Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sorry Camp Ground Closed

How many volcanoes are there in Washington State? 
Answer: 5 Can you name them all?

September  15-16 we felt that our summer days were numbered so Tim devised a plan to visit someplace new--Mount Baker in the North Cascades.  Bright and early on Saturday we crossed on the Kingston Ferry and went North on the freeway towards Bellingham where we would gather our two day supply of food.

Road side view of where we are headed.  I was amazed at how much farmland there is north of Seattle.  You can grow lots of food west of the cascades!  It gave me a whole new perspective on where we live.

We hunted and pecked our way through some back roads to find our way up to Mount Baker.  Along the way we found a sign for these falls.  So we turned off to take a peek.

The falls were being used to generate power and were kind of pretty.

They weren't very high, but were fenced off all around to keep people from being stupid on the rocks.

As I was taking in the view, I thought that what I was looking at was Mt. Baker, however, it is not.  It is Mt. Shustan, Baker is further to the right.  But enjoy the photos anyway...

Because there are ski resorts up where the road was taking us, we could get way up in elevation without having to hike it!  That was nice.  The views were really spectacular!

The tall peak in the back is Mt. Baker.  Not that close to the ski resorts at all!  

 This is the view to the left (south) of Mt. Baker.

We are above the tree line and the views of the glaciers and rocky crags were truly something to behold.

Right from the parking lot there were trails that took you out into the bowls and passes in the area.  None of them looked terribly hard after our trip over Gray Wolf Pass!

Under our feet the rock was all basalt and granite columns buried in gravel or moss or alpine heather.  Probably because the weather was so great and the access so easy, there were tons of very noisy pilgrims stomping about.  As you know, Tim calls noisy hikers pilgrims--it is not intended as a term of endearment...

Snows were not that far melted so there were still wild flowers tucked in places.  This is Heather Meadow with a Ranger Station.  It was so peaceful here.  Not many people so it was quiet and relaxing.

We sat on the footbridge and just enjoyed the setting sun.  It was warm, quiet and a little slice of heaven to remember on a cold wet rainy winter evening in the future.

View east from the ranger station back into the bowl that is slowly forming a new glacier.  Because of the location, each year there is snow left from the previous years that does not melt.  Building up layers year after year.  At some point, it becomes classified as a glacier.

The ranger station was closed, but it look cool as we peeked in the windows!  Maybe another day!  The sun was setting and the road up was narrow and winding without guard rails (!!!!) so we decided to head out and look for a place to camp for the night. On the way down, we came across this gem....

wait for it....

this is a money shot......

Dang, blow it up and put it on the wall!  My little camera captured this mirrored view of Mt. Shuksan! After some owing and awing we headed for the local camp grounds.  We stopped at the first one:  CLOSED!    Kept going down the road as the light was fading to camp ground two:  CLOSED!  Deep breathe to the first camp ground at the bottom of the mountain, we knew this one was open....Sorry Camp Ground  Full!  This was totally unexpected and we were stuck!!  But as we were driving into Glacier, Tim saw a recreation area sign and headed for it.  And bingo--a really nice camp ground in a Whatcom county park--we think it was called Snake Lake.

It wasn't on any maps that we had in the car, so it was a really pleasant surprise to find such a nice place!

I thought this tree with arms was fun.  The out houses had electricity so you could turn on the lights!

It was so well developed that we thought that perhaps it used to be a state park that the county took over.

The walkway was right level with the water and very family friendly.

This is the bath house which had showers--coin operated of course.

We had a nice dinner of beans and hot dogs and breakfast was yogurt and fruit.  All really yummy and exactly what we wanted.  We followed our noises next day, as we followed back roads to see where they lead....and they lead right up to the Canadian border!

The terrain was really different, this is the view looking up into the Canadian side of the Frasier River Valley (where the cold winds blow in the winter).

This is the view of Mt. Baker from the road headed towards home.  By lunch time we were in Bellingham.

We stopped at the waterfront park for a yummy tomato, cheese and MIRACLE WHIP sandwiches.

The park was great with wonderful views and lots of walkways which people were using on this bright and warm day in mid September!

All too soon it was time to head home.  We drove along Chuckanut Drive, a scenic byway that was rather popular.

This boat launch was controlled by the state park, complete with Park Ranger and ticket book.  She would check your catch as you came back in to park your boat.  Lots of kayaks.

All too soon we were back in Edmonds to catch the ferry home!

On some other trip maybe we will go visit Glacier Peak... or maybe Mt. Adams.  I have never been to either one of those.

Conference weekend is coming up...I hear Canada calling...

XO's to everyone!

PS The answer to the question is:

Mt. Rainier, check.  Mount St. Helens, check. Mt. Adams, check....um Mt. Baker, check.  um... um...um... the least accessible and least known is Glacier Peak.

1 comment:

  1. Darn! Could not get Glacier Peak either. I had all the others tho!!

    Hey... and had to love the name of the Visitor's Center. Heather Meadows. Sounds like a nice place. :)

    I already said it on FB, but I'll say it here too. Nice shot, Mom. That picture is A.MAZ.ING!