Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stimpson Nature Reserve Trailblazer hike

A hike and a picnic were on the schedule for our Senior Trailblazer's today. The Trailblazers groups 1 and 2 would be joining at Lake Padden, after our separate hikes for a potluck lunch. I hike with group 2, they would be hiking the Stimpson Reserve trail. This is one of my favorite trails to run. Hmmm a quandary for me, to run after our hike or go to the picnic. Since I would already be at the trail, the decision was fairly easy for me to make.
I came this morning prepared to hike and then run. 
Eight of us met for the hike -

We walked around the main loop trail and skipped Geneva Pond so the hikers could get to Lake Padden in time for the picnic.

If you look right in the center of the next picture you will see one of the deer we came across while we were hiking.
(You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Our group including a new person "Joe" -

and thanks to Joe, one with me in it!

On our way out we spotted this log covered with mushrooms, I looked them up when I got home and I believe they are "Angel Wings", but I could be wrong.

Total miles hiked with the Trailblazers -

Endomondo stats:
3.33 total miles hiked
542 Min. altitude
840 Max. altitude
444 Total ascent
426 Total descent

Since there are no restrooms at the Stimpson Nature Reserve parking lot, I drove down the road a short ways to the Lookout mtn. parking lot to change my clothes.
I thought it would be nice to run the opposite direction we had hiked and to include the Geneva pond loop. We hiked clockwise so I ran the trail counterclockwise. It's always surprising to me how an area can look so different just by turning around.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time alone in the forest. 

4.4 total miles of trail running bliss!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Noisy creek Trailblazer hike

8 am, an earlier start than normal for us today. We usually begin our hikes from the Senior Center at 9 am, but we had a longer than usual drive today. After about 2 hours in the car we arrived at the trail head parking lot for Noisy creek.

15 hikers today, half would turn around at about the 3 mile mark or so and the rest would continue on to Noisy creek. I was interested to see how my legs would do as the hike was listed as 9 to 10 miles and moderate in difficulty. I've been on vacation for about 3 weeks and this would be a bit long for me. 

I soaked up how lush the forest was after our time in the Southwest where we had spent our vacation.

Our group stopping to enjoy the view of Hidden creek from the bridge.

Hidden creek -

The forest was so thick with it's spring growth that I could barely (click to enlarge the picture to help you find them) find the hikers.

The group of 7 opting to hike the shorter distance stopped at the first creek crossing.
It was about 3 1/4 miles, so they would end up with around 6 1/2 miles by the time they were done. 
Our last look at them before they turned around, again you may have to click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see them better -

Our group of 8 heading on to Noisy creek - 

I loved this picture of Marjan walking in the old logging area among the ferns.

We stopped for lunch at the Noisy creek campground. Pat and Jean were checking out the map while we ate. I never tire of hearing what Pat (our fearless leader) has to tell us about the areas where we are hiking.

We walked out to check out Noisy creek and wondered around to look at an extra large tree up a very steep trail, but we didn't find it. I don't think we walked quite far enough. It was probably just around the next corner,
isn't that the way it always is :-)  
The weather was warm but not too bad and the bugs weren't out yet - hurray! We enjoyed the great view of Mt. Baker just across Baker Lake.

Tired after our long hike and day of driving, but what a wonderful welcome back hike for me, back in our beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Endomondo stats:
11.71 miles hiked
669 Min. altitude
1031 Max. altitude
3928 Total ascent
3897 Total descent

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Evening Kayak

After 3 weeks of vacationing and then attending a cousin reunion, 
I'm ready to settle back into my own routine.
We put the kayaks on the car and headed out to our closest local lake (Fazon) for a couple hour paddle. It was just what I needed. The frogs and red wing blackbirds were wonderfully loud as we worked our way around the lily pads & water iris.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Southwest roadtrip

Our trip to Flagstaff. 
Thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures of our journey.

Camping -

Crooked River near Terrebonne, Oregon -

Mt. Shasta in the distance - 

Hat creek near Lassen Volcanic National Park, California -

Roses along the parking lot at Schat's bakery in Bishop, California -

Wildflowers on our way to Death Valley -

Ever beautiful Aspens -

Flagstaff sky reflecting on our Van window -

The last day of our trip was a tearful one. While we were driving through Idaho, with just one day left of our trip the kennel where we had our Malamute "Lexis" in while we were away called to tell us that our dog had died in the night. We did the necessary calls to have her taken care of and spent the next hours on the road talking about the life she shared with us and how shocked we were that she had passed.......
and just like that, in a blink of an eye it seems we were back home -  

Who knows what is around that next bend in this road we call life. Savor your loved ones and the furry ones as well. Till we meet again.

Indulge me while I share some photo's of our girl -

Washington park, Anacortes 
Slater road near Hovander park
Heart lake, near Anacortes
Mt. Baker ski area
in our raft on Lk. Padden

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Passing of a good friend

Born - Oct. 2002, Died - May 2014

Such a sweet girl. 
 May you forever be in the fields that you love.
We will miss you.