Today Melanie and I decided to head over to Blanchard Mountain south of Bellingham, for a trip to Lily and Lizard Lakes. After days of serious heat, today we woke to moderate temperatures and mostly sunny skies. It was actually even a bit on the chilly side when we started out, but once we got moving it was perfect: a light breeze on top of lots of shade from the sun.
|Our forest trail|
We walked up the beautiful trail, enjoying the view although I (at least) struggled with the uphill part of our journey. We actually ended up going up and down 2,200 feet in around eight miles. A little more than last week, but today we had more steep sections. I took the uphill easy and then groaned when my knees complained on the downhill. I could not have done it without the help of my trusty trekking poles.
|I was glad to rest awhile|
Mel took this picture of me on the way to Lily Lake, and I kept watching for the benches I knew would appear sooner or later. I was surprised to see my spooky "friend" behind me, but the picture was too good not to use.
Although the heavy rains of previous weeks are past, we still see plenty of signs of mushrooms. I like this "bouquet" of some kind of shrooms. We did see lots of oyster mushrooms still around (these are not them) but I do like seeing the composition of these.
We made it to Lily Lake just a little past noon, so we stopped for a wonderful lunch. Melanie had brought me some of her homemade zucchini patties, which I ate enthusiastically, and then she pulled out some lemon cookies (no eggs, gluten free, and delicious) and I helped myself to them, too. She is a great cook and I knew I would probably not have a chance to eat any of my boring health bars.
|Lily pads and blossoms|
This closeup of Lily Lake shows some of the beautiful lily pads which give the lake its name. Flowers on the lily pads are abundant out there, too. Then, after lunch we decided to make a loop, rather than return back the way we had come.
|Mel is figuring out the distances|
Mel let me decide which way to return, and as the three options presented to us were all about the same in distance, we headed over to the Alternate Incline trail, which would take us to the service road and back to the car. I chose that route, although I knew the steep downhill would be a challenge for my knees. However, I did it but not without some complaining.
|Alternate Incline trail|
The Alternate Incline trail was beautiful, more lush and green than I've seen it before, and we enjoyed it, even with the steepness. You lose about 900 feet of elevation in just over a mile. And then we were on the service road, which was mostly shaded by the foliage and trees, so it was actually quite pleasant.
|Foxglove on the side of the road|
We passed by huge stands of foxglove, just newly opened, to admire and exclaim at their beauty. Many of you might know that foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is widely used as a heart medicine. It is highly toxic when consumed unawares, but when extracted and made into a drug (digitalis), it's commonly used in treating heart problems. We love the way they look, but just like the mushrooms, we'll leave them alone and just admire them.
So that was how we two spent our Thursday. Now that I am home and feeling pretty darn good, considering all that exercise, I am happy to state that I do feel more like my old self these days, even if I must be careful not to overdo. I am grateful to Melanie for the company, the food, and especially offering encouragement. Onward and upward!