After learning that both groups of Senior Trailblazers canceled their hikes for today because of horrendously bad air quality, I called Melanie to see if she wanted to find a way, any way, to get in a few safe steps. We finally decided to make a trip to the Hertz trail, which follows an old railroad grade on the side of Lake Whatcom.
|Lake Whatcom with log|
We've done this particular walk in sun, rain, wind, as well as in ideal conditions. This is the first time we did it because it is flat, so we could walk slowly enough not to breathe too deeply. We wore masks all the time we were hiking, but I found that my N95 is so good at blocking everything that in no time at all, it was dripping from my breath, even though we were walking slowly. It wasn't exactly fun, but we did manage to walk the trail for two miles before turning around. We only walked a portion of the trail, unusual for us, but neither of us wanted to take any chances on a day like today.
|Fall colors are everywhere|
Yesterday's air quality was even worse than today's, and I don't think we would have tried even this short walk then. The air quality had moved from yesterday's "very unhealthy" into the "unhealthy" and just a short distance into that category. The air is supposed to improve tonight, and we should get some rain tomorrow, which should scour out most of this awful air. I saw on the news that parts of Seattle are currently experiencing the worst air quality in the world. We are not that bad, partly because we are so close to Bellingham Bay, and also because of the wind direction in relation to the wildfires that are still burning. We will all be so glad when this particularly difficult period has passed.
|Strolling through the leaves|
We got back to Mel's car well before noon, so we decided to go out to lunch. Melanie treated me to a wonderful salad and garlic fries at a place called Sliced, which is a new restaurant in the old Boston Pizza location at Bellis Fair Mall. I had a lovely salad (Green Goddess) with garlic fries, which Mel and I both worked at but I still had a huge amount to bring home. I think I will stay away from those fries, though, because the garlic was strong enough that it is all I can taste, hours later. But I would go back there again in a minute, as the food was good with generous servings and excellent service (not to mention high ceilings and patrons spaced well apart).
It was a really nice way to enjoy more time together before heading home. We both hope that next week we will be having more of our usual Pacific Northwest blue skies and great air. We made the best of a difficult situation, and I am truly happy to be home looking out the window at the haze and not breathing it in.