Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Goose Rock Summit ~

Deceptive signage :-)
Starting off on Sat., it was blustery - but not out & out raining!  Good enough that we were not about to postpone the hike we had in mind!  We'd hiked the Goose Rock perimeter trail, but never the trail that goes up to the summit & highest point on Whidbey Island.
Butch & Nika on the trail~
This view almost looks like spring - with the light green of the under-story trees.  It was warm, warm enough that we decided not to take rain gear.  If we were going to climb, we wanted to stay cool.
 As we came around a corner, just before the summit trail breaks off from the perimeter trail - this graffiti was hard to miss.  I hope the Rangers get time to remove it - just disgusting what people do to promote there personal agendas...
Starting up~
When this trail is described as steep - they're not kidding :-)  Nika lead the way, next Butch, then Rascal & finally me.
Rhododendrons everywhere~
I was amazed at all the Rhododendrons!  We'll have to come back in the spring/summer when they're in bloom!
The Madrona trees are amazing!  Their branches twisted almost like corkscrews & sticking out over the hillside.
By the time we'd reached the beginning of the rock outcroppings, the wind had picked up & the rain was coming down hard.  We were both soaked in minutes!  Both our dogs thought we were crazy by now - giving us the look :-)
This Madrona - now endangered...  This is one of the most beautiful I've seen~
We were nearing the summit - we could tell, because the sky was getting lighter - if stormier!
Nice signage~
Seeing this sign, we knew we were close to our goal~
View from the Summit~
What the guide book doesn't mention, is that a lot of the view is degraded by power lines that run across the area of the biggest bald rock.  Regardless - it's breathtaking - especially in stormy weather!
Bald Rock!
The trail got a little slippery, but soon we were back into the forest & out of the worst of the rain.  We only saw one other hiker & he too looked as soaked as we were :-)
Uprooted Douglas Fir
This huge Douglas Fir was uprooted along the side of the trail, no wonder - since it was growing over solid rock!  No soil to speak of at all - so amazing that a tree of that size would have even had enough soil to get started here.
Under the Deception Pass Bridge
The trail brings you to the bridge.  Up on top is the popular parking area from which hikers can access these trails easily - in other words - without hiking the way we'd come :-)
Fishermen on North Beach
From up on top, we could see that the beach was a busy place.  I wanted to go on down to get the view of the bridge from the shore.
From North Beach
No one was catching anything :-)  Everyone was trying hard though :-)
Rascal wants a wind break :-)  Nika is embarrassed :-)
By now, there were a few sun-breaks & the rain had stopped!  We started to dry out a little, thankfully my hoodie had dried enough that I put it back on to start the hike back!
Hum...  back up this way!
Looking at the climb back up to the top - I was thinking that Farah would have done it much quicker & with less effort on my part!
We decide to take the Discovery Trail back~
We've been on this trail a couple times before, there's a big climb up to the top - then it's all downhill back to camp.
Perfect little shroom~
This beautiful little mushroom caught my eye.  We soon saw the sign for another trail that we'd by-passed on our other visits here & decided to take it.
Lower Forest Trail~
This is a much less heavily used trail & it's beautiful!
Douglas Fir & Huckleberries
It didn't seem to take us long at all to get back to the perimeter trail & head back to camp.  The rain started again & we just got back without a second soaking!
The dogs were happy to be back in time for dinner!  We were lucky & sat out to enjoy a beer & smoked oysters from Seabolts.  The rain came back, we retreated to the camper - then as if by clockwork, it stopped & Butch had time to grill our steaks!  I'd baked organic russet potatoes to go with & we enjoyed every bite! 
Our hike~ Just over 4-mi. round trip~
It rained while we were eating, the wind never stopped blowing - but we did get enough of a break between systems for another fire & even saw the stars from time to time.  Listening to the wind through the big trees is always so grand!

Post Script~  Today, Monday, a melancholy day for me - three-years since my Dad's passing...  Still not a day goes by that I don't miss him...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun hike, even with the rain. The view from the summit is gorgeous! Definitely makes me wish we had stayed in Washington.

    My condolences about your dad. Mine's birthday is a little over a month away and the anniversary of his passing, five for us, is at the end of March...the day before my birthday. With the holidays coming his loss is always more poignant.


Always Welcome~