Sat, May 13, 9am – 4pm
Take this as a lesson, if you’re thinking of not going on a MBC outing because of questionable weather … go, just do it.
Saturday’s climb to Raptor Ridge started out doubtful. Showers passed over and when I arrived at the Cedar & Pine Lakes trailhead, I found that it was also the starting point for the Lost Lake trail run. Fortunately we all found parking and the runners for the 25-kilometer race were on their way by a couple minutes after 10 AM. No problem here.
The sign in showed six women and myself ready to head up. (I’m really liking the way this is turning out!) As advertised, the hike up to the Hemlock Trail was steep and we spread out according to ability. We took our time stopping to regroup several times. To our surprise, Mike came charging up as we reached the ¾ mark on the way up to Hemlock. Now there were eight.
Our enlarged group headed north on the Hemlock Trail then took the cutoff to Raptor Ridge arriving right about Noon. Sunshine graced us a few times as we ate lunch and shared stories.
The views at Raptor Ridge are not the greatest that the Chuckanuts have to offer but the mists rising from the forest provided us with more visual enjoyment than we would have seen on a completely dry day. On the way down, we took a side trip to the Cedar Lake overlook and found a couple more photo opportunities.
During the entire hike up and back we were entertained by trail runners passing in both directions. The leaders were obvious. The expressions on the faces of some betrayed the fact that they may have signed up for more than they bargained for. Their 50-kilometer course included 8,000 feet of elevation gain. The Mt. Baker group happily continued along on our modest mission.
We regrouped at Stone’s Throw Brewing in Fairhaven enjoying our rewards basking in bright sunshine on the upper deck. The showers and the chill we experienced at the beginning of the day were now long forgotten.
Trail mix and a protein bar flowed with the beer. Mike surprised us with a huge plate of artery-clogging waffle fries, special sauce, pork, chicken and brisket. His offering promptly cancelled any health benefit we had achieved on the 1,600-foot climb.
Thanks to all of you who joined me. I had a wonderful day. See you next time.