Monday, April 6, 2015

Oyster Dome

I don't know what you did this Easter.  I imagine it was something like dressing up in nice clothes and finding eggs followed by family time and too much food.  We decided to do something different.  We decided to hike up the side of a mountain!  We chose Blanchard Mountain and set our sights on Oyster Dome, the famed lookout over the bay. There are two main ways of getting up the trail, you can go up the Chuckanut side (he he, chuckanut) which is a little shorter, but a lot steeper or you can go up the Lily/Lizard lake side, which is longer, but not as steep.  We chose the latter.

We weren't exactly sure about the route, the distance or the elevation.  We did a little research the night before, but there are several different trails and different reports from different trails.  We decided to wing it.  So we got up Easter morning, found the eggs the Easter Sarah hid around the house and set out just before noon to go for a hike.

I kept wanting to call it the Lily livered lake.

Yeah, maybe we could go this way.  Sure...looks legit.

It started well, at least the first few hundred feet.

Nice forest, pretty easy hiking...

Trickling water...
Can you sense the enthusiasm from the kids?
Then the protests start.  They are tired, not interested, it's too far, are we there yet, is this a loop trail?

We had to encourage, prompt, cajole and wheedle our way through the first couple of miles.

It is a mixed use trail-horses, hikers and mountain bikes welcome

"Don't call me Lily Max."

Looks like this tree totally split this falling boulder.
Couldn't even get excited about his own shortcut.
This boulder was having a bad hair day.

Even the camera was grumpy, didn't want to focus.
 We needed something to lift us up and out of this spiral of negativity and grumpiness.  What could we do?  What would give us the energy to carry on this epic adventure?

Natural beauty and serenity?  Nope.
Mushrooms?  No way.

Skunk Cabbage?  Not a chance.
So, what was it?  What magical thing pulled us out of the muck and the mire and delivered us through our adventure?

Mad Libs...and buttocks.  Yes, buttocks.

Sarah brought Mad Libs for the kids to do in the car and Michael remembered to pack them in the backpack. It started out innocently enough, we were doing the normal Mad Libs thing when we needed a noun from Max.  The boys recently read a Bloom County comics book and there was some reference to GORBACHEV SINGS TRACTORS! TURNIP! BUTTOCKS!  That started a cascade which led to every blank space in the Easter Special edition of Mad Libs being filled with buttocks. 

That. ladies and gentlemen, is funnier than it sounds.  We recited our buttocks laden Easter stories until we could bear it no longer.  We were also getting some pretty sideways looks from any hikers we passed.  Eventually we had to tone it down as our trail joined the more heavily trafficked steep trail.  We were almost there.

Max fell on his buttocks.
Then we arrived.

Yeah, that's a pretty steep drop

Beautiful view though.

Time for lunch

With the kitties
Just gonna back up close to the edge here and get a picture


Gee, nobody seems really concerned.  Can a guy get a little help?
Maybe it's this convenient ledge here.
To be fair, it is still a steep drop.

Fine, no more jokes.

We can just enjoy the view.

Then it was time to head back down.  The wonderful view was only half the journey.

There were more mushrooms

More Mad Libs

More buttocks shouted into the tranquil woods.
I wouldn't eat that one

Or these, cool looking though.

Part of his shortcut

You can find fun things in the woods, if you look.
Do you see the scary scream face in the tree?

Almost finished!

And then we were done.  My tracking program on my phone died, but it looks like it was around 8.2 miles total distance with an elevation gain of 1700 feet or so.  Good hike.  We were all wobbly legged when we made it back to the car. 

Then we decided to drive over to the Samish Bay Overlook.  Yeah, it is a drive up spot that give you a similar view over the bay.  We didn't want pictures there, we wanted a picture looking back on Oyster Dome.  Well, we couldn't see it from the overlook, so we got back in the car to head to our reward:  Bacon Cheeseburgers and Chocolate Easter Bunny Buttocks.  Along the way we found one spot where we could just barely make out Oyster Dome.

It's back there, just above center

That better?

How about that?
It was a great hike, we ended up having a good time.  Can't wait until next Easter.

Sorry Mom.

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