I have spent many years looking at Mount Baker, awed by her majesty and beauty and wondering what it must be like up there in the clouds. Lordy knows that we ( B.C.’ers) have mountains coming out of our yin yang ( what on earth does that mean?), but there is something spellbinding to gaze upon a single mountain rising up from a flat-ish landscape.
So since I decided I had to brave the Bellis Fair frenzy to track down some navy cargo pants for work that I would reward myself with a trek up to finally meet Ms.Baker. I took off down 99 south under flawless blue skies and warm air, Bella (my car) purring like a kitten and the radio was cranked as loud as she could go with me and Hello Kitty car-dancing to the country station. YeeHAAA!!!!!
That is until we got a few miles from the border… oh yeah, forgot about that little glitch. When ARE we going to take over that country and fling open all the doors?
Finally I pull up to the American Customs booth where I am greeted by a lovely young man with a great smile and sympathetic political positions, especially once we established that we are union brethern. Which did not stop him from eying my camera case to make sure it didn’t have a gun in it. Which is odd since aren’t all the guns going north, not south? Any way, this pleasant encounter does much to launch me back into my good mood and off I roar.
Until I spend 20 min. trolling the parking lot at Bellis Fair for a spot. Seems a few other people had the same thought I did, which is fairly scary since I am not used to having thoughts in common with most of these people. These aren’t the Walmart people but still…
I actually manage to excavate myself within 2 hours, a record for sure. Usually I go brain-dead and wander aimlessly for hours from store to store eventually forgetting why I came and wondering why my visa is smoking. It felt like I was being held prisoner by a huge alien suction cup.
Now I dutifully checked on google maps for directions to Mount Baker but coming out of the shopping mall parking lot completely disoriented me where by the concepts of north and south had to be abandoned (hopefully not permanently, cause then I’d have to be a man. :} ). I asked for directions from someone in the parking lot but those fled my brain before I made it out of the parking lot. Attention span of a humming bird. By total fluke I managed to weave and bob my way in the general direction of the mountain but I am embarrassed to admit that I actually lost the mountain a few times. How does someone loose a mountain?
Single lanes weaving around bucolic scenery with trees and horses and lovely peacefulness. None of the cliché trappings of urban sprawl covered in ashpalt. This was green and made me smile.
Please notice that there are no barriers between me and certain, painful death. One wrong twitch of the wheel and poof! Gone. And no one would even know since there would be no broken barrier as a sign of the tragedy that took place. But I didn’t think about that at all.
Feet in snow and the rest of me sweating. It was an interesting sensation.
This is where the road ended on top of the mountain, Artist Point. It was fun watching people with sleds sliding down the hill in their shorts.
This mountain is the antithesis of Whistler. She is natural and completely un-assuming. I had planned on having lunch up there and surely I would find a Starbucks! But no, everything was closed for the season… they even closed down their web site for the season! Who does that? Found another site that looks …. charmingly rustic :}. Just as a comparison check out Whistler’s. And by the looks of things, even in season there wouldn’t be much in terms of things you could spend you money on. Just skiing, maybe a hot dog and hot chocolate. The hiking trails looked amazing but I didn’t want to risk them with my foot-ware of choice. (see above). There’s some camping and this site has some more info. There’s even an old guard station built by a ranger in 1913 called the Suiattle Cabin that the parks folk rent but it is closed due to flood damage but hopefully they will get it fixed soon, check it out.
As I drove past the closed Chalet I realized there was a wedding going on! Just had to check that out. Breath – taking location eh? I wonder if they brought a wedding picnic lunch?
Don’t ‘cha just love the way the sun strobes through the trees at this time of day when you’re driving? Except that it plays with my brain and I shouldn’t have been taking pics while driving through it.
Approaching Canada, thank goodness the wait was much less than on the way down.
Have you been to Mount Baker? Summer or winter? Feel free to leave comments.