Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Good Day for a Discount

I was wishing I had some "2 Buck Chuck" to take to this "$2 Trail", except that would not have been appropriate when I hadn't even had my morning coffee. But let me start at the beginning.
I don't have many "followers" on my blog, so whenever someone reaches out to me, I get pretty excited. I didn't know Denise, but she said she recognized me from the church I used to attend, and that she would love to go adventuring with a fellow "speed impaired" hiker. 
That was several years ago. Life tends to get in the way of good intentions, and it seemed our schedules were never going to jive. Finally we just decided to make it work--a local, convenient to get to hike we could finish before the start of my 3 pm workday.
Yes, there is a whole lake there,
but Denise says he's forgotten how to be a dog. ;)
Denise had her eyes on Chuckanut Ridge; a 10 mile loop that completely kicked my butt when I did it 5 years ago. I was looking forward to hopefully confirming some personal improvement...but I knew speed was not going to be one of them. We HAD to get going early if I had any hope of getting to work on time. 
After we both texted each other that we were running late, Denise texted again saying the interstate was shut down and being redirected. (later I found out there was a jumper on an overpass...thankfully they eventually got him down) Even with a forewarning, I found myself turning onto the freeway before I could stop myself. (stupid autopilot...I will also blame my coffee deficiency) The visions of vino came to mind as I sat there in parking lot mode, wondering how long it was going to take to get to the exit I could have easily just driven to had I not been such an idiot. But a shot of caffeine was the true priority.
Giving a pack a "test run" is always a good idea.
So, about a half hour later Denise and I were meeting at the nearest Starbucks to revamp our pan. She suggested the "$2 Trail", bringing to mind the specific cheap wine that would have paired well with the day. I hate to say we downgraded on our ambitions for adventure, even though we were going from 10 to just 3 miles...I prefer to say we went for a discount. 

I had never heard of the Two Dollar Trail; which surprised me because I thought I had exhausted almost every hike available on Chuckanut Drive. Turns out it's a wonderful alternative path to Fragrance Lake. It had been so long since I've been to Fragrance that I had forgotten how beautiful it is. One word of caution though; be sure to have a map if you are not with someone who is familiar with the area. There are many intersecting trails, (including part of the Pacific Northwest Trail) so take a wrong turn and you could end up in Montana! (which I would LOVE to do! Last month's hike at Ebey is also connected to the PNT, making me dream about actually doing it. First things first though; let's see if I survive 500 miles of the AT before any further dreaming!)
Which way? Better choose wisely!
The best part of the day was discovering that Denise and I have actually known each other for decades. When I told her my maiden name, she shouted "Shut up! I was best friends with your older sister! I remember you as a preteen!" What a small world. It will never cease to amaze me.
Because we went for the "discounted" hike, we finished much earlier than expected, allowing some time to hit the Bellingham REI, where Denise exchanged her backpack and I found an awesome real life discount on a new jacket. I hope we can put both to good use with a very "full price" backpack soon.