With a big trip coming up next weekend, I took advantage of a quiet (and sunny) fall day to get in a quick hike to Cedar and Pine Lakes in the Chuckanut Mountains of western Washington.
It just so happened that this trip lasted exactly two hours, involved 2,000 feet of elevation gain, two lakes, two viewpoints and only one half view of a volcano.
Even better than all that was running into a coworker and her husband on the trail. It was great to cross paths with them and they provided some valuable trail info that helped me to maximize the training benefits on my ascent. It turns out that there is an unmapped loop from the Hemlock Trail that shortcuts directly to the viewpoints above Cedar lake. This way allows you to avoid all the monkeying about with the flat trail section to the Cedar lake turnoff and then descending to the lake before ascending to the viewpoints. The new trail just continues the ascent directly to the viewpoints. It's a great choice if you're a) training and/or b) in a hurry.
Today, I was both.
Here is the bottom of Mt. Baker, with fresh snow, looking eastward from the first viewpoint (at 10x zoom). It's a LONG drop off the edge of the viewpoint rock.
Here is the unzoomed view:
View of Cedar Lake:
Another shot of Cedar Lake. Different camera orientation and different post-processing:
After descending to Cedar Lake, followed the trail clockwise to make a loop around Cedar Lake before ascending to the Hemlock trail and onward to Pine Lake. Due to time limitations I didn't loop Pine Lake, or take any pics of it. Just pretend it looks a lot like Cedar Lake (which it does, but has a different shape).
On the way back down I kept up a good pace to keep the heart rate up... and I skipped the 'new' section of the trail which is just a long switchback to avoid a super steep section of the old trail, which is problematic when the ground is wet.
Round Trip was about 5.8 miles per the GPS.
At the very beginning of the trail, off to the side, about 20 feet away, was this this funky device. Any idea what it is?
I'm noticing there is an on/off switch at the bottom. That might have been interesting.
Here is the map: