Thursday, September 28, 2023

Rainy Blanchard Mountain hike

Today's "Relaxed" hikers

I joined our hike leader Linda, who decided to skip the scheduled hike to Hannegan Pass because of the rain. It was pretty much a small but dedicated group, six of us to be exact, and we ventured out onto Blanchard Mountain for who knew how long a hike we might actually take, considering the weather.

Our first junction

We hiked up the trail from the Upper Trailhead on Blanchard Mountain, until we got to this first junction. We decided to hike towards Lily Lake, but changed the route a little by first going up to Lizard Lake, then cutting over to North Butte, and finally making our way to Lily Lake.

Lizard Lake in the fog and rain

The weather forecast was just about right on: rain until around 11:00am, then cloudy until 1:00, and partly cloudy conditions after that. After checking out Lizard Lake, we climbed a little bit to get to the junction that would take us to North Butte. We knew there would be little to no view, but I really wanted to see that bench again.

The bench overlooking the bay

When I saw this earlier in the summer, I wondered how the heck this metal bench was brought here. We speculated that perhaps it was dropped in by helicopter (although not likely), but today I learned that one of our hikers, Owen, and five other people carried it up here and bolted it to the rock. In good weather, you are looking at a great view. Not so much today.

Owen at another junction

Since we had already been to Lizard Lake, and then North Butte, finally we hiked to Lily Lake. We were getting close to lunchtime, so we would stop there for a short lunch break.

Lily Lake for lunch

It was still raining, but not as impressively as it had been earlier. It wasn't cold, but nobody was completely dry, so we didn't stay all that long. Just enough to be replenished and get ready for the return trip.

Lily Lake

We did see some new-looking beaver activity, so I guess there are still some around the lake. And as you can see in this final picture, it was still raining lightly. But things were looking up. We went back down via Max's Shortcut, and we did notice that the rain finally stopped, as predicted. Occasionally we even saw a shadow, but not really much of one.

By the time we reached the trailhead, we had covered close to eight miles and somewhere around 1,600 feet up and down. By that time, we were beginning to see a few patches of blue sky overhead. And by 2:00, when we were on the highway, it was turning sunny! What a day we had! I am so incredibly happy that I went, in spite of the rain, and that I was in such good company. Another fine Trailblazer hike.



  1. Now carrying a metal bench up there and bolting it down--that is dedication!! Bless them!! :)

  2. Quite an accomplishment, 8 miles and 1600 feet elevation in miserable weather. Nothing stops you!

  3. The bench story was incredible, I can't believe what it took to get it there. I'm almost out of breath reading you guys went 8 miles today, but if that doesn't say DJan, I don't know what does. :^)

  4. Yeah for fellows strong enough to cart that bench up the trails! Glad you had a good hike!

  5. Love the story about the bench. That's dedication!
    That was an impressive hike for you today too.

  6. 8 miles and 1600 feet altitude is a good hike. It takes guts to get out there in the rain.

  7. Ahhh.... so it's bolted to the ground. I was thinking it seemed to be in a precarious position like it would fall over

  8. Carrying that bench and bolting into position was an amazing gesture and I am sure that the view is often lovely.
    I am so glad you enjoyed your hike - and wish we had some of your rain.

  9. You'all look cold... but maybe just wet. And I like the fog - makes it look mysterious (the dragon's breath).

  10. What a great idea and project to carry and install that bench. 👍

  11. Hi DJan, Your reports on your walks/hikes with other seniors are always a delight. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

  12. You’re doing so much more than I, my dear hiking buddy. Carry on and you’ll live longer that I ever will. Sending love Jan!

  13. That bench looks like it is somewhere in the clouds, on top of the world. Your lakes look so pretty and serene. Driving so much back and forth between TN and GA I do not take the time to walk in nature, but miss it. Last Sunday driving through the Tennessee hills on the highway I decided that for my next trip I’ll go back to the North GA Mountains to see the colors of the leaves. I hope they will have changed by then. But I hope to avoid rain …


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