|Pink lilies still there|
|Pink lilies still there|
|Some of today's large group|
|Most of us on the trail|
It was overcast with an occasional spit from the skies as we hiked slowly up to the overlook. There were nineteen hikers in all, and some were not very fast, so we meandered our way upwards and then downwards. The main event of the day was to meet at Kris's place, which is on the way to the trailhead, and enjoy some food together after the hike. Many others joined us at her home who didn't hike.
|Leann hugging a tree, as usual|
Leann says she's been hugging trees like this for at least ten years, and they never seem to mind her attention, and it makes for an interesting picture. She's only been with the Trailblazers for a year, but she has certainly become a fixture with at least two of the three groups.
After the hike, we drove in our carpooled full cars to Kris' where we put out quite a spread to accompany Kris' hot dogs. I ate a lot of salads and some wonderful desserts, and when I was finished (and quite full), I went looking for something to drink, but some rascal had put out tubs of ice cream, and I managed to eat more on top of all that food.
|The patio where we feasted and visited with one another|
I went inside looking for her bathroom at one point, and I was captivated by her living room. She lives alone and manages this enormous place by herself, with some help from her numerous grandkids, she said. I asked for permission to show the living room, and she agreed.
|Serene and comfortable all at once|
She pointed out that she doesn't have any curtains on the windows, because she enjoys looking out at the green landscape. It was so lovely to see such a beautiful home, and I feel very privileged to be able to visit. I don't know her situation, but I was really impressed to see all that she manages to accomplish. It can't be easy, but she also makes time to hike every week with the Happy Wanderers.
|Crocosmia in bloom|
I spied this lovely bloom with a few bright drops of rain on the underside, making it a perfect finale for our day's endeavor. Whether we hiked and ate, or just ate and talked, everyone had a great time. I will stop being so full sometime soon.
|John at the coffee shop|
|Beautiful flower I spied in a garden|
I am a little concerned, but hopefully he's strong and will recover from whatever is ailing him. He's got COPD and uses an inhaler, but so far it's not been a problem, and he's been his usual self until about a week ago, when he began to feel tired and a little out of sorts. I won't lie, I'm worried about him. I didn't go on the usual Thursday hike today with the Senior Trailblazers; the weather has turned hot and I have unpleasant memories of not doing well on the exposed part of this hike in the past when it's been hot.
|Low fog as we pulled away from Guemes Island|
However, I had a great hike with the Happy Wanderers on Tuesday, so I don't feel too awfully bad about not going today with Group 2. Yes, more changes every day, and things never stay the same, do they? I remember when we left the dock on the little ferry (I wrote about the hike on my previous post), it was so cool and delightful, and the higher temperature today just didn't feel nearly as inviting. Next Tuesday, the hike is one Melanie and I did often, so it will be just fine, even if it's on the warm side. I know it well. And so I might be writing about those hikes more often than the Thursday one, but who knows for sure?
I see these flowers every day on my walk home from the rose garden, and today I saw that they have bloomed. Every year I wait for this moment, when they finally open and burst forth into fragrant extravagance. They don't last long, but every time I've seen them lately, they have not been nearly ready to open. Today, they are at their peak, and in a few days they'll be gone for another year. Glad I was there to capture and appreciate them today. There are always tradeoffs when things veer off established pathways. I was fortunate that they waited for me.
I'll keep you updated about John. I wonder if I should wait to call him until he's feeling better. Again, as I said, being in the hospital under a doctor's care is the best place for him right now. I've done everything I know how to do, and I've sent him lots of love and healing vibes, which is all anybody can do when our loved ones need it, right?
|Walking on to the Guemes Island ferry|
|The ferry itself|
It was cool and a little foggy as we boarded the ferry for a quick five-minute hop onto the small island. Guemes Island isn't very big, with maybe 13 miles of road across the 5,500 acres that make up the island. We walked along one of the roads for about two miles until we got to the trailhead leading us up to the summit of Guemes Mountain.
|Hiking poles and sticks for the trip up|
Although you can't see it all that well in this picture, on the right side of the tree were lots of poles and walking sticks for people to borrow while making the 1.2-mile trip to the top. It is an easy climb, but you definitely need a little help on the final stretch, at least I did.
|View from the trail|
If I lived on the island, I would probably be making plenty of trips up to enjoy the summit and get a good workout as well. It was sunny, but we had a breeze most of the time, and were in the shade on the way up.
|Viewing the surrounding islands|
We then needed to find a spot to have lunch. There wasn't a lot of shade on the summit, but we found a place where we could enjoy the view and the light breeze.
|Our lunch spot|
It was actually pretty perfect. We had walked a little more than three miles to get here, and nobody was tired or out of sorts. It was just lovely to be in the company of so many Happy Wanderers.
|My view at lunch|
|Mt. Baker across the water|
|My Best Buds for today's hike|
|Heading up the steep trail|
|Our trail up to the meadows|
|Linda and Helen at the beginning of the meadows|
|Our lunch spot|
|Our incredible view|
|Looking towards the mountains|
|Goodbye to the meadows for now|
|Today's Happy Wanderers (taken by Julie)|
|Pavilion in the garden|
|DJan and Ina|
|Now who's taller?|
|A beautiful creature, don't you think?|
|Today's Group 2 participants|
|Lake Whatcom from the halfway spot|
|The terminus and the beginning of a new trail|
|Our overhead canopy|
|Blackberries almost ready to eat|
|Our trail, with our leader for today|
|Beautiful shroom on the trail|
|Lily and Lamont's cozy home|
Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more. —Maya Angelou
Happy Independence Day, America!