Friday, October 30, 2015

First Swans of the year

It's always an exciting day for me when the first flock of Swans is in our local area.
I took these pictures from the road with my iphone, not the best quality on the zoom, but they're here!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ptarmigan ridge

My husband picked Ptarmigan ridge trail for our "Sunday -fun day" hiking activity.
We had "tried" to hike this last year on Oct. 12th. We hiked a total of only 5.3 miles and were turned around due to inclement weather. Here's a couple of photos from that day's hike. 
Beginning our hike in clouds, we weren't too optimistic.

Then we saw Mt. Baker and our spirits lifted. 

We hiked on past the Chain lakes junction.

As the clouds, wind and rain really settled in we sadly turned around, vowing to come back and try again.

Yesterdays forecast looked abit better so we decided to give it another try. We were hoping to get farther on the trail and to get some views. We did pretty good, we made it to just below the Portals. We stopped for lunch about halfway between the end of the trail and the camp Kiser (or is it Kaiser?) area. It was really windy and cold, so we tucked in behind some rocks to eat our meal. We contemplated going on up to the end of the trail. We thought about our concerns while we ate: we were both really cold (my temperature gauge said it was 42 degrees, not counting wind chill), the wind was terrific, clouds were beginning to swirl around the top of Baker and we wanted to get back to our car before dark. Even though we were very close to finishing we decided it would be in our best interest to head back. After we got around a couple of ridges on our way back down, the clouds continued to move in and out, but it really was nice when we were out of the wind. I'm so glad we were able to go as far as we did, 
next time - all the way!!

We were lucky to see this Falcon? hunting overhead, he stayed around us for quite awhile unfazed by our presence.

I had done this hike with my husband about 30 years before this, and the view below was the farthest we got. Every step from here on out would be farther than I'd ever hiked on this trail.

As we turned the corner on this last ridge, we spied Mountain Goats below us. My iphone zoom didn't help too much either.
click to enlarge, can you spot our Goats?
iphone zoom
Then up the last section toward camp Kiser.

A nice view of the Portals.

 Heading up.

We tucked in behind some rocks for a windbreak and ate our lunch.
Our lunch view of the glacier and part of the Portals. 

Happy hikers!
Mt. Baker and Coleman pinnacle behind me
Mount Shuksan behind my husband
I love this panorama of our day's hike.

We did a little cross country hiking on our return, very fun!

Endomondo stats:
total miles hiked - 10.6
total ascent - 1892 feet
total descent - 1908
maximum altitude - 6192 feet
minimum altitude - 4985 feet

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Aldergrove Park BC Trailblazer hike

Today the group 2 Senior Trailblazers start their winter schedule. We'll meet 1 hour later at the Bellingham Senior Activity center

I tried something different today. 
Since our group hike today would be heading into British Columbia, Canada I called our fearless leader to see if I could get picked up in Lynden. Our meeting place is the Bellingham Senior center, and since I live in the county it would give me a considerably shorter drive & it's on the way to our destination. It was agreed, they would meet me in Lynden on their way to the border. It was a very foggy drive up to the crossing.
18 of us piled out of the carpool cars, anxious to enjoy the day on the trail, the fog had diminished by the time we got to the park.
The hike today was Aldergrove park, we usually hike this in the fall and it is a great place to see the beginnings of fall color.

The trails meander through forests, marshes and fields.

Near the pond, I noticed this rock with a plaque on it. It recognizes the youth that worked together on the park rehabilitation project in 2002 - 2003.

There were a few ducks swimming away from us today, but I loved the reflection of the trees in this pond.

We stopped for a break to take the time to look at this rock, it had rock climbing bolts drilled into it.

I looked up the wall of the rock and caught a glimpse of blue sky!

We sauntered on enjoying the gentle rolling trail. 

This log was covered with mushrooms.

Time for lunch. 
The picture doesn't do the large tree in the center justice. It was really beautiful with the green field in front of it for contrast.

After lunch the sun came out even more. 
It was a pleasant day for us to be together in Oh, Canada ;-)

Whenever we do this hike we stop at Edaleen dairy for ice cream cones. 
This lovely lady was sitting by the door!

I'm glad I made the phone call, it was really nice to drive just a short distance home after the day's hike.
Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 5.07 miles
maximum altitude - 294 feet
minimum altitude - 99 feet
total ascent - 375 feet
total descent - 399 feet

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Picture (s) of the week ~ Seattle Super Spartan race 2015

Yesterday I went to watch family & friends do the Seattle Super Spartan race, yes again I felt the same excitement, adrenaline and admiration I had felt when I watched my first Spartan Race in Washougal in 2014, but yesterday I was reminded once again about what pulls me to Spartan races. 
It is the triumph over what life has handed you. 
To turn your can'ts into I can's. 
Watching this man finish brought it all to me clearly. Determination, dedication, desire, living life to the full. 
This is what Spartan means to me. 
I truly have no excuses.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall Happenings

It always takes me a bit to ease into fall, but some of these things help :-)
I'm savoring it with enjoying the last of our garden's bounty.....

going on long walks & runs near our home. 
I always enjoy a nice forest lane.

Enjoying the sight of pumpkins, the scent of apple cider in the air, and the sound of children's laughter floating in the air,
courtesy of Stoney Ridge farm.

Enlarge to see the wagon heading towards the pumpkin field
As the season of rainy days has begun and our hours of daylight are shorter, we are beginning tasks for the inside of our house. This week we finished painting our living room & hallway ceilings and walls. Soon we will attack the dining room, kitchen and bathroom. It will be nice to have the fresh coat of paint to brighten our walls during the winter months.

Another old seasonal friend is visiting me, my annual fall cold has arrived right on cue!
I'm arming myself with all of the good things I know to do.

Happy Fall, enjoy and stay well ;-)