Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sleds, Snowshoes, Igloos and Snow Caves - 02-05-2012

Early in February we had a couple of really beautiful blue sky days that coincided with a day that wasn't already full of committments.

This was a perfect opportunity to take the kids up to play in the fresh snow on Mount Baker.

We left at a leisurely 9:00am and were back home by about 3:00pm.

The car was packed with warm winter clothes, two pairs of snowshoes, three sleds, snacks and sunscreen. We put all of them to good use.

Upon our arrival at Heather Meadows we made our way toward Austin Pass. Both the kids were able to make use of the snowshoes - they were a bit large for their size, but much more appropriate than the 'toddler' snowshoes (shaped like a bear paw) that can be bought from REI.

The kids enjoyed the snowshoes, but not quite as much as they enjoyed discovering an igloo, a snow cave and a perfect sledding hill.

I love sunny days in the mountains with the kids. Too bad they are so few and far between.

Coming up next: A snowshoe report from Skyline Lake.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hertz Trail (N. Lk Whatcom) 01-22-2012

Another of the few days where the family calendar was absolutely blank and everyone seemed content to just kick back at home and enjoy the flexibility involved with doing nothing.

Since everyone seemed to be well into their own groove, I grabbed my gear and set out to meet up with the Mount Baker Club for one of their 'short notice' outings. Today's intended destination was the Hertz Trail along the eastern shore of Lake Whatcom.

The trail head is located at a Whatcom County Park located at the 'end of the road' near the northern end of the lake.

This trail is completely flat - unless you happen to be from Florida, in which case you might come across a couple of small hills.

The trail begins with a short trek through some nice mossy forest land before reaching the shores of Lake Whatcom. At this junction there are a few informational signs.

Turning to the left takes you along the lake for about three miles or so, crossing a number of creeks and waterfalls, plus a short dip under or a climb over a large downed tree.

Upon our arrival at the lake shore, a hand written sign had been posted warning that there had been a small amount of rockfall and it offered some simple advice: "Keep moving."

We hiked down to the end of the trail at a wooded fence (marked with no trespassing signs) where we took a short lunch break before turning around and heading back.

The weather was quite windy and stormy - but dry. We stayed alert for falling branches, but none were witnessed - although there were a few we had to clean up/move off the trail on our return trip that hadn't been there on our first pass.

If you look closely, maybe you'll see the face staring back at you like I did. Seems like a mix of Marvin and Deep
(both from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy).

Two thumbs up for the Mount Baker Club. They always turn out to be a fun group every time I manage to connect with them. You can visit their website at www.mountbakerclub.org and find the link for the 'activities' page in the upper left corner.

I noticed they have a trip to Bald Mountain planned for the near future - that's on my To-Do list for sure!

Happy Trails!


PS: Coming Soon: Another snow shoe trip to Skyline Lake!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Itinerary for 02-11-2012

Planning to go snowshoeing with my buddy Steve G. up to Skyline Lake (and probably beyond) which is located across the highway from the Steven's Pass ski area.

Other alternatives also under consideration include Smithbrook Road, Lanham Lake, E. fork of the Foss River or possibly Wallace Lake via Wallace Falls State Park.

Expecting to be back in cell phone coverage by dark.

Happy Trails!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Contemplating Adventures (pic index)

We're already a full month into 2012. Unbelievable.

If you are one of the elite few who purchased a copy of my 2012 Planner: Contemplating Adventures, I really hope you are putting it to good use and enjoying the photos selected for each month.

One weak point in the layout of this planner is that it fails to give anyone any information about the scenic pictures.

Maybe no one really cares where the pictures were taken; maybe no one really cares what that mountain is or where that mountain top cabin is located.

Since the next hike isn't for another week and a half, this seems like a good time to just list out a bit of info about the pictures. Maybe someone will find it interesting, but it's more likely that I'll just pat myself on the back in a few years when I'm the one who forgets where the pictures were taken.

Without further adieu:

Front Cover Photo: Mt. Shuksan shrouded in a Lenticular cloud. This picture was taken from the top of Table Mountain at the end of the Mount Baker Highway. Trip #158, October 2011.

January Photo: Kevin, Andrea & Beau on the way back from a cloudy day of snowshoeing to Artist Point. Trip #133, January 2011.

February Photo: Table Mountain reflected in a small tarn at Austin Pass. Trip #158, October 2011.

March Photo: Para-sailing from Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island. Trip #132, January 2011.

April Photo: Kayaker on Lake Padden near Bellingham, WA. This image was captured on my cell phone while on a 3 mile run around the lake in October, 2010.

May Photo: Sunset image captured with my cell phone while on a 30 minute run through the little community of Blanchard, WA. The bridge in the distance is part of the world famous Chuckanut Drive.

June Photo: Yet another memorable sunset image from the cell phone looking over Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands. This image was taken along Chuckanut drive, near the Chuckanut Manor restaurant, in the middle of another Wednesday night run.

July Photo: Image of fellow hikers seeking the high point on Mount Pilchuck, and enjoying the views westward to the Puget Sound. Trip #159, October 2011.

August Photo: An easy scramble among intimidating granite boulders and a short ladder climb are all that stand in your way before enjoying the Fire Lookout atop Mount Pilchuck. Trip #159, October 2011.

September Photo: Upon your arrival at the Pilchuck Lookout, simply turn around for a stunning view of endless Cascade Peaks. That person in the red coat is "Contemplating Adventures". Trip #159, October 2011.

October Photo: Fire Lookouts may be light on ammenities but they make up for it in windows. Visiting the Mt. Pilchuck Lookout on a sunny day isn't something you'll soon forget. Trip #159, October 2011.

November Photo: Mt. Sefrit can be seen while enjoying a snowshoe trek to Razorhone Knob near the Mount Baker Ski Area. Trip #138, April 2011.

December Photo: Alpenglow on an unnamed point keeping watch over the Steven's Pass ski area. To view this point, with alpenglow, consider a sunset snowshoe toward Skyline Lake (located on the opposite side of Hwy 2 from the ski area). Trip #135, February 2011.

Back Cover Photo: Reflection of a spring sky in the calm waters of aptly named Whisper Lake near Anacortes, WA. Trip #143, April 2011.

Dust Jacket Rear Inset Image (Hardback only): Ron Peterson "Contemplates Adventures" on his journey to Split Rock in Skagit County. Trip #141, April 2011.

So, as you can probably tell, 2011 was a great year to enjoy the great outdoors in Western Washington. I'm planning on making 2012 even better!

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in hitting the trails, taking some photos or if you'd like help in creating/designing a different variation of this planner. I'd love to help you out with any of those 'projects'.

Happy Trails!