Saturday, August 9, 2014
MOUNT BAKER, CASCADE RANGE, WASHNGTON.
Friday was chosen as the day to visit Mount Baker, because the crowds and traffic are considerably less than weekends during the summer. Winter, too, for that matter since Mount Baker is a ski area.
The drive up presented some beautiful scenery and tantalizing glimpses of the mountain. Mt. Baker is over 10,000 feet in elevation, but the road brings you to just over 5,000 feet.
We stopped at a little alpine lake and took pictures of the crystal clear water reflecting the backdrop of trees and mountain behind it.
The roadside was flush with wild flowers everywhere as we drove up.
A prolific mountain plant, this pink blooming flower stands in tall clusters.
Beneath the higher bushes, plain red clover produces huge blossoms in Washington.
The road is curvy, hairpins and I got a glimpse of what is to come.
Suddenly, you are in the parking lot, with a huge cloud misted mountain in clear view.
Trails beckon, and the weather was perfect for a hike. A bit overcast, best for picture taking, and cool. The air unbelievably fresh.
We kept climbing and watched as the now more stunted alpine flowers and trees put on their show.
Low to the ground, l would expect their name to be tiny pink alpine bells.
And every time you look up and pause, you can't resist taking another picture of the mountain as you drink in its beauty, the cloud cover changes, the terrain changes.
To the right of this peak was a beautiful valley opening up.
The mountain side was colorful with bright green growth.
We finally reached what we called "the top of the world", with our mountain still visible, even more beautiful. It was about here that a friendly hiker, an older and wiser man then we, said, or what I heard was "... ole' shookshank is really clear today." Professional pictures I've seen of Mt. Baker show it as a perfect snowy, sharp peak. Of course, this isn't Mt. Baker, but it is part of the Mt. Baker range in the cascades.
As we hiked out, and I stood oohing and ahhing about this gorgeous view another hiker asked me if I wanted my picture taken in front of Mt. Baker. I agreed.
And, I took another picture of it, and, if you notice that sharp sharks tooth peak?
Here is a close up of it. It is a part of Mt. Baker, the peak is nearly always hidden behind that dark cloud and you don't actually get to see Mt. Baker, unless you are in an airplane. In fact the pilot pointed it out to us as we passed over it but I wasn't in a window seat and took no pictures from the plane. So, I actually did see Mt. Baker on my way here.
Were we disappointed? Not a bit. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful mountain, and I'll post more pictures tomorrow. Jim's eyes are bothering him enough that he tries to stay in areas he knows well. We don't venture out as much. His cataract surgery isn't until sometime in October.