|Rock trail in dappled sunlight|
Melanie and I decided to do a rather short hike but an extremely beautiful one, with plenty of elevation gain and loss to make it more strenuous. We went to Gates Overlook and hiked down the Rock trail to the South Lost Lake trail that would take us to Lost Lake. We had to traverse somewhere around 100+ wooden steps from the Overlook down to the lower trail.
|Rock, large and small on the Rock trail|
There are so many beautiful rocks and trees on this trail it is hard to capture how gorgeous it is. Plus you navigate those steps to lose more than 1,000 feet of elevation in just over a mile's distance. Of course, what goes down must, well, you know: go back up. But before we had to do that, however, we joined the lower trail and made our way through mud and downed trees to the lake.
|We found the Lost Lake|
Of course, we have been here many times before and were pretty confident we could find the lake, and here you see our usual lunch spot when making this our destination on longer hikes. We were way too early for lunch, so we had a quick snack.
|The water's edge|
Just for fun, we followed some side trails down to the water's edge, and saw lots of emerging leaves and blossoms beginning to open during this early spring excursion. We walked almost to the end of the lake, just to give ourselves a few more steps before starting back up the way we had come.
|Skunk cabbage (a.k.a. swamp lantern)|
Although there were a few very muddy spots, and the notorious bog we had to traverse before we got to the lake, you know it must have been much wetter here not long ago, for these guys we be sprouting up next to the trail. They usually are in actual swamp water, but I think they will not make it too much longer as the weather is drying up. They are sort of pretty, don't you think?
|Woodpecker markings on that tree|
Although Melanie could have skipped right up the trail, no matter the elevation gain, I had to stop often to catch my breath on the way back up. I saw this tree that may have fed a woodpecker or two, making those holes while looking for grubs and other insects.
|View from Gates Overlook|
And then just like that there we were, back where we started out, at the Overlook, with a beautiful view of Bellingham Bay. We covered only four and a quarter miles today, but we went up and down more than 1,100 feet. That means it was not a ho-hum hike, but one to be cherished for months and years to come. I am so happy to know I can still make it up those steps and hope I get another chance to try them again later this summer.
It was another wonderful day, filled with lots of fabulous scenery, and Mel's bought cookies (very delicious macarons) before heading back to our respective homes. With such a short hike, I suspect Mel will be out on the trails near her home before the sun goes down today, but I will be happy with my day's hike as it stands. In every way, it was a winner!