The Rock Trail (January 10)

Sometimes the journey begins with a closed road!

We had read about a new trail called the Rock Trail, which had been recently completed, departing from the overlook at the Fragrance Lake area. And we thought that would be perfect, because we were just there, so we kind of knew what to expect. But, as is often the case, things didn’t work out quite exactly the way we planned. Surprise! The last section of the dirt road was closed. *sigh*

The Dilemma:  Whether to abandon the Rock Trail and take the forest trail to Fragrance Lake, or follow the dirt road for a mile or so just to get to the Rock Trail trailhead…After taking a vote, we followed the road. I resigned myself to the thought that we would probably not make it to the Rock Trail, but it would be a nice walk anyway 🙂

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The road was very quiet, covered in patches of snow and ice that made the walk extra-enjoyable for the kids.

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Though it was mostly uphill, it was a gentle grade, and when we reached the overlook, the kids were still running and playing, having fun in the snow. The view was bright and clear…

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And everyone still had enough steam left to explore the Rock Trail!

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Right off the bat, Asher noticed a purple rock along the side of the trail, which he picked up and handed to Joe. “Look, Dad! This rock is purple. I’ve never seen this color before.” And Joe said “Um, the purple is moving. They’re jumping off.” It was a million teeny little bugs of some sort, what looked like the early beginnings of roly-polies, in a fabulous shade of violet! I had to laugh – there is just always a surprise on the trail!

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The views of the bay through the trees were stunning, brightly lit and shyly revealed through layers of branches.

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The trail continued to meander through the forest, and I still wasn’t sure how the “Rocks” were going to play in…And then we came to the stairs…

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No matter how you look at it, it’s an impressive staircase! 

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As we made our way down, I made a wry mental note to add in a little extra time for the trip back!

At the bottom of the stairs, the trail leveled off alongside towering rock cliffs, and now I finally understood why it was named the Rock Trail!

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Beautiful! The smooth pale walls were serene and lovely, and very striking in the midst of the soft pine forest.

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We ate a late lunch on an outcropping, looking out through the treetops at Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan…

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All too soon it was time to head back, since the afternoon fades quickly and we wanted to get back before sunset. Surprisingly, we made our way up the steps as quickly as we had gone down! Genevieve is kind of our limiting factor on trails, and she is always amazing me with her strength and endurance! She climbed those steps all by herself, just holding Daddy’s hand for safety!

Rosy-cheeked from walking in the crisp, cool winter air, we said goodbye to the overlook and followed the road (downhill!) back to the truck.

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The kids enjoyed their much-anticipated chance to skate down the icy patches in the road…

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And another overlook yielded a final, majestic glimpse of Mt Baker.

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(Photo courtesy of Spencer)

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(Photo courtesy of Spencer)

Another day, another trail, and another golden afternoon faded into another misty sunset…

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