Sunday, March 6, 2016
Finding Lost Tabletop Mountain In Texas
But, today the mystery of the missing photos was solved soon after I began perusing through a file cabinet I'd not looked in in years.
The first photo you see here is one of my favorites I have ever taken. That would be my Favorite Nephew Jeremy on the left, sitting next to my Favorite Nephew Christopher, at some point in time back in the 1990s, before I moved to Texas and the nephews moved to Arizona.
Chris and Jeremy are sitting atop Tabletop Mountain. Behind them is Mount Shuksan. To their left, in the direction Chris is looking, sits the Mount Baker volcano.
Notice the piles of rocks behind the nephews, resembling what I've come to call Hoodoos when I see these type rock formations on the forlorn Tandy Hills.
Til today, all I had remaining of these photos were scanned images compressed to a low byte size suitable for using them on a webpage back in the pre-broadband days when one worried about such things. Today's newly scanned versions look almost 3-D. At least on my screen.
Tabletop Mountain is on the north side of Mount Baker. The parking lot and trailhead opens up in late summer, unless the snowpack has been light, allowing it to open earlier. The parking lot is at the end of the road that one can use to drive past the ski area when enough snow melts.
As you can see, a lot of people show up for the multiple hiking opportunities accessed from this location, including a trail on the north face of Mount Baker.
Above we are starting the trek up Tabletop Mountain, via a series of switchbacks.
I first saw this as a little kid, retaining the memory of a string of people switchbacking up a mountain. As years passed I started to think this was a false memory, too young to remember the location of the memory, til one day, years later, I found myself back at the same location, again seeing a string of people switchbacking up a mountain.
Above we are on one of the aforementioned switchbacks, making our way to the top of Tabletop.
I think this may have qualified as one of my infamous Nephews in Danger incidents, where Jeremy 'skied' down a sheet of snowy ice towards Mount Baker.
Below Jeremy watches as Christoper is the Nephew in Danger. As I remember it Christopher reached a high rate of speed and had trouble hitting the brakes when the snowy ice came to an end.
I have shown photos of Washington mountain hiking to Texans previously. Summer photos of being up in the mountains. The Texans are always perplexed as to how can one be in shorts, like it is hot, when you are on a cold snowy mountain. Well, it takes a lot of thermal units to melt massive snow packs, so ice remains even when the air is heated into the 70s, or 80s, making it quite pleasant to be in the high country minimally attired.
I don't remember why Jeremy was threatening his Favorite Uncle with a snowball. That would be the aforementioned Mount Baker volcano behind Jeremy.
Looking at these photos is it any wonder I am homesick for real mountains with real scenery and real trails trekking to see real scenery on real mountains?
I miss cross county skiing on these mountains too. Ironically, yesterday I tossed my cross country skis into the garbage. The Texas heat had de-laminated them....