Squalicum Harbor Walk

Thanks to the 10 brisk movers who joined me for an evening harbor walk!  We put about four miles on our boots, got our heart rates up and enjoyed the mild temperature.   We also witnessed male goldeneyes fight over a thoroughly nonplussed female.  A few of us ended our evening at Ponderosa, enjoying beer, conversation and fabulous fish and chips and chowder.  The award winning food truck is worth a visit!

See you again soon!


Burnout / Lost Lake / Fragrance Lake Trails

Seven brave souls met me as arranged at the Clayton Beach Trailhead.  Except I found out that this trailhead is more properly known at the Lost Lake Trailhead.  I have no idea why someone would refer to this trailhead as a trailhead for Lost Lake.  Anyway we took off on time, in very chilly, gray and dry conditions.  So far the weatherman was true to his word.  The Burnout trail is relentlessly up but not a severe grade.  After a couple miles we were rewarded with a really nice view of the San Juan Islands.  Even with the gray skies it was impressive.  After 4 miles we finally topped out in a clearcut that had a really expansive view to the West.  Mike even claimed he could see Mount Fuji.  We found a nice spot nearby for a lunch spot.  So far we had seen one other person on the trail.  That was soon to change as the closer we got to Fragrance Lake the more people we saw.  The Fragrance Lake Trail was very busy.  We did get a nice surprise on the Fragrance Lake Trail.  We ran into several people gawking up into the trees and it turned out to be a pretty good sized Owl sitting there sizing us up.  That was fun.  The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful.  Total of 8 miles and about 1600 ft elevation gain.

It was a really nice day in the woods with a pleasant group of people. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Ed Alm

Blanchard Mt Hike

Seven hardy hikers set out from the Upper Parking Lot on the many-named  Blanchard Mountain road, which is apparently now called B-1000 (thanks, Owen). Several in the party had never been on that particular route before. We took the Lily Lake trail to the connection with the Larry Reed trail. As we neared the Overlook, we gasped at the extent of the recent clearcut, which gives that section of trail a post-apocalyptic feel but does open up a more extensive view of the Samish Valley. At the Overlook, we enjoyed lunch and a view of the Salish Sea on display under the silvery winter light. Before hypothermia completely set in, we decided to spend a few minutes watching a paraglider swooping through the sky in the company of an eagle, and then hit the trail back down to the parking lot. Upon reaching the parking lot, full sunlight appeared (of course). Good hike, good company. Getting out on our rare good days in winter definitely improves my outlook on life. Thank you to everyone who came with me!

Railroad Trail Walk

The day dawned frosty and sunny.  By 1:00 the frost was gone and clouds had settled over Bellingham like a blanket.  Not a real problem, as major views were not a selling point of this walk.  But it was nice to gaze the downtown and distant islands from the pedestrian bridge.   

It was a pleasant surprise how gentle the elevation gain was from the starting point at Bloedel, up to the crest and down the other side of Alabama Hill.

By the halfway point at the Barkley center, we were looking for restrooms, and some of us decided a beverage at Starbucks was the ticket.  After a short pause, we returned the same route just as the sun and blue sky made a brief appearance.  Before hitting Electric Ave, three of us took the side trip to walk along Scudder’s Pond.  A lonely duck of some sort had the entire pond to him/her self.  The last of us

return to the vehicles by 3:30.  If you subtract the 30 min latte break, the adventure took about 2 hrs, and covered around 4 miles.  The trails were busy with families, dog walkers, and bicyclists, but not so many that it was a problem.  Most seemed to be happy to be out on a dry winter day.

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.


Heart Lk, Mt. Erie, Whistle Lk. Loop Hike

Six of us met up at the trailhead at Heart Lake on a very cool morning.  This was billed as a Strenuous 9mi hike and I wanted to get a fairly early start.  My plan was to hike around Heart Lake then up onto Sugar Loaf for a view, then over to Mount Erie for Lunch and views and finish off with a hike around Whistle Lake.  This gave us two nice lakes and two very nice viewpoints in the Anacortes Community Forest Trail system.  The weather forecast was partly sunny.  The weather kept it’s promise, kind of.  For the most part it was cloudy with little sun.  Occasionally the sun tried to peek out.  Right at the end of the hike the sun finally came out in its glory and made for a very pleasant final hour of hiking.  The views did not disappoint although the Olympics were mostly shrouded in clouds, as well as Mt. Baker.  We got some very nice views of the local lakes in the area and the many islands and channels in the nearby salt water.  We started hiking at 9:00, stopped for lunch on Mt. Erie as planned and finished our hike about 3:30.  Total distance was 9.5 miles on my GPS.  The hike started at an elevation of 340 ft and climbed to 1263 ft at Mt. Erie.  The part that generated the most discussion was those elevations indicate a gain of about 900 ft.  With the magic of a GPS adding up all the ups and downs we actually had a total elevation gain of 2200 feet.  Toward the end of the hike as our pace had significantly slowed the topic of total elevation gain seemed to crop up in the conversations more frequently.  I think we all enjoyed the hike.

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.


