Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Surprised Finding Mount Baker On My Wall In Texas

A week or two ago I made mention of Washington's Mount Baker volcano in a blogging about Mr. Forrester Cooling Down A Washington Heatwave Via Mount Baker.

I have been looking at the image you see above, all this month of May, due to this image being the May scenic view on the calendar which arrived this most recent Christmas, sent by Sister Woman Lydia Mae, from Mount Vernon, where Lydia Mae can see Mount Baker on any clear day she looks out one of her windows facing northeast.

Now, as an example of how un-observant I can be. I have been seeing this calendar for five months now. And only today did I realize the calendar's scenic scenes are all from Washington. I don't want to take the calendar from the wall to check out the month's previous, but I can look at the following months without taking the calendar from the wall.

I see next month is a view of Mount Shuksan, the mountain some have mistaken for being Mount Baker, due to the fact that one can see Mount Shuksan from the Mount Baker ski area, but one can not see Mount Baker from the Mount Baker ski area.

After seeing next month is Mount Shuksan I wondered if the entire calendar consists of scenes around Mount Baker, so I went another month ahead, to July, to see the July scene is Palouse Falls. That is in Eastern Washington, far away from Mount Baker.

The caption describing the May photo is "Park Butte Lookout and Mount Baker".

I have hiked from Schrieber's Meadow multiple times, hiking what is called the Railroad Grade up the southwest slope of Mount Baker. I have only hiked the spur trail to Park Butte Lookout once. It is a strenuous addition to an already strenuous hike. But, well worth the effort.

A blurb from the Washington Trails Association webpage about the Park Butte Lookout hike...

On Park Butte, hike to an historic fire lookout and come face-to-face with Koma Kulshan. Along with unobstructed panoramic views of Mount Baker, the Twin Sisters, and the rest of the North Cascades, the route to Park Butte offers campsites, wildflower-filled alpine meadows, rushing waterfalls, and a stunning variety of mushroom species.

The Park Butte Lookout is one of the few remaining from the era when lookouts were needed to lookout for forest fires.

The most brutal hike I have ever hiked in the Cascades is a few miles north of Mount Baker, the Church Mountain hike. The summit of the Church Mountain hike is a small flat spot on which the few remains of a long ago abandoned lookout remain. To reach the summit you have to pull yourself up the steep final ascent using a cable which remains from the old lookout. It is a bit scary and not for those made squeamish by anything steep.

The Hidden Lake Lookout is another which remains operable which I have hiked to. The Hidden Lake Lookout is accessed via the Skagit Valley. I think it is probably closer to the Glacier Peak volcano, than Mount Baker.

The Hidden Lake Lookout is maintained by the Skagit Alpine Club. I seem to recollect there being some sort of emergency phone which required cranking to operate. This may be a false memory. You can stay over night in the Hidden Lake Lookout on a first come first stays basis.

I can not remember the last time I went on an actual real hike on a real mountain. It may have been August 11, 2008, when my favorite sister-in-law had me drive her and her mother to Mount Rainier, where we hiked from Paradise to Myrtle Creek.

I am now feeling melancholy thinking about missing going on real hikes on real mountains. Something I thought might happen this coming summer til this COVID-19 Trump Pandemic happened...

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