Thursday, July 24, 2014
After the long stretch of nice sunny days in our area, yesterday we were hit with an epic rain day. Seattle actually had a record breaking amount. As I packed up my things last night for today's hike I was asking myself if I really wanted to go in the mountains and trudge along for this week's scheduled hike to Canyon Ridge.
I was feeling even more uneasy when I woke and saw that it was still pouring. When I got to the senior center I was surprised to see that only 3 brave souls showed up from our group, and 1 of the 3 was our fearless leader "Pat"! I'm glad I showed up because true to form, he had other plans for us. He had checked out the weather radar before he came and announced that it looked less threatening towards the Anacortes area. So off we went hoping for better conditions,
and hurray - by the time we reached Anacortes the rain had stopped.
Pat's plan for us would be to walk the trails in Washington park & then drive to the Tommy Thompson trail and walk to the Trestle.
I've driven the road up and over Washington park, but I've never hiked the trails in the park. It was a beautiful forest, filled with Salal, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Cedar and Douglas Fir. There were quite a few Madrona's as well. I love this tree with it's peeling bark. I learned from Pat that people on the east coast pronounce this tree with a long "e" ending as Madrone, and people from the west coast pronounce it as Madrona with an "a" sound at the end. There you go, more pearls of wisdom from our fearless leader "Pat"!
Pat and Mike carried on quite the interesting conversations as we marched along. Topics included were about: the history of the area, botany, geology, archeology, and even a bit of anthropology. I soaked it all in like a sponge. These conversations as we go along are one of the best parts of the hike for me.
When we finished hiking the trails we drove up and over the road so Mike could experience it. Then we drove to the day use area for lunch with a glorious view.
|panorama, click to enlarge|
Before we went to our next hiking destination, Pat took us to Causland Memorial Park. All of the fencing and the gazebo were built with different colors of stone placed in a lovely decorative pattern.
Then off to the Tommy Thompson trail.
Always a day of great tales and information from our fearless leader "Pat". This day was no different since he was raised in Anacortes, and his memories were rich with his boyhood joys.
I learned today to trust his judgement about where we would be going when the weather looks "iffy".
Two hikes for the price of one ;-)
Total miles hiked - 2.66
Min. altitude - -25
Max. altitude - 213
Total ascent - 357
Total descent - 340
Tommy Thompson trail
Total miles hiked - 4.95
Min. altitude - -63
Max. altitude - 81
Total ascent - 244
Total descent - 219
Thursday, July 17, 2014
19 of us headed for Rockport and the Sauk Mtn. road to begin our hike today. Last year we began our hike with a chilly foggy start. You can read about last years hike HERE.
Sauk Mtn. - the hills are alive with the sound of music!
This is what I was thinking as we hiked up the switchbacks through the wonderful wildflowers in full bloom.
We stopped at the same knoll as last year for lunch, some staying together to visit and some including myself sought out a place of solitude to enjoy the spectacular views and savor them as we ate.
3 of us (myself, Penny and Owen) wanted to go on and hike to the summit. The snow was slushy and easy to walk in, I borrowed Jean's Yaktrax just in case the footing became slippery. Thanks Jean!
Our views of Mt. Baker and the Twin sisters & Sauk lake from the top -
|Owen & Penny|
|Owen and his friend!|
Looking back at the knoll across the snowfield we crossed to get to the top.
|the knoll is in the farthest left grouping of taller trees|
This was the first hike for us in the high country this summer & I did not want to leave this beautiful place. My heart is definitely still there as I sit at home writing this post.
Total miles hiked (to the top) - 4.04
Min. altitude - 3736
Max. altitude - 5506
Total ascent -1770
Total descent -1096
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I've mentioned before that my nephew Douglas Scott operates "Exotic Hikes", he's an author, guide & outdoor photographer based primarily in the Olympic Peninsula area. He recently did a blog post about hiking around Mountain Goats, and what you should do should you encounter one on the trail. I thought his 6 tips were worth sharing. I'm pasting the post in it's entirety here, but you can go to the source and read it on his blog HERE.
Thanks, Douglas for the permission to copy and share your excellent work!
Thursday, July 10, 2014
27 of us today for our Horseshoe Bend hike from the Bellingham Senior Center, several new people and a return of a "summer only" hiker.
What a nice day for a hike.
What a nice day for a hike.
We stopped first at the Ranger station at Glacier for our last use of facilities ;-) and for those that needed to purchase passes for parking.
We then drove the short distance up the road to the trail head parking.
Thankfully it was all in the forest. The shade was welcome as the temps were near 80 degrees.
The trail is rated as easy, but I think that is just for the section that hugs the river, as soon as the trail left the riverside it got a bit more moderate, with some short steep ups and downs.
Some of the interesting sights today were the beautiful red berries on the trees,
of course the view of the river.
& Leslie, showing us just how large the trees were -
I really enjoyed our lunch spot, so peaceful at the water's edge.
I also took some pictures of people enjoying their own space for their meal -
A big thanks to Joe for taking this picture of me today.
How can a person go home grumpy after being out in such a beautiful place sharing good times with good people.
*not to gloat but a stop for ice cream was made at Glacier afterwards!!
Total miles hiked - 4.77
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The stretch of warm weather we've been having is working out perfectly for me and my drying plans :-)
I'm harvesting our Lavender and Mint and drying it outside in our shed. The 80 degree temps (well above 80 where I'm hanging them) we've been having are drying everything out quite nicely. The photo below shows the fresh cut Lavender in the basket and the dried Lavender and Mint hanging behind.
The dried result!
Hmmm.....I'm dreaming of Lavender syrup for our Sourdough pancakes, Lavender & Mint jelly, Mint tea with a few Lavender flowers thrown in for flavor and Lavender Shortbread cookies.
Winter is going to be so yummy!