Friday, August 30, 2013

More Mount Baker Hiking With Cindy, Michele, Ginny & Jeremy

Last Sunday my great nephew Spencer Jack's grandma, she being my favorite ex-sister-in-law, Cindy, emailed me photos of her hiking trek to the Park Butte Lookout near the Mount Baker volcano.

I then blogged about Cindy and her co-hiker, Michele, hiking to the Park Butte Lookout, in a blogging titled Hiking To The Park Butte Lookout With Cindy & Michele.

In that blog post I mentioned several things that I remembered about hiking to Park Butte. Things like the treacherous crossing of what I believe is called Sulfur Creek, with that creek being the melted water coming from the Easton Glacier on the slopes of Mount Baker. And how treacherous I remembered the hike up Park Butte to be.

That is the Park Butte Lookout you see in the above photo. It does not looks as treacherous as my memory remembers it.

Today Cindy emailed me a few more photos from her Park Butte Lookout hike, which illustrate some of what I mentioned in the previous blogging.

I also referenced, in that blogging, Pacific Northwest mountain hiking legend,  Dr. Fred T. Darvill. I'd infosearched Fred T. Darvill and found a memoriam. Dr. Darvill's wife, Ginny is mentioned in that memoriam.

After reading my reference to Dr. Darvill, Cindy sent the above photo with text saying that upon arriving at the Park Butte Lookout Cindy and Michele found someone painting the lookout. That someone turned out to be Dr. Darvill's wife, Ginny, she being the young lady between Cindy and Michele in the photo.

I do not know if by "painting" Cindy means Ginny Darvill was painting the lookout with a fresh coat of paint. Or if she was painting a water color picture of the lookout.

Below is a photo taken from the Park Butte Lookout, looking at the Railroad Grade, that being the name of the trail which runs atop the glacial moraine formed by the Easton Glacier. I am almost 100% certain I have this glacier named correctly. There are several on Mount Baker, Coleman Glacier and Deming Glacier come to mind.

That big slice of ice in the middle of the photo is the glacier. To the right, obscured by clouds, is the top of Mount Baker. That edge that follows the west side of the glacier is the Railroad Grade. Eventually you can go no further without proper ice/snow trekking gear. The last time I hiked the Railroad Grade was with my nephew, Joey. We hiked up to the far upper left of what you see in the photo. At that point you can clearly see the steam venting from Mount Baker's crater.  And smell the sulfur.

In today's email Cindy informed me that the bridge I was familiar with that crossed the glacier melt creek has been long gone, but was replaced a couple weeks ago by the temporary bridge you see below.

Crossing the creek did not look too treacherous for Cindy's most recent crossing, but she says 2 years ago, when she returned from hiking up the Railroad Grade, the return trip across the raging creek was scary.

I remember a couple times crossing that creek, late in the afternoon, where it took a long time because you had to be so careful not to get washed away by the rampaging water. The most recent time was a piece of cake because a well built suspension bridge took you over the creek, well above the water. That is the bridge that Cindy says has been long gone.

Now that I am thinking about that long gone bridge across Sulfur Creek I remember the last time I crossed that bridge. It was with a hiking group of 6 or 7, including my youngest nephew, Jeremy, about 7 at the time, 27 now.

When Jeremy saw the bridge that he was expected to cross he was not happy. It took a lot of coaxing to get him to cross. I remember Jeremy insisting both bridge ends be guarded.

Because Jeremy had watched in horror as several of the group crossed the bridge, having fun making it bounce and sway.

It took Jeremy about 10 minutes to slowly make his way across.

That hike was on a foggy, drizzly August day. By the time we got out of the woods, to the point you usually see Mount Baker, it was totally fogged in. We bailed.

When we got back to the point where the suspension bridge had to be crossed again Jeremy had developed a totally different attitude.

Jeremy's totally adjusted suspension bridge crossing attitude resulted in one of my all time favorite photos....

No comments: