An Outing: Mt Baker


Winter had come to the PNW if only for a few weeks. It was here.  The air in the morning was crisp and cold, the wind tearing through the valley with force. The nights clear with specks of light in the sky. One of the last days with the oldest of his Winter vacation and we planned on a hike to Artist Point. The first planned outing hadn't worked out and now we were at the end of his time at home. Placing gear in the back, he drove us, just the two of us, to Heather Meadows. Others were there before us and had already left their vehicles.  Most had skis and skins for their hikes up. We had snowshoes and he had the pack.  I made him carry the sleeping pad so that I would have something to sit on and not directly on the snow for our lunch.  It was an unbelievable day, so clear and the wind that had been blasting the country for days had subsided to a mild breeze.  Within in 10 minutes of climbing, I started shedding layers. I wasn't in a hurry though, I was soaking in the light of the sun. It was peaceful, a therapy of sorts. There was something rejuvenating about the snow and how the light is reflected everywhere. How the sun peaks through the branches of the evergreens or over the hills. It was what winter should look like; how I need it to look like. We headed for table mountain, preferring the steeper slopes rather than going around and gently climbing. We past skiers and some pasts us. Once on the plateau we had an amazing view of Mount Baker, Table Mount, the Canadian Cascades, Mount Shuksan and Baker Lake. Sitting behind a snow drift we pulled out our lunch and gobbled it. Enjoying the hot chocolate that I had packed. John and I normally climb to Huntoon Point but the oldest and I decided to skip it this time and instead head back to the car, it was enough to be out for a little while.  We toyed with the idea of hiking into Raven Lodge for a hamburger and fries but it just felt good to be in the car. Another hour and a half and we were home, enjoying dinner, the rest of the family gathered round. Smiling at each other, we knew it was a special time with just the two of us, maybe a tradition had started.  Next year will tell.










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