Tag Archive | Mount Baker

Anderson-Watson Lakes Hike

Today, the fourth Saturday in September, is National Public Lands Day.  As designed, it is the largest organized volunteer event for public lands in the United States.  Well, because of COVID, many of the in-person events have been put on hold, but there are still virtual events that you can participate in – find them here: https://www.neefusa.org/npld

To honor our public lands, which I have been so fortunate to enjoy frequently, I decided to feature a recent hike.

August 3, 2019 – Watson Lakes
Noisy-Diobsud Wilderness, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – 9 miles roundtrip

This hike includes the option to go to a series of alpine glacier lakes, including Anderson Lake, Lower Watson Lake and Upper Watson Lake.  This hike has it all!  You start out hiking through the forest, with multiple inclines and declines.  Eventually you arrive at a meadow and a series of boardwalks so you aren’t slogging through water.  More forested hiking then deposits you into an alpine landscape with beautiful views!

The lakes are amazing, with lots of rocky outcroppings and views of the mountains above!  There are some incredible views of Mount Baker, as well as huge rocks that were deposited by glaciers.  Lelani and I enjoyed this hike thoroughly, taking time at the top to have lunch and canned wine.  After resting up a bit, I braved the waters of Upper Watson Lake for an ice cold swim!

I’ll have to make sure to get back to this hike soon!

 

As for today – it is pouring down rain here, but I was still able to get out for a soggy walk this morning.  It’s fall, so it’s time for that reminder that you won’t melt!  I hope you are able to get outside for National Public Lands Day today!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 152

It’s been a mellow weekend, and also quite a hot one!

I was off Friday, so I have had plenty of time to relax, as well as get in some major yard work.  I’m still working on pruning some large shrubs and trees in my front yard – who landscapes a small front yard with several 30 foot shrubs and trees!?  There really ought to be better education on this topic…

I got my hair cut on Friday – getting rid of the split ends that have been building up since my last haircut in January!  It looks and feels so nice again!  I have my layers back and my curls are so bouncy again!  Except in that picture, because it’s been straightened…  Not that there’s really anyone around to see my hair, but oh well, it’s the little things…

On Wednesday Lelani and I tried out a new trail area in town, and enjoyed a short after-work walk.  Afterwards we got beer and ciders, and walked down to see the sunset over the water.  It was so peaceful!

 

I finished another book last night, so now I’m up to 26 books for the year.  Not bad so far!  Cora has been enjoying some TV binge watching too.

My aunt and uncle are in town visiting my mom, so I’ll get to hang out with them some later today.  I haven’t seen them since January!

Yesterday some creepy middle-aged guy (more middle-aged than me, btw…) decided to park his car on my grass, get out of his car and proceed to urinate in my yard.  All while I was watching him.  So of course I ran over and yelled at him to leave – I had to channel my inner little crazy girl with a number of choice expletives – so hopefully he thinks better of it next time.  Gross!  I live less than a mile away from at least a dozen places one could go to the bathroom – two grocery stores, a Walgreens, a Rite-Aid, a number of fast food joints, so I’m not sure why he thought pissing in someone’s yard in a well-populated neighborhood in the middle of the city was a great idea.  I don’t understand what’s wrong with some people.

Last Sunday Lelani, Audrey and I went up to the mountain and hiked part of the Chain Lakes Trail.  We got a late start so we didn’t do the entire trail, but it was still nice to get up into the mountains and have a peaceful respite!

At work we’ve decided to have our administrative/office staff continue to work from home through the end of the year.  Another 4.5 months at least of saving on my commute!  I’m trying to stay thinking of the positives, and not the fact that I’ve barely seen any of my coworkers since mid-March.  And… we hired my new boss!  He doesn’t start until September, but that’s one big project off my plate!

Well I need to go get some more housework done, as it’s back to “work” from home tomorrow!

 

 

 

Snowshoeing: March 2017

It had been a couple of years since I had snowshoed, but my friend Lelani posted photos on Facebook last year showing a recent snowshoeing adventure, so I asked if she wanted to go.  Of course, being always up for fun, she said, “of course!”  We went twice last winter, in March 2017, and had a blast both times!
 
Both of our trips were at Mount Baker; the first time we went to the Sno-Park, which has a path heading down to the Nooksack River.  You can also opt for a long snowshoe (or cross country ski) along a relatively easy, groomed track heading quite a distance in both directions.  
The second time a few weeks later, we went to the White Salmon Road near the Mt. Baker Ski Area. The snow had mostly melted in the lower elevations, so this is a good option that’s much higher in elevation and has snow longer than the lower elevations.
Both spots were fun, both times it was snowing lightly for at least part of the trip, and each area has a different view. 
 
The silence of walking in fresh snow!  All you can hear is your breath, and the soft crunch of your snowshoes.  Stopping to looking around at the view!  Taking photos while you catch your breath!  This is one of my favorite ways to exercise!
 
On the way home, we stopped both times at the North Fork Brewery and Beer Shrine, a local institution with delicious beer that they brew on site, and fabulous pizza!  The clams are amazing too!  There is often a wait, but you won’t be disappointed!

OMG- delicious clams and beer!

Lake Ann Hike

Sunday, August 20, 2017
In August, I hiked the Lake Ann trail, in the Mount Baker National Wilderness. 
 
The beginning of the trail is a descent, with a series of switchbacks through the forest.  At the bottom of the hill, the trail straightens out and wanders through a gorgeous mountain valley.  I passed by an ice cave, and hiked over a couple little creeks, and passed a boulder field, where I could hear pika calling, but could never actually see them!
 
As the trail heads back out of the valley, there is a boulder field to cross.  It isn’t difficult, but does require some surefootedness, because you are traveling over larger rocks, and some of them are wobbly.  Just be careful!  There is a brief snow field to cross here too – it was still remaining even in mid –August!
 
The boulder field started me back up the hill, and eventually transitions into an alpine meadow.  The trail winds around through the meadow and up the mountain; at one point I passed a pretty little stream and waterfall cascading down the mountain.  The views of the surrounding mountains here are gorgeous!

Rock with Mountain

 

Me with the Lake Ann Trail

 
The trail keeps going through the beautiful meadow and finally at the top of the hill ends up in another snowfield.  Be careful – it’s slippery!  The snowfield takes you to the top of the hill and on the other side you are greeted by the first view of Lake Ann down in the valley. 
 
Lake Ann is located in a north facing valley, so it has ice on the lake all year long!  Even though it was warm – ice!  It is beautiful, but with its rocky, plain shores, it doesn’t have the same kind of beauty as a lake in the woods or in a meadow.  North of the lake is the Fisher Chimney, where apparently climbers scale Mount Shuksan, to summit at 9,127 feet.  That’s a bit out of my league… 

The Fisher Chimney – one of the routes to summit Mt Shuksan

 
I had lunch and a beer while sitting and overlooking the lake.  Lots of people camp here – it would be a nice place to pack in and camp; although I have heard it can get crowded and a bit noisy at the peak of summer.  The drawback is the black biting flies; they leave a welt like a mosquito bite that itches for days! 
 
Lake Ann is an out and back hike, so I headed back down the way I came.  Over the snowfield (still slippery!), through the alpine meadow, across the boulder field, through the valley, and finally, up the forest switchbacks, which were brutal!  I was tired at that point and going up that big hill at the end was hard! 

Me getting close to the end!

 
I stopped on the way home at the North Fork Brewery and Beer Shrine, a must-do stop if you like good beer and great pizza!  Their steamer clams are amazing too! 
 
The hike is an 8.2 mile round trip, with the trail head up near Artist Point.  There is a 1,900 foot elevation gain on the trail with a high elevation of 4,900 feet, making for a fantastic workout!