Today, ten of the Senior Trailblazers decided, instead of taking an easy hike in town to Teddy Bear Cove, we would head up to the High Country to the Mt. Baker Ski Area and snowshoe up to Artist Point, a two-mile hike up more than 1,000 feet. And that's what we did. I hadn't been on snowshoes for decades, so I borrowed a pair from our leader. They have changed a lot since I was using them so many years ago, and after getting them on and clomping our way across the frozen parking lot, we headed up from the ski area to Artist Point. It's a beautiful hike, and the day was gorgeous: high clouds, a little cold, but otherwise very exciting and scenic.
One problem was that when we started out, the snow was what is affectionately known as "Cascade cement," with us crunching across ice disguised as snow, but as we gained altitude, the snow got better and better. We also had two types of birds that visited us during our lunch break, many "camp robbers" or gray jays, and a huge raven. We also saw, in the distance, a bald eagle circling. (He never got very close, but was so beautiful, circling high above us.) The jays will take food right out of your hands, or land on your head trying to grab it before it makes it to your mouth.
After lunch, we made our way back down the mountain, slipped and slid on the ice until we could get into our cars and make our way home. As soon as I walked in the door, I downloaded all my pictures, tired and happy, and feel very much like I will be excited to go into the High Country again on snowshoes, weather permitting. And here's the beautiful raven, who watched us with interest but was definitely not eating out of our hands!