|Sign at trailhead|
Today Melanie and I went up to the viewpoint on the Goat Mountain hike. It's something I've done many times in the past, but this was by far the most difficult hike I've done in two years, at least. I wasn't sure at all that I could actually do it, but I knew if my friend Mel would join me, she would let me set the pace, and keep me from hurting myself. And that's just what happened today.
|One of many boardwalks|
We walked up the trail while enjoying the lovely fall weather, cool and crisp, with no clouds to start with (more came as the day wore on), and a breeze that was cold at the beginning, but we shed our jackets and gloves within a very short distance.
|Lots of green still around|
Although that first picture of the boardwalk looks bleak, the higher we climbed, the more foliage we ran into. These were the first flowers we saw on our way up, pearly everlasting, a pretty white flower that lives up to its name by being around for a long time every year.
|Pretty Indian paintbrush|
Once one reaches the meadows and emerges from the trees, there are plenty of blueberry bushes and a few sparse flowers still around. In a little more than three miles, this hike takes you up almost 3,000 feet (2850 to be exact) to a viewpoint. I did fairly well on the uphill, moving slowly but surely. At one point Mel went on ahead, which made me happy since I knew she could probably travel at twice my speed.
|A glimpse of the actual mountain|
This was taken not far from the summit of the viewpoint, and you can see all the foliage is beginning to turn color and move into its fall finery. By this time I was barely keeping Melanie in sight, but she stopped and kept an eye on me now and then.
|Mt. Baker, hidden behind clouds|
We finally reached the viewpoint, where we can see three marvelous mountains: Mt. Baker, who is hiding behind those clouds above, but still looking gorgeous to my eyes.
|Mt. Sefrit on the left, and Mt. Shuksan on the right|
It was lovely at the viewpoint, and we enjoyed the incredible view for awhile. The two of us were very happy to be there, and after we stopped for a nice lunch and to rest a bit, I asked Mel to take a selfie of us on top. Here's the shot.
|Me and best pal Melanie|
Then it was time to head back down the steep trail. At first it's very dicey, with lots of rocks and steep sections before you get back down into the meadow. We were careful and took our time, Melanie because she was with me, and me because not taking care with each step and taking a fall would have been no fun at all.
|One last look around|
It could not have been a more perfect weather day, for the first hike of the fall season. Once we got back into easier trail, I took a few more pictures, but once we were about a mile from the end, I realized that I had pretty much run out of steam and slowed way down. It was touch and go for me during that last mile, and I realize that this was my Goat Mountain swan song.
|Our return trip in dappled late afternoon light|
And here I now sit, much later than I usually write this post (it's almost 7:00pm at night), feeling very tired but extremely happy to have actually done it, traveling up and down all that distance and elevation and not having a meltdown. Mel might have thought she was going to have to carry me that last mile, but I slowly made it back. I've learned a very important lesson about my limits as I approach my big birthday.
I truly am grateful to have a friend like Mel, who doesn't see me as a charity case, when she certainly could if she was of a mind to. But she is a very good friend who doesn't stoop to such thoughts. But from now on, I'll be making much shorter and less strenuous hikes! And now it's time to shower and take my tired bones to bed.
You did well to accomplish such a strenuous hike, Jan. Seep well, my friend. You have other wonderful hikes to enjoy yet!ReplyDelete
Wow, you went up high! It's good to have a friend to walk with, for all the reasons you mentioned.ReplyDelete
What a hike! Glad you are okay. Thanks Mel for taking such good care of DJan!ReplyDelete
I really like the mountain meadows above the tree line. You have some great photos of the meadows.ReplyDelete
I am so very glad that you made it, shared it, and have a wonderful friend like Mel.ReplyDelete
Huge hugs - and sleep well.
Goat Mountain had no goats but you hiked there like 2 goats. What an ordeal.ReplyDelete
Loved the side-by-side mountains photo, DJan! Whew, you get to some pretty high places! That was also very sweet what you wrote about Melanie, I'm sure she's just as grateful to have a hiker-climber friend like you. :^)ReplyDelete
Like Far Side, I would also like to thank Mel for being such an amazing friend who keeps you in the game you so love. What a gal. Glad you got to do it again but glad you realize it was too much. Rest easy and enjoy those shorter hikes.ReplyDelete
Congrats on a difficult but beautiful hike! You do seem to challenge yourself. And I too am glad you have a friend like Melanie to share those wonderful times.ReplyDelete
It was worth it.ReplyDelete
So glad you've got a friend like Mel. Great hike!ReplyDelete
You and Mel are both such amazing people, DJan. Everybody should have a friend like Mel. And everybody should have a friend like you. After having met you myself, I can see why she would want to have you for a friend. I'm glad you're being careful not to hurt yourself too. I really love that selfie of the both of you.ReplyDelete
Mel has a beautiful smile!!!ReplyDelete
The scenery is stunning. Loved the cloudy Mt. Baker most. And most of all, glad you made it to the top one last time!!! Tired, but thrilled.
Bravo! Both for your accomplishment and know when enough is enough.ReplyDelete
A nice hike with a great friend. Can't get better than that!ReplyDelete
Well, it was a beautiful fall day with great company for that last hike. I hope you slept well. :)ReplyDelete