Thursday, September 29, 2011

Park Butte

Remember two weeks ago when we went up Railroad Grade? I wrote about it here. It was foggy and Jonelle, who had never been there before, had absolutely no view of beautiful Mt. Baker that you see here, although I told her what she was missing. Now she knows. I'm not sure why they call it "Railroad Grade," because it has nothing to do with a railroad but looks like it could be one from Park Butte, where we went today.

Today's hike starts out from Shreiber's Meadow, the same as two weeks ago, but today we all went up to the Park Butte overlook. This old lookout cabin is open to overnighters on a first come, first serve basis. Because of the spectacular 360-degree views, many people head up there (like we twelve Senior Trailblazers today) for a nice place to have lunch.
See the lookout? We headed up there on a trail which I suspect is clear of any snow for just a few more weeks. Although it's a steep climb, once you get there and take a look around, it's simply stunning. Here you see Diane pointing out a peak while Peggy and Jonelle dangle their feet over the edge.
I was up here once before, but it was cloudy and the view was obscured. Today I got to see why people drive more than 60 miles from Bellingham to spend the day in this part of the Cascades. We could see Mt. Baker and myriad other peaks from here that just took my breath away. Here's the view from inside the cabin, where some of us had lunch.
What a place this would be to spend the night! Several of the Trailblazers have already done that, but there are a few little problems with this idyllic picture: one, how to take a quick pee in the middle of the night? I guess if you are a guy, it's not so much of a problem. However, it made me think of getting up in a wind- or snowstorm and making my way down the steps of this lovely cabin to find a place. Nope, I'm finally too old for that. However, in daytime, knowing that I'm going to hike back down before the sun goes down, it was just wonderful.
This view of the Black Buttes, with fresh snow against the brilliant blue sky, it is just too good not to share. But there were so many wonderful views that I just can't post them all here. If you want to see more, go to the sidebar and click on my link to "Trailblazers Fall 2011." We covered seven miles and 2,400 feet of elevation today. Once we got back to the cars, our de facto social secretary Amy had made a cake (in the guise of cupcakes) to celebrate Diane's birthday, which is today. A candle in the middle of her fudge cupcakes was blown out, the requisite song was sung, we imbibed, and we headed home. It was simply a wonderful day!
Amy on left, Diane blowing out the candle
And I do want to give a heartfelt thank you to all who commented on my post asking for feedback about my blog and its direction. I have tried to keep my posts short enough to keep your interest, which seems to be working, but I will try to add a little more of my internal process. I'm so happy to see that most of you who commented are happy to let me follow my heart and won't leave me unawares. Life is good!
:-)


23 comments:

  1. Very nice, DJan! The views were splendid. And to wish a friend Happy Birthday with cupcakes and a candle sealed the deal. What a happy and healthy lifestyle you lead.

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  2. As I've said so many times before the time spent on the peak is awesome. When there is a cabin such as this one it's all the more enjoyable.
    Interesting to see your comparisons of different times you've hiked the same trail.
    There are some trails I've been up 19 times as we used the same trals with the school classes.

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  3. can you write longer posts....smiles. just playing around...lovely view...how cool it would be to sleep up there...sigh...excellent views...

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  4. Breathtaking! But I wouldn't want to tumble down the mountainside in the dark when I had to pee, either. And at my age I have to get up to pee or because of fibro just to stretch my aching body a time or two or three. :)

    Just be yourself, sweet lady! And Happy birthday to Diane! What a spot to blow out candles. :):)

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  5. That was unbelievably beautiful. Thank you for taking us with you.

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  6. Hello there my friend! I missed a lot of your blogs...and it's nice reading again your post. Well, as for us here, dealing with typhoons again, the last one hit us so hard that electricity, telephone and internet connections were shut down...and now we are bracing for another powerful one. Most places were already flooded about 8 ft high, dams were releasing water, rivers are overflowing...sigh. Pray for us DJ.

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  7. ABSOLUTELY breathtaking DJan!!! I just lvoe snowy peaks... and it's wonderful seeing that point in Railroad Grade from a different angle!

    I for one would love to spend a night up there! The stars must feel so close...

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  8. What a beautiful day you had DJan.
    That cabin looks looks like a great place especially with the magnificent view. I wouldn't mind spending a night there just to see the sunset and sunrise.

    Looking at your photo of Railroad Grade. It looks like the long, steady type of grade a railway would use in the mountains. Perhaps that's where the name originated.

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  9. I love those beautiful photos of fabulous scenery. How wonderful to be able to see those sights each week. Thanks for taking the time to explain the photos because I would have asked questions.

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  10. Stunning photos again DJan and nice story to go along with peeking @ the peeks. Nice cabin - might stay the night - any bears? I guess I would have to pee in a pot. ha,ha
    Thanks for that hike - quite stunning scenery.
    Cheers

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  11. I would Love to be able to spend the night in that lookout cabin. It reminds me of Kerouac, Snyder and Whalen who spent their youthful summers in the Cascades, usually on sourdough, and became writers there. What a wonderful hike. Great photos.

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  12. I enjoy your blog no matter what you write about. I'm going no where. Keep writing.

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  13. Gorgeous views! The last time I went camping I was 6 months pregnant, it rained, and I had to get up 10 times during the night to pee. Need I explain why I've not camped since?

    I've been absent so I'll have to go back to read the post to which you're referring but in the meantime I'll echo Linda-I'm not going anywhere!

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  14. Great post with fantastic views. Now since I've been off camping I'm a little late on your question. As an omnivorous reader I like omnivorous posts. Your is just fine. Lots of outdoors and the occasional other stuff tossed in. Most of all I like interesting people who don't fit into the obvious molds of their age and gender. That would be you DJan. :)

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  15. What spectacular photos. Such a beautiful hike- got me excited because I'm going on a hike tomorrow with friends up to the highest peak in the Apenine range. There's even a lookout cabin. I was eager but now I'm stoked! Well done. Thanks.

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  16. Gorgeous spot and photos, DJan. You never cease to amaze me! xxoo

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  17. i think your blog is wonderful! i've never seen your part of the country, and i am always amazed at the beauty.

    keep on bloggin'!

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  18. Gosh, the view from that lookout is stunning! I'm with you, no thanks to camping out when the needed facilities are farther away than about 10 feet!

    Your photos make me drool. I can't wait to get hiking again!

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  19. Wow. What gorgeous views! I totally agree with you about finding a bathroom in the middle of the night, however!

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  20. I'm not sure that overlook is safe? I suppose it is, but it doesn't look it to me. I certainly wouldn't want to spend a night there. Yes, men are lucky when it comes to having a pee. I've been in some tricky situations over my life where I've been pretty desperate and just had to hold on!

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  21. Wow! That's an amazing place. However, I would also have that night-time pee problem. It also looks rather precarious up there. I frighten easily.

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  22. What a view!! I would love to spend a night up there..of course in my case I would have too..because it would be at least a two day hike with all the rest stops I would take:)

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