|Mount Baker, July 8, 2019|
Date: July 5, 2019
Place: Baker Lake, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Trailhead coordinates: 48.645750, -121.674658
Length: we hiked only 3.7 miles in and out.
It was my idea to travel to Northern Washington last summer. I wanted to see the North Cascade National Park and I convinced Pappa Quail that it would make a great destination because the weather there would be cool and the area is far enough north to see birds that he hasn't seen yet. Other than deciding on our general destination, I did very little else in terms of planning. Pappa Quail extended the planning somewhat and even arranged for our first 4 nights. It was his idea to go on the previous day to Deception Pass State Park.
Our second day in Washington however, started with the default plan - going to the nearest NPS visitor center (which was in Sedro-Woolly) and asking for recommendations of hiking trails along the lines of our fancy. Armed with this fresh information we printed our rental car east along the Skagit River, then north to Baker Lake.
We drove first to the treailhead of Baker Lake Trail #610. There was no view of the lake itself from there, just a narrow trail that disappeared into a thick forest.
|Our hike as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS|
The sky was overcast. Not that we saw much of it through the canopy, but the forest was dimmer than it would be had the sun come through. In a way that made photographing easier because the lighting was also more uniform.
|One-leaved Foamflower, Tiarella unifoliata|
|Buttercup, Ranunculus sp.|
The elder chika soon found an LBB - a little brown bird. By the time I caught up with her it was gone.
|Blackberry, Rubus sp.|
The chikas found a big slug and called me. I guess it's the Washington version of the banana slug. Big, but not the pretty yellow slugs we see in the Bay Area. Still pretty impressive.
|Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus|
The trail undulated up and down through the forest, without much change in the scenery. I was happy with the plant life and the flowers I saw but the burgers in my family started grumbling about the bush birds that would tweet but won't show themselves.
|Siberian Miner's Lettuce, Claytonia sibirica|
|Forest trail 610|
|Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris|
Eager to get to the turning point the chikas and Pappa Quail hurried down the trail leaving me to trail behind and capture the little forest marvels.
From where we stopped there was access to the lake but it wasn't very easy to get there - we had to scramble across large broken boulders covered with slippery moss. There was no obvious shore to sit on.
|Bald Eagle, juvenile (3rd year)|
The way back was fairly quick and other than one exciting encounter with a very colorful garter snake we didn't really stop for any significant time.
|Northwestern Garter Snake|
|Five-finger Maidenhair, Adiantum aleuticum|
Before leaving the area all together we stopped at the Baker Lake boat launch. Each of us had a different reason to be there: the younger chika wanted to play by the water, Pappa Quail and the elder chika thought there would be a better chance to see birds on the lake.
I wanted to see Mount Baker, the most northern of the Cascade volcanoes within the US. It surprised me to find out that this mountain wasn't part of the North Cascades National Park. and that the mountains that were inside the park's area were not true volcanoes.
To my chagrin Mount Baker was nearly completely shrouded in clouds.Only a few spots of snow-white flashed occasionally through the moving clouds.
There was nothing more to do there that day, so we drove off to our next on the recommended hike list - the Rasar State Park.
|English Daisy, Bellis perennis, non-native|