Litter Patrol July 2018

Trip Report

The summer litter patrol of Mount Baker Hwy miles 37 – 39 was held Tuesday.  It was sunny and warm–the kind of day in the mountains that so often moves the Club President to look to the heavens and belt out an Italian aria!  Sing it Michael!  The highway traffic was light, as was the usual collection of beer/soda cans and bottles, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and assorted bits of plastic and paper.  Grass and underbrush along the road may have hidden some litter, but I like to think drivers are rethinking their lazy habits.

To the numbers:

0  –As usual, nothing of value was found.

1  –Old bamboo Tiki torch.  White Nationalists may claim it at the DOT Maple Falls dumpster.

–Ambulance, lights flashing, going east.

2  –Teams of two volunteers.

–Actual time in hours, more or less, to patrol one mile, there and back.

3  –Sunning garden snakes.  One slurping from a Pepsi can (sugary kind).  Took the can, left the snake.

4  –Partial bags of litter collected.

–Enthusiastic volunteers.

5:45  –A.M.  Alarm clock sounds off.  Hit snooze.

6  –Bicyclists heading uphill.

8  –A.M.  Loaded up, on the road.

9:30  –A.M.  Patrol teams assemble at mile marker 37.  Group photo.

33  –Degrees.  What the Nooksack River felt like while soaking feet after the patrol.

78  –Degrees upon arrival at milepost 37.

86  –Degrees when done.

88  –Miles, door to door.

1743  –Miles from St. Louis that Melinda traveled just to participate in the patrol.

3035  –Wooden forest road sign toppled by age and moisture.  The road doesn’t really seem to go anywhere.

Thank you to Valerie, Melinda, and Sue for making it a fun day.  The next litter patrol should be in mid to late October, before the snow flies.

Photos of the fun can be seen here.

Club Social at Lake Padden Park

July 8 – Sunday — Club Social at Lake Padden Park: Summer Social – potluck picnic at Lake Padden Rotary Shelter. Time is 1-4 p.m. Club will provide coffee, lemonade and paper goods. Bring a dish to share, your kayak, walking shoes, bikes, kites and bocce ball sets – whatever you need to have fun!

Anderson & Watson Lakes with Anderson Butte Hike

July 14, 2018 – Saturday – Anderson & Watson Lakes with Anderson Butte Hike: Lets spend the day at Anderson and Watson Lakes, along with a side trip to the Anderson Butte! We’ll be hiking approximately 8 miles with an 1100’ elevation gain. Beautiful views of the lakes and Mt Baker will accompany our hike. Bring water, lunch, sunblock and bug spray.  Northwest Forest Pass is required for drivers. Lets leave the REI parking lot at 8 a.m. with a stop in Skagit County at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the Sedro Woolley Park and Ride which is a triangular area situated next to the Cook Rd roundabout between Walgreens and the Food Pavilion. Suggested $8 carpool fee for poolers from REI Questions contact Michael Davis at mikesdavis@outlook.com If you’d like to drive to the trailhead: Trailhead Co-ordinates: 48.6747, -121.6017 Good chance we’ll be stopping for beverages at the Birdsview Brewery on the way West.

 

Trip Report

We managed to leave the trailhead at 10:30 yesterday morning after a nearby fire nearly sent us in another direction.  Thanks to low winds and a strong effort on the part of firefighters we were able to get to the Anderson +Watson trailhead safely.

19 folks gleefully walked through a forest of large trees, up the switchbacks to the butte where the views were as clear as ever.  Next we all walked through a partial grassy partial snowy meadow and headed up and over the small rise that brought us to Watson Lakes.  Some folks swam, some explored, some socialized, and all ate lunch in the picturesque Watson Lakes valley.

At one point rumor has it that the level of group happiness in the experience became ecstasy and Richard began boldly singing ‘70’s era Barbara Streisand songs as he could no longer control himself.  Right on pitch is the consensus rumor.

The heat reminded us all to bring plenty of water on hikes now that we’re into the warm weather.

Thanks to a great group of leaders helping to keep this large group together.

Mike

Photos of the trip can be viewed here.

Elk Mountain Hike

July 20 – Friday – Elk Mountain Hike – Chilliwack, BC (rainy day alt.: Lindeman Lake) Trip Leader: Fritz Ullrich. Departure 8:00 am Sunset Square Safeway parking lot (SE corner). Carpooling encouraged with $5 gas contribution suggested (50 miles one-way).

Let’s get the passports (or NEXUS cards) and visit our neighbors in BC for a day hike on Elk Mountain. After the 1h 20 min drive we will hike uphill approximately 3.5km (1km = 0.62 miles) with an elevation gain of 800m (1m = 3.28ft). The hike is rated intermediate to hard because of partially steep slopes. Hiking poles come in handy because there are not many switchbacks to speak of. It’s for people who like uphill hikes with a rewarding view at the top. After approx. 2.5 hours hike through a beautiful forested area we will reach the top at 1,432m (4,700 ft). Looking to the south we will see the North Cascades mountain range with our namesake mountain featuring prominently. To the north we will see the BC Coast Mountains and to the west the Fraser Valley. After a relaxing brake we will continue on the Elk-Thurston trail along a scenic ridge for another hour to another outlook before we retrace our steps and hike back down. Bring water, snacks, lunch and sunscreen.

