Thursday, June 6, 2013

Noisy Creek was fabulous

Lucky 13 (if you count Mt. Baker)
Twelve of us met to hike to Noisy Creek, one of our favorite and most beautiful places to travel. It's a long drive, more than 70 miles from Bellingham, and Rita brought two friends along who are visiting her from Virginia. They had never experienced the Pacific Northwest and I believe they had a day to remember. I know I did.
Maidenhair ferns (left) and deer ferns (right)
The scenery was more than lush, temperature in the low to mid-seventies (a little on the warm side for those of us accustomed to cooler weather), a stray cloud now and then, and everything green and abundant as we hiked from the trailhead to Noisy Creek. This hike takes us along the east side of Baker Lake until we reach the Noisy Creek campground. We saw several people hiking out after having spent a night or two at the campground. We crossed a suspension bridge to reach our trail, and our first major stream crossing was at Hidden Creek. After having full sun and feeling a little warm, once we reached this crossing, the temperature dropped by several degrees!
Rita, Sharon, and Sandra on the Hidden Creek bridge
After this well-constructed and sturdy bridge, we still had to cross several more streams that didn't have the luxury of a bridge across them, and we all found our trekking poles to be more than a little valuable to navigate them.
Sandra, Rita, Linda, Diane, and Sharon
I wish there were some way to communicate what a wonderful time we had, all twelve of us, as we laughed and trudged our way to the campground. It's funny: traversing the more than four-and-a-half miles to our destination felt like a piece of cake. But we still had to return, and it seemed it would be a moderately easy day. But then we decided to hike an extra half-mile to look at the oldest of the old growth trees in the area. It was a very steep quarter-mile upwards, but well worth it to pay homage to these old trees, which have never been logged and could be as old as 2,000 years!
Steve, the tree hugger and a beautiful old growth
We not only had these wonderful trees to enjoy, but also some spectacular views of the east side of Mt. Baker. Bellingham lies directly to the west of this view of Mt. Baker. We never see this side unless we travel all the way around. There is a vent between those two peaks on the old volcano that spews steam now and then.
Those little puffy clouds were formed from that vent, and they continued to form the entire time we were there. That low spot between the two peaks is where the steam formed. We could see it quite clearly; it was pretty wonderful to see.
Once when I looked up to capture a picture of a big tree, I saw this rainbow, which I think probably continued right around the whole circle of the sun, but I can't be sure because this is all I saw. Isn't it cool? Maybe one of my readers knows what caused me to see this, I sure don't.

All in all, by the time we had finished our rather long day, we had covered around ten miles and traversed around 1,200 feet up and down. It wasn't an easy day, but it was filled with amazing sights, wonderful company, and more than I could have hoped for on the first week in June!


  1. the ferns, the views, the sun and blue sky! the creek crossing looked precarious but fun!

    the ring around the sun is caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere. i've seen one around the moon, once. :)

    sounds like an awesome day! and that TREE!!!!!

  2. Jan, I enjoyed this day along with you. It was a fun reed with amazing pictures.

  3. Oh, my friend...but you DO know how to communicate how much fun you had! You did it beautifully!!!
    I'm with Steve. I would hug and hug and hug that tree magnificent it is.
    I love the lushness of the ferns. I always try to enlarge your photos and take in as much as I can..and I love the growth of the green stuff (more ferns?) on the log. How beautiful, Jan!
    It is wonderful that Rita's friends were able to take in the splendor of the Northwest with all of you.
    The photos of the mountain are worthy of National Geographic publication. I'm not teasing. They certainly are.
    Thank you for sharing all of these photos. I'm still smiling as I think of how much fun you all had.

  4. I think you did convey the wonderful time you had today. It all seemed so up beat, and everyone is smiling and they all look as if they are really having a great adventure. I loved this hike. I loved ferns, and the picture of you all walking across a log. What fun you must have had while you drank in the beautiful sights.

  5. dang that is a huge dont see them that big around here...and the view of the mountains is spectacular...looks like a fun adventure...even with the temp drop...smiles...

  6. I always like the enthusiasm in your post . It adds nicely to the description. For somebody who likes Mt Baker so much, have you ever climbed it? I know that it's not just a leisurely stroll.

  7. Oh DJan, I enjoyed every word and I felt your enjoyment of the day. Lovely!

  8. Awesome. What dramatic and moving scenery!

  9. I am smiling so broadly my face hurts. That sounds and looks like an absolutely FABULOUS day, and I am so very happy for you.
    I loved your ferns and was interested to notice that the maidenhair fern I know is quite different. Still green, lush and beautiful, but different.
    I too would have hugged as much of that tree as I could reach. Thank you so much for this post.

  10. This looks like so much fun and spending time with friends while exercising and enjoying nature has got to be the absolute most wonderful thing. I just love all the beauty you find on your trails.

  11. Great hike, wonderful views, and fun loving friends. You don't need anymore than this, DJan.

  12. I can see why you enjoy your hikes so much. The scenery in your area is gorgeous and you always manage to find the greatest photos. The mountains and old trees are worth the hike. The trekking poles look like a very necessary piece of equipment.

  13. What a beautiful day and such extraordinary photos. I cannot pick a fav, for they are all so beautiful. Here, when we see a circle around the sun, it means rain is soon to follow and it does in the Maritimes. The photos and post make for an exceptional day with great fun, laughter and I want to hug that tree too. :)

  14. Nice trip. I enjoyed it, if only vicariously, but I'm still tired!

  15. What a beautiful area to hike! I so wish to have time to hike one day. Well, hike in spots like those you shared :)

  16. I enjoyed the hike with you today D-Jan although I would be very nervous about crossing that log. The ferns are beautiful aren't they.

  17. Can hear and see the fun that was had by all. I'm sure those visitors had a memorable time. I love the ferns and those gigantic old trees and the little clouds forming off the mountaintop. I thought sun dogs were formed by ice crystals, too. But don't quote me. They're just pain awesome, regardless. :)

  18. This is my favorite hike you have taken. What great scenery and such lush growth. That tree deserves many a hug. Good company and great views sure take the tired out of a hike. Well done.

  19. What a wonderful hike..a perfect start to the summer! That is one huge wonderful to view the old growth..amazing. Loved the view too! :)

  20. That is one flimsy looking bridge, good thing you all had poles. I love the tree hugger photo. That tree is amazing.

    Your sun ring photos is gorgeous. It is called a parhelion, or sundog. TexWisGirl is right about the ice crystals.

  21. I would have gone the extra distance to see that tree too. I love "collecting" big trees.
    What a beautiful hike today, with the lake and the mountain and the blue sky.

  22. Incredibly beautiful hike you've taken us on once again DJan. Love the 'venting' clouds. And the fern is mind-boggling gorgeous. All that's finally getting green again here. FINALLY.

    We had a gully-washer yesterday and I posted a few photos of the storm.

  23. I'll bet it wasn't even noisy up there. Maybe jaw dropping in spectacular beauty but not noisy...;)


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