Monday, October 14, 2013

The Skagit Valley's Big Rock With Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy & The Nookachamp Star Child Falling From The Sky

Big Rock On Fire July 18, 2013
Yesterday my great nephew, Spencer Jack's grandma, Cindy, emailed me a couple pictures from the summit of the Skagit Valley's monolith known as Big Rock.

Earlier in the week, after Cindy mentioned hiking up Big Rock, I had asked if a parking lot has been added near the trail head.

The answer was no parking lot. Still  roadside parking only.

Big Rock is located on the east side of the town of Mount Vernon, about 2 miles from where I lived when I resided in Washington. Big Rock was one of my frequent hiking destinations.

The last time I saw Big Rock was in April of 2006. At that point in time I was surprised to see how close to Big Rock a housing development had been built. One of Cindy's pictures surprised me due to showing that now a housing development is encroaching upon Big Rock from the west.

The view above is looking west from atop Big Rock at the housing development which has sprung up in the last 7 years.

Below is a view from the Big Rock summit looking northeast, at Clear Lake and Cascade Mountain foothills.

Big Rock has a long history in the Skagit Valley, looming large as a sacred spot of the Nookachamp tribe, which called Big Rock "Yudwasta" which means "Heart".

As in Heart of the Nookachamp nation.

In Nookachamp legend Big Rock came to be when the Star Child escaped from a bad marriage to a man who lived in the sky. Star Child returned to earth using a rope she made from cedar saplings. When she got grounded, Star Child's sister, who stayed in the sky, cut the rope so the husband in the sky could not figure out how Star Child escaped.

After the rope was cut it coiled as it fell, forming Big Rock. When the light is right and you look at Big Rock from certain angles you can see how it could come to be that legend has it that the rock formation was made from a coiled rope.

This past summer, on July 18, 2013, fire broke out on the north face of Big Rock, which you will see in the below video...


Techsas Woman said...

I was so happy to find your blog, as I have a Texas / Mt. Vernon connection, too, though from the other side. My Texan daughter moved to Mt. Vernon three years ago. My husband and I made our first visit two years ago and found the beauty to be astonishing - the San Juan Islands, Deception Pass, Snoqualmie Falls...breathtaking! (The second thing we found astonishing was the number of ex-patriot Texans we ran into up there.) While I find some of your remarks towards Texas and Texans to be awfully stinging, I'm so pleased to find great travel commentary for the area. We're heading back in late June with hopes to head up towards Mt. Baker and also make a trip to Vancouver.

Durango Northwest said...

Thanks for the commment, Techas Woman. Did not get "Techas" til I read the comment. I can't remember any stinging remarks directed at Texas or Texans. I have age related memory issues. You are really gonna like Vancouver. Very scenic. And the town's Skytrain & Sea Busses make it easy to get around. If your visit to Mount Baker is to the ski area you are in for some classic mountain driving that might be unsettling if you've not experienced that before. Later in summer hiking up Mount Baker becomes doable from the south side, hiking to the side you can see from Mount Vernon. You might also like driving over Stevens Pass. It being, in my opinion, the most scenic of the Washington mountain passes, with Leavenworth on the east side being Washington's best tourist themed town. The North Cross State Highway is also very scenic with another tourist theme town on the east side, in Winthrop. I miss Washington and its extremely varied topography.