Pass Lake Loop and Ginnett Trail Hike

Feb. 2, 2023
Seven of us met up at Sehome and the remaining three met us at the trailhead at Pass Lake.  It was a cold crisp morning so we were anxious to get hiking.  The weather was gray but no wind, not even a breeze.  No sun either.  That would be the pattern for the day.  We headed up the Pass Lake Loop trail clockwise through a beautiful forest of very large trees.  One tipped over Cedar next to the trail was spectacular.  About two miles into the hike we came across an old house foundation with a nice view of Naked Man Valley.  This, of course, started a lot of discussion with Jim finally giving us the story behind the name.  Pretty interesting.  Shortly after that we found a nice bald with a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Baker and a nice view of Campbell Lake.  This became our lunch stop.  After about 20 minutes or so most of us were getting a little chilly and ready to move on.  The turn around point was the North Trailhead of the Tursi Trail on Donnell Road.  I think only about four of us actually made it to the turnaround point as it had become clear that the last quarter mile or so of trail down to Donnell Road was really down.  This, of course, meant “really up” on the return trip.  The smart ones dilly dallied while us less smart ones carried on to the Road and then had to return back up the hill.  We picked up the stragglers as we went up the hill.  As compensation, the view at the trailhead is quite pleasant and I think those of us who saw it really appreciated it.  The return trip went quickly.  It seemed to me that the closer we got to the cars the faster everyone was hiking.
We hiked a little over 5 miles.
When we got back to the cars Julie treated all of us to some wonderful chocolate chip cookies.  These were gigantic and very tasty.  Thank you Julie.
It was a great day, with very nice people in a wonderful forest. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.
Ed Alm

Richard’s 2023 Birthday Walk

Fourteen members, two guests, and one sweet dog joined me to celebrate 71 years riding this planet around the sun.  It has never snowed on a birthday walk, but the forecasted afternoon sun never showed either.  Mostly cloudy, a bit foggy, and chilly temps in the 40’s ruled the day.

We left Marine Park, headed to the Cruise terminal for a quick group photo out on the patio, and then on to Fairhaven, Taylor St Dock, and the Boulevard Park.  After a brief pause to collect everyone, we headed back.  The group threw me a curveball by electing to stop at the Colophon Cafe before heading down the last half mile to the vehicles at Marine Park.  Seems no one wanted to park closer to the Cafe and pay the parking fees.  Twelve of us had either a light snack or a full lunch, then we waddled our way downhill the last half mile.  Given the stops along the way, and comfortable pace, the walk would have taken about 90 minutes.

Thank you to all who came out this afternoon, and those who could not, but sent birthday wishes.  Special thanks to Julie for the video and gift bags for all, and to Jane for treating me to tea and a blueberry scone.  If you are free next January 25th, I hope you will join me in 2024. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

**This report not written by an Artificial Intelligence bot.  Any mistakes in spelling, grammar, or common sense are entirely my own!


Little Squalicum Park Walk

To those of you who missed today’s lovely walk, well, we missed you.
What YOU missed was weather that was especially nice and spring-like.  The 15 of us who ventured out onto Little Squalicum parkway enjoyed sunshine, cool breezes, and great company. If there was one comment that seemed to echo amongst the group, it was “Wow, I can’t believe it is so nice today!”
Along the way we “supervised” lots and lots of volunteers (thank you!) helping to restore the estuary at Little Squalicum beach. We talked to volunteers at informational tables, picked up brochures and other stuff, then headed over to the ballfields where we viewed familieshaving picnics and frolicking on the playgrounds. Thanks to Marilyn who pointed out a beaver hideaway and showed us the trees where the flat-tailed creatures had been busy as a —well, you get it.
Some of us headed to Kulshan Brewery to refresh and revive ourselves after that strenuous outing. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.

Thanks to everyone who joined Bob and me today.

Avy Awareness Training

Greetings Fellow Members,

There’s a saying among climbers that when you dance with the mountain, the mountain always leads; and that was the case for us yesterday.  Despite so much preparation trying to pick the perfect day we were greeted by obscuring clouds, noticeable wind and light snow.  

Despite the conditions I believe that our group of 14 had an enjoyable time sharing the exceptionally deep powder (powder by North Cascades standards) as we all changed leads and experienced what breaking trail was like.  

it was a good refresher for the experienced on avalanche avoidance and a chance to practice snowshoe techniques on steep snowy terrain.  Special thanks to long time members Ed Alm who stayed near the lead to help direct our course and make the exchange of trail breakers smooth and Owen who agreed to be sweep for the entire outing making sure that we returned with the original 14 at the end of the day.  Thanks to everyone who contributed questions and comments throughout the outing and shared a fun and productive day in the mountains.  

As so often happens at Mt Baker (ski area), as we returned to our cars, the clouds lifted, peek-a-boos of blue sky appeared, the wind became calm, and sunbeams found their way to patches of mountain terrain.  

Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to put our avalanche avoidance training into use on more extensive trips in the near future.  Of course, as the mountain and weather allow.  

Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.


PS  Avalanche Update

Since our outing, the Northwest Avalanche Center has raised the Avy Danger to High (Red) due to the expected storm rainfall causing an upside down effect of heavy over light snow.  This is a good day to not be wandering in the mountains.  B/

Stimpson Family Nature Reserve Afternoon Walk

Sixteen members could detach themselves from the daily chores and running errands and instead enjoyed an afternoon walk in the woods on this spring-like day in January. The Stimpson Reserve impressed again with its stately trees as usual. It felt good to enjoy the company of our friends and we were all looking forward to the new hiking season in 2023 with the improving weather. Seven of us went to the brewery to continue the interesting conversations. I can’t wait for many more hikes. Thanks to all who came out to share this experience with me. Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.