Saturday, November 8, 2014

Late for a very good reason

Mt. Shuksan, taken today from Chain Lakes Trail
The reason my Saturday post is so late is that I decided to join Al and three others for a Saturday hike into the High Country. Because of the good weather forecasted for today (and it was really nice), and because the days are very short at this time of year, we met at 7:00am and headed up to Heather Meadows to begin our hike at Bagley Lakes. The road all the way to Artist Point is already closed for the year, meaning we would start at a lower elevation and make our way around the Chain Lakes loop, finishing a bit later in the day.
Al and Lisa, Mt. Shuksan behind
We started out before 9:00am after a fairly long drive to the trailhead. It was mild and overcast, although we hoped it would clear before too long. As you can see here, the sun was shining on us as we made our way to Herman Saddle before hiking down into the Chain Lakes area.
Cloud formations over Mt. Shuksan
As we hiked ever upwards, we saw the sky begin to clear, and some amazing cloud formations over the mountains. I captured this one as I glanced back to see what was happening in the sky. You know it was windy over there, with these particular lenticular cloud formations. Where we were, we had a light breeze but little more than that.
Ice bubbles in a frozen stream
The trail, however, had quite a bit of ice as we walked carefully along. I was very happy to have my trekking poles to help me keep my footing. I don't think any of the five of us had a spill all day, because of them.
Magnificent Mt. Baker
Once we had reached the top of the saddle, we had a great view of Mt. Baker, and the clouds had cleared away as well. To have such a day on November 8, here in the High Country, was almost more than we could have imagined. The sun would come and go all day long, however.
An ice forest underfoot
Everywhere we stepped, we saw these frozen ice formations. Because it had been very wet and then got cold, these striations of ice popped out of the ground to make what seemed to be almost tiny forests of ice trees, covered with a layer of light snow. Sometimes little pebbles were on top of these as they froze, and they seemed to be suspended in space. Of course, this also made our footing a little slippery, so we had to be careful as we walked.

By the time we reached our cars again, we had traveled almost eight miles and 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. After adding Thursday's hike, I think I am fair in saying that 17 miles and 5,000 feet is the reason why I'm feeling so tired. But it was a fantastic day, and I am happy to be home on a Saturday night with nothing to do but enjoy my well-deserved wine and dinner. I'll sleep well tonight, for sure!
:-)

18 comments:

  1. wow! i think these are some of the clearest mountain views you've ever shared! just gorgeous! glad no one slipped or fell!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was the perfect day with the sky, clouds and Mountain. These shots are really nice. I especially like those clear shots of Mt. Baker, the bubbles in the pond and you little "ice trees". WOW, that's quite a total in hiking girl and you do deserve the rest and the glass of wine. Have a wonderful Sunday, eh.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow beautiful view!! 17 miles in two days...that must be a record. You need to rest today:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. the extra effort is worth it. You saw some of the same things from a very different perspective. Beautiful high country never gets boring.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such glorious country. And the ice forest is amazing. As are the clouds.
    I hope your wine and your sleep were blissful - both were deserved.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow.. amazing scenery. What a beautiful spot and your captures are magnificent. I love the cloud formation and the icy ground art. But that first image is just gasp-worthy. No doubt dinner and wine were delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved Mt. Shuksan's sombrero. What a beautiful day. You really are piling up the miles lady.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It sounds like a very strenuous hike and a bit dangerous considering the slippery ground. But the scenery was gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Strenuous I'm sure...but oh the effort and the mild weather...and a scene like that Mt. Baker was all worth it.

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! The first mountain shot is so majestic. No wonder you love those hikes so much. Such beauty. And exhaustion!

    ReplyDelete
  11. So glad you got into the mountains again, and such clear skies to enjoy the view. Spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The frozen ice pics and even the concept of how it happens is spectacular. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Visiting from 'the smitten image'...these shots are beautiful. Look forward to following you :O)

    ReplyDelete
  14. came back to say congrats on your POTW!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi DJan, Such fabulous high mountain shots. I like the cloud formations and the frost photos. You covered some ground and elevation - I'd say dinner, wine, and rest were well deserved! Congrats on POTW.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congrats on your POTW recognition and award. After viewing your images, I can see why Hilary chose your post.

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.