|Our hiking group today|
Today marks the opening of our annual summer hiking schedule. We always bring all three groups together for a couple different hikes and then a potluck afterwards. The picture I took before we started our hike into the backwoods part of the Lake Padden area lacks a few latecomers; we ended up with 14 of us. Since Al had a previous engagement, we were led by Frank. who is standing in the back in this picture, fifth from the left. The other group had six hikers.
|Our lovely woods|
It was a perfect day, with temperatures in the high sixties (around 20°C) and a light breeze. No rain is expected for a few days, and because of the warmth and dry conditions we experienced last week, the trail was as free of mud as I've ever seen it.
|Some pretty oyster mushrooms|
It was actually a surprise to see any mushrooms at all, since they don't usually appear unless it's been rainy, but these showed up right along the trail, and of course we all stopped to take some pictures. We didn't go quite as far as we usually do, since I think we might have taken a wrong turn at some point, but we got enough of a hike to enjoy ourselves and then sashayed down to the pavilion for our picnic. Many people didn't hike but showed up with lots of food and good cheer.
|A view of one of the tables of food|
As usual, we had a wonderful feast with lots of salads and desserts to choose from, with those arriving later who didn't hike with us giving us even more wonderful dishes. After awhile we ended up with a "savory" table and a "dessert" table.
|Another table full of goodies|
There weren't as many salads as usual, but we sure had plenty anyway. I tried to fill up on stuff that was good for me before heading for the desserts, and it worked as I hoped: I was too full to sample all the desserts before I filled up.
|A very good turnout and plenty of food|
As we sat together and chatted about our lives and shared fabulous food, the morning wore on and we gradually made our way slowly back to our cars, after having had a really wonderful day to start our summer season.
I took a quick shot of the lake as I walked back to my car, since we didn't actually walk around it, I wanted to be sure I got it into the action. It truly was a magnificent day, and I am feeling quite content and happy to have experienced this lovely day with good friends, many of whom I met for the first time today!