround spot. You can see we had very little sunshine; none, in fact. Lake Whatcom was still and after having been hiking at a good clip, we were all warm and enjoying being here for awhile before heading back. The good part is that, although we had a 30% chance of rain, we had nary a drop by this time.
|Looks like a mini-mountain|
The low clouds never really cleared while we were out, but it didn't matter, as we were having lots of conversations and glad to be outdoors together in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. And then before we knew it, we were back at the trailhead.
|Reward at the end|
Several people had brought goodies to share for afterwards. We set our food out on a rock (this was only part of the feast) and enjoyed Chao's homemade guacamole and salsa, Melanie's special pumpkin pie treats, Joy's brownies, Chris's cookies and chex mix. Not to mention a very special treat from Patrick: some alcoholic Franjelico hazelnut liqueur, and another I don't remember the name of (but it was good, too). Patrick brought tiny little glasses to hold the liqueurs, and not being acquainted with the drinks, I was cautioned that they are made to sip, not quaff. They hit the bottom of my stomach with a real wallop!
In any event, it was a delightful way to safely enjoy the holiday season with some good friends. And here I am with one of my favorite people:
|Mel and me|
It's now behind us, and we did have a few sprinkles before it was all over, but we are hardy hikers and drinkers and didn't mind a bit. It's now time to finish the post and publish it, and settle in for a long winter's nap! (smile)