|Lily Max Connector trail|
Today Melanie and I set off for Blanchard Mountain, one of our favorite places to hike. Usually we go to Lily and Lizard Lakes from the Upper trailhead on the mountain, but today we went to different places, for a few reasons I'll explain here.
We started at the Upper trailhead and planned to take several different trails up to Samish Overlook and then to Lily Lake. It was a perfect day, weather-wise, with temperatures cool in the morning but full sun warming things up pretty quickly. Not long after we got to this junction, we heard about Queen Elizabeth's death. We took pictures of ourselves to mark the momentous, if sad, occasion.
|Melanie upon hearing the news|
It was my Apple Watch that sent the message, and although it had been expected, it was also very sad to think that the Queen is now gone. She served for more than 70 years and died at 96.
|Sad news on a sunny day|
We walked along the trail, admiring its beauty, and being glad we were in a magnificent setting and not sitting alone in darkness when we heard. This old tree was probably a seedling when she first ascended the throne.
|Last of the foxgloves|
We didn't see any flowers today, other than this pretty pink bit of foxglove on the trail. We were able to find a few blackberries, warm and sweet by the side of the trail, but it is definitely beginning to feel like fall is in the air.
|Samish Bay from the Overlook|
We made it to the Samish Bay Overlook and noticed a little haze and that the tide was out, exposing some oyster beds. It was quite beautiful and we enjoyed a quick snack before heading up the Chuckanut trail.
|I didn't realize what was ahead|
This trail starts out quite pleasantly, but soon it becomes very steep. I wasn't prepared for how steep, and I struggled up to the junction that would take us to Lily Lake. Poor Melanie had miscalculated the distance we would hike, and I knew I had to keep going, but it didn't stop me from having a meltdown at one point. Not that it changed anything, we had to keep going. From this point to the junction, we ascended a couple of thousand feet, and I was never so glad to see anything as I was to see the junction.
We did see some beautiful ferns growing out of the side of a rock and looking like they were also growing out of the tree. I was enchanted, since it's my favorite fern (as many of you already know).
|A beautiful trail|
I have to apologize for not taking more pictures, but by the time we started back down the trail, we decided to skip the trip to Lily Lake and just head back to the trailhead. I was just trying to keep myself together, since we ended up hiking more than nine miles and up and down 2,200 feet of elevation. It was really hard for me, and Mel felt responsible, but it was a joint decision to try this route, and I will definitely sleep well tonight! It's sad for me to realize that my days of traversing such trails has become much harder for me, and I'll have to take into consideration my advancing age!
Nevertheless, we made it back to the car in fairly decent shape, and we drove back down to the freeway in good time. I was never so glad to see anything as that lovely air-conditioned Rav4 that Mel drives. And I know I'll be just fine, all I need is a little rest and relaxation. Thank you, Mel, for helping me by encouraging me to be strong.