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Down from the Mountains

Got back from Mount Baker last night, after enjoying ice and snow and deep, deep forests for two days. The Cascades are a mountain range full of narrow valleys and ginormous conifers, and we were lucky enough to have two days of blue skies and pleasant temperatures to enjoy the wilderness. Mt. Baker itself is the world's record holder for yearly snowfall, at 1140 inches in one year. Yes, that's 95 feet of snow per year.

The whole trip was planned around the dog, of course. The cabins we stayed at were not so much the Platonic ideal of mountain cabins, but rather were the only place willing to take pets. The innkeeper had a friendly white poodle, and the lodge, attached small rooms, and cabins themselves were all home to visiting dogs.

When the snows on Mt. Baker got to be too much, shellyinseattle picked the beast up to carry it back to the car. The dog got a walk in the morning, hikes through the woods, and then got the leftovers from our evening meals. We carried along a separate doggie canteen for her on every hike. She found her way into every mud puddle along the paths, and was delighted with those as well. I swear if we ever get another dog, I'm naming him Riley.

The drive home was a little sad (leaving the mountains always depresses me), but we took the scenic route along 530 to Darrington and the Mountain Loop. This turned out to be a great decision, as we discovered not only the some of the better backroads mountain views but also stumbled across two of the smaller reservations in the area, the Sauk Suiattle and the Nooksack. The state of Washington has lots of higher-profile tribes (eg, the Tulalip, the Muckleshoot, all with casinos) but it's interesting to see that some of the smaller groups are still holding it together.

I hope to visit again in high summer sometime, for the views from Artist Point and the higher alpine trails. Even in winter, though, it's always a pleasure to hit the heights.


Mar. 3rd, 2004 01:05 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a lovely trip! Wow, I had no idea that much snow regularly fell on the mountains; no wonder they're all glaciated.

Speaking of dogs, did you see that we got us a new one (or at least are fostering him)? Thankfully, he's not fond of puddles, and our fluffy collie Hope goes out of her way to avoid stepping on water.


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