Alternative for a rainy day: Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes hike also close to Chilliwack, BC.

The drive there will be approx. 1h 40 min and the hike distance 10.4 km roundtrip (6.5 miles). Elevation gain 500 m (1,600 ft). Stunning scenery and access to two lakes. Lots of boulder field crossings.

 

Trip Report

Have you ever wondered what’s north of Tomyhoi Peak? Five of us have ventured out and hiked up Elk Mountain to find out. It has been a long day. Mei, Jim, Bruce, Rita, and Fritz left at 8:00 am and returned at 9:00 pm. A cool summer day was ideal for this steep hike. It was strenuous as promised with an elevation gain of 2,600 ft in 2.2 miles. On top of Elk Mountain we had lunch with a view of Chilliwack valley but the clouds still covered the mountain peaks of the North Cascades. We saw some flowers though. Tiger lilies, penstemon and sickletop lousewort were in full bloom. After lunch we pushed further to Thurston mountain. Here the clouds opened up a little more and we could see part of the Cascades and guess the contour of Mount Baker still in its cloud cover. At the way down one of us fell and Mei featured her First Aid kid and provided professional help. You see, being prepared is everything. After we returned to the US our first way in Sumas was to have dinner and a couple of beers. Wait, only our leader Fritz had a couple. He was so happy that the first trip he lead for MBC was successful with no loss to report.

Boulder Ridge Hike

July 27 – Friday – Boulder Ridge Hike – This trail is more a boot track than a trail, used primarily by climbers as an alternate climbing route for Mount Baker. Our hike will be a total of 8 miles with a final elevation at 4500’ with an elevation gain of only 1300’. But the trail is sometimes indistinct, muddy and with lots of logs and roots, plus there are stream crossings, steep sections and sheer drop offs. The road to the trailhead is very rough and high clearance vehicles are highly recommended. Because we will be going into the Mt Baker Wilderness, we will limit the group to the first 10 that sign up. Northwest Forest Pass required. Recommended car pool fee of $5.00. Email Jennie and Steve at tojennie@comcast.net to sign up and get additional details.

 

Trip Report

 

The gang of twelve braved the FS roads to Rainbow Ridge.  The hike was a poster child for truth in advertising: Short hike to subalpine meadows – ✓; great views – ✓; chance to see bear and goats; snow fields in summer – ✓.  A long drive on terrible, TERRIBLE, forest service gravel roads – ✓; steep trail at spots – ✓; hot and sunny – ✓; some bugs – ✓; a poor boot track of a path with roots, mud, and severely eroded tread – ✓.  Hike up to the snow on the sub-alpine ridge for lunch – ✓.

The views were just a bit diminished because of the haze in the sky, but were still worth the effort to slog up the slope.  We split up after we reached the ridge in search of shade for our lunch break.  The sound of avalanches on Baker confirmed that temperatures were climbing.  On the way back, we saw a goat off in the distance.  No, wait, that was just a patch of snow.  Darn.  On the way down, Pam made sure we didn’t step on any of the herds, in nearly biblical concentrations, of western toads.  Some finished off the hike with a trip to Birdsview for a cold one.  A great group of hikers.  Thanks to Judith and Dirk for joining us in volunteering to drive through the FS road moguls!
Photos can be found on the MBC Flickr Album page.
Jennie and Steve

Goat Mountain Hike

August 3 – Friday – Goat Mountain Hike – get your climb on! The road is a little rough, but as of early June ok for low clearance. Enjoy getting some great leg work done – this is not for those just getting into shape. We’ll be getting to at least 5100 feet. This is wilderness area and the group size is restricted to 12 people. Contact Meg Bushnell to sign up and get further details. 360-223-7629.

 

Trip Report

 

6 crazy old goats (the only ones seen on the mountain!) risked life, limb, and sanity clambering up to the meadow at Goat Mountain today. Rain predictions were dashed asunder, as nary a drop was seen. The views of Shuksan, Baker, and Sefrit were shrouded by clouds, but still scenic, a lovely site for lunch, and the temperature perfect for hiking. Intense discussions occurred about the specifics of the multiple wildflowers seen, including Pacific alpine azalea, paintbrush, lupine, spirea, columbine, and the Columbian/tiger lily. Wildlife sightings were few but charming – a pika was heard calling, and a grouse demanded the trail for a dirt bath. Clearly the altitude affected the old goats, as trotting back down the path they bleated out bits of beer commercial jingles, old TV songs and musical numbers including Gilbert and