Fragrance Lake, 12/8/13
10 miles of hiking • 2050' elevation gain •
The calendar may say we have two more weeks of autumn to go before winter officially arrives but for the septet that ventured out for a day in the Chuckanuts today was wintry. With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, we set off with a plan of traveling first to Lost Lake and then sweeping down and around to Fragrance Lake before returning to the parking lot. The way begins on a wide road with a steady bit easy grade through the forest. Ferns curled up attest to the cold. The sun plays peek-a-boo in the trees and clouds. A small stream cascading into a shallow pool has frozen into icicles and piles of frozen whiteness, reminiscent of a soft-serve ice cream machine run-amok. Stopping for but a second = cold hikers so we sallied forth at a good pace hoping for sunshine and warming temperatures, each of whom would present itself, although with the haste of Mercury. From the road we took the Lost Lake Trail but, coming to a junction marked by two posts bearing a plastic-covered sign reading 'Rock Trail', we chose the high road and left Lost Lake behind. Up we clambered, meeting two trail workers putting the finishing touches on a set of stairs. Mindful of an icy section, we soon found ourselves passing under pockmarked sandstone cliffs, the open pits reminiscent of adobe houses with nooks and crannies built into the structure itself. Icicles hung like spears from above while below the frozen waters assumed grotesque shapes eliciting from one of our magnificent seven the comment, "it reminds me of a Chihuly sculpture except I don't have to pay $20 to see it." Cold began creeping into our bones as we delayed while taking in nature's artistry and we soon were once again moving up. A series of stairs assisted in maintaining our footing and at the top we came across a crew of volunteers constructing the final link in the Rock Trail. A quick lunch break on a mini-oyster dome with views of Mt Baker and we soon were moving again, fending off the cold with a quick pace. Following a short road walk we were back on the trail to Fragrance Lake. No scents today but the lake, succumbing to Mr. Freeze's diabolical weapons (Batman was most likely snug in the Bat Caves) posed in chilly splendor for the photographers among us. After a puerile respite replete with stones and sticks thrown upon the glassine surface we returned to the parking lot where we were greeted by a setting sun across the bay. The day may have been cold but the memories we entombed warmed our spirits.
Pacific Northwest Outdoor Adventures
After your hike, stop by the Edison Inn located, where else, in Edison. South of the trail head, this is a nice place to unwind, socialize, and refuel before heading home. This area is known for oysters and they are good. So are the clams. Word has it the black bean veggie burger is very tasty. Micro brews are available. Service is good. Live music every Saturday and Sunday. This is not a quiet venue but it is definitely worth a post-hike visit.