December 23, 2010

Whatfor Whatcom

Filed under: Hiking, Mining — geezerwriter @ 7:54 pm

The Trailblazers had a surprisingly good hike today! The weather forecast was for wind and rain and it was absolutely dreadful when we gathered at 9am. Mike and I were the first ones there and we stood in the wind and rain wondering whether any other fools hikers would show up. The senior center was closed early (just a bit!) for Christmas so we sat in my car for awhile to keep warm. Then Frank and Marjan drove up, and the Ferndale Four and pretty soon we had about a dozen people gathered under the awning.

Pat and Leroy decided to drive over to Deception Pass and take advantage of the “rain shadow” effect in the lee of the Olympic Mountains. I haven’t heard the results of that expedition, but given the winds we had here in town I can imagine what it was like out at the end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

An old stump in Lake Whatcom

An old stump in Lake Whatcom

As we drove the 10 miles to the North Shore Lake Whatcom trailhead (located near the southeast corner of the lake, of course – go figure) the rain diminished and it was hardly raining at all when we hit the trail, which follows the route of an old railroad line along the shore of the lake. The railroad connected the Blue Canyon Coal Mine to the settlement at Silver Beach on the north shore of the lake (No, really, it is on the north end of the lake. No fooling.) and part of its length was on trestles over the water, of which there are a few remnants here and there.

The Daffy Dozen (minus one)

The Daffy Dozen (minus one)

Most of the pictures I took didn’t turn out – they were all blurry due to camera movement. Even though it had stopped raining it was still very dark, and I had left at home my new camera, with its nifty image stabilization feature, since it was going to be raining all day anyways. Sigh.

We missed DJan, our esteemed Blogger-in-Chief and Purveyor of Yummy Brownies, who was away on a sad trip for the funeral of one of her skydiving friends. (Can you even imagine what it must be like to get a last minute plane ticket at this time of year?) She will be back on Christmas Day and expects to rejoin us next week.

By the way, Fred covered for her on the brownie front so no one fainted from chocolate deprivation.

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