Sunday, September 7, 2014

If April Is the Cruelest Month....

Then September is the kindest month--at least in the Pacific Northwest.  In general, we enjoy the bluest, clearest, sunniest days this month.  There is no humidity so the mountains that surround us are crystal clear.  We took advantage of this by heading up to Mt. Baker yesterday.  The parking lot was packed, cars were parked all along the road on the way up to Artist Point, the highest point one can drive to on Rt. 542.  Although there were many folks on the trails, we were still able to find a little solitude by taking some of the offshoots of the trails and we were rewarded with amazing views.

Once you reach Artist Point, you can actually see Mt. Baker in the distance.  Many people stop at Heather Meadows which is just below the point and mistakenly assume they are looking at Mt. Baker when, in fact, they are looking at Mt. Shuksan.

Check out the glaciers !

Mt. Shuksan reflected in a "puddle" along our trail

More glaciers on another nearby peak

Another view of Shuksan

The intrepid hiker heading up the trail

Resting along the way and admiring the view

I needed a rest, despite my wishes, my body reminds me I'm not 25 any more!

A "cool" ice cave that had formed on a hillside

The "pot of gold" at the end of this hike are the wild mountain blueberries that grow all over the hillsides.  They are elusive, though, so it takes patience and a keen eye to find them.  Bu

But once you find a patch you can settle in for the long haul, if your back and legs hold out from all that bending over!  -They are basically ground cover at this altitude.  They don't have long to flower and fruit before the snows set in again.  But with perseverance and patience...and can end up with this....

The sun started to set so we headed back home and stopped on the way back at the Maple Falls Cafe, a nondescript little place that has, hands down, the best burgers I've ever had. The last time we stopped there I had the John Wayne Burger which I thought could not be topped.  This time I had the Clint Eastwood burger--pork and bacon marinated in beer, topped with marinated grilled onions, provolone (not the "American" kind, the good, sharp Italian kind) and peppers.  Surely it can't be topped!  And when the waitress asked me if I wanted regular fries or yucca fries I knew I had to try the latter.  Never heard of such a thing and I'm glad I didn't miss out.  They were crisp on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside, kind of like fried mashed potatoes.  The taste was crisp and clean...definitely addictive.  Good thing this place is a 45 min. drive away!  All in all it was a banner day.  One of the kindest!

1 comment:

Les Hon said...

Wow! That's a lot of blueberries! I know how much effort it takes to find that many up there!

What a lovely day!