Sunday, August 1, 2010

10 Years Ago

Earlier this week I found myself browsing through my copy of Hiking Whatcom County by Ken Wilcox which I picked up about 10 years ago from Village Books in Fairhaven.  In the back of that book are a few blank pages titled 'Hikers Log'.  On the first page I found five hikes that I logged from almost exactly 10 years ago.

This was back in the days when there was one daughter, one pregnant wife and a fun job at an Organic Food company with a lot of like-minded individuals.

Back then my hiking was infrequent and far between.  They were basically spur of the moment hikes, about once a year or so.  I wasn't a hiker.  I was just going on a hike.  Tennis shoes and a 16 oz bottle of water.

No camera.  No GPS.  No map.

My 10 essentials back then included left shoe, right shoe, my watch, a full tank of gas, sunscreen, bottle of water (or Mountain Dew), sunshine, an intended destination, a trail in front of me and the invincibility of my youth.

So, which hikes were logged in my Hiking Whatcom County book? Well, they aren't in my electronic list of Trip Reports for obvious reasons, but here they are:

7/22/2000:  Lower Morvits Meadow (solo):  This was my first attempt to visit Railroad Grade on the south side of Mount Baker.  I'd heard a lot of hype about this hike and was excited to visit this spot for the first time.  Unfortunately, being solo and running into snow without really knowing where I was supposed to go led me to an early turnaround.  Of course, I've been there numerous time since then and it remains one of my all time favorite destinations.

7/29/2000:  Mt Si with my father-in-law Steve and Chris Jaehne.  I raced up the mountain, unintentionally.  It was just 'my pace'.  Steve and Chris stayed together and we met up in the basin below Haystack.  Steve decided he'd probably stick to less steep hikes (or simply change his hiking from trails to golf courses) and Chris called me out for a summer trek up to Mt. Dickerman in July 2007.  That time he smoked me up the mountain.

7/30/2000:  The day after hiking Mt. Si, my father and I drove to the Paradise visitor center on Mt. Rainier and hiked up to Camp Muir at 10,000 ft.  In tennis shoes, without a camera.  Luckily the weather was perfect, although many people get into trouble when the fog rolls in without warning - creating white-out conditions that lead to frequent rescues (or accidents) along the route.  We were lucky.  It was tough and my only training was the two trips noted above.    Since then, we've done a handful of hikes together over the years, including High Rock Lookout, Dungeness Spit and Mount Ellinoir.  Of course, there were many trips to many places growing up for which I have fond memories.

8/12/2000  Panorama Dome at the Mt. Baker Ski area (solo), which I have never heard about or read about except for the entry in the Hiking Whatcom County book.  For the most part you circle a large hill that is part of the Mt. Baker Ski area... and similar to the Downhill Section of the annual Ski To Sea race (which I've done twice).  There are chair lifts to the top, in the winter, if you are skiing.  I had the trail to myself that day and had fun scrambling up the chairlift drop off towers which seemed to be in need of dire repairs in my opinion.  The winter snow does a great job of covering the shoddy looking ramps.  Good news to skiers... I'm pretty sure they've redone all those lifts since my 2000 inspection.

10/8/2000  Racehorse Falls, off the Mt. Baker Highway... another place that I only found out about through the Hiking Whatcom County book.  My sister, Rachel, came up to visit us in Alger and to see the girls... and take in a short hike.  Mikayla was 3 years old and Alexia was only about 3 weeks old.

That's it.

There were a few hikes here and there between Racehorse falls and my PCT section hike with Rob in July 2004.  The order and dates of those hikes is pretty fuzzy, but some destinations include:
High Rock Look Out (Mt Rainier area)
Table Mountain (Mt. Baker area)
Park Butte, Railroad Grade and Scott Paul Trail (Mt. Baker, southside)
Sauk Mountain (Hwy 20/North Cascades Hwy)
Pyramid Lake (Hwy 20/North Cascades Hwy)
Desolation Peak (Hwy 20/North Cascades Hwy)
Ross Lake Trail (with unforgettable ferry ride through the canyon of Diablo Lake) (Hwy 20/North Cascades Hwy)
Rattlesnake Ledge (I-90)
Mount Saint Helens
Staircase / Flapjack Lakes (Olympics)
Dungeness Spit (Olympics)
The Letter "M" in Missoula, MT while at a family reunion
Pine & Cedar Lakes in the Chuckanuts
Long Bike ride with Rachel through the Chuckanuts without a map
Logging Road wandering along old Hwy 99 in the Alger Alps
and probably other destinations that slip my mind.

Time flies when you're having fun.

Happy Trails!


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