Friday, July 24, 2009

Park Butte

Well, Park Butte was a beaut! (Click any picture to enlarge.) Seventeen Senior Trailblazers hit the trail yesterday morning after a pretty long drive to the Mt. Baker Recreation Area, reached by heading down I-5 to the south of Bellingham. We all remarked on how dry it all is: western Washington is experiencing a significant drought. The period 20 May to 20 July is the driest on record. For us, this meant driving up a dirt road and kicking up enough dust to make everyone cough.

As you can see, it was cloudy and cool for most of the day. Once in a while the skies would clear off and we thought it would suddenly be blue, but it was more like the misty scene above all day long. It made for nice hiking, though. The hike was easy, compared to what we've been doing, a nice leisurely hike of 8 miles or so up about 2,000 feet to this lookout:
This is where we had lunch and enjoyed the view. Mt. Baker pretty much stayed hidden behind the clouds, but I've had plenty of wonderful views on recent hikes, so I didn't feel deprived. This lookout cabin is open to the public (with a box for donations inside).
Here is the view from the deck of the Lookout cabin, looking towards Mt. Baker and the Railroad Grade. That smooth gray area, as I understand it, is the grade, and it functions as access to the glacier on Mt. Baker on the left side of the picture. Ward is enjoying the view and his lunch. If you look closely you can see trails crisscrossing the landscape.
And of course I was forced to take some flower pictures. We saw phlox as above, heather, Indian paintbrush, and lots of lupines on the lower part of the trail. Plus some other flowers I couldn't identify. All in all, it was a day to re-create one's spirit, and enjoy the company of my friends.


  1. Isn't it just great to see the clouds amongst the mountains, like that! You do have some very high mountains there, don't you. I have seen the mountains in Switzerland and the Smokies in Tennessee and your mountains look just as high,if not higher than those. Nothing would induce me to go in that look-out hut! but I suppose to a sky-diver, such as yourself, that is nothing to daunt you? You probably felt like jumping off the edge and absailing down, didn't you, you daring thing you!
    Blessings, Star

  2. Wow! That first pic needs a frame! Beautiful shots.

  3. You just don't get peaks like that out here...but, we seem to have your rain! 3" last night! my rain barrels have been overflowing since June...

    beautiful shots! thanks for putting them up for us to marvel at :)


  4. Beautiful day with spectacular views...I love mountains!

  5. Wow, what a great place to rest after a long walk! Beautiful. I love Washington.

  6. I especially like the first picture, it has a dream-like look to it. But you said “a leisurely 8 miles walk” 8 miles! That sounds pretty long to me and you said “nice and easy” up 2000 feet ? Well, I am happy you do the walking and I am here at my computer doing the looking!

  7. Star, I am just as afraid of the edge of the railing as you are! And I have no desire to jump off, since there's no parachute on my back!

    Kate, could you please send some of that rain here? I have read that the northeast is having a really wet spring. It belongs over here!

    VB, it really was a leisurely 8-mile walk: 4 up and 4 down, and 2,000 feet was nothing compared to last week, when we had almost twice that up, so this week seems "tame" in comparison.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments. They really do make it fun, because I see what you are thinking about the entries and leads me to think of others you might enjoy.

  8. That was a great hike with a breathtaking view as a reward. Great photos, the phlox are lovely.
    I really miss having mountains nearby, the Blues just aren't quite the same.

  9. Woooh, the house on the edge of the rock is an exciting and thrilling place to stay in, but I am not sure if it will give me a good night sleep, but it's one memorable adventure.


  10. Loved all the photos,what great views!Lucky you .That house on the edge ....looks scary,but i would love to be there.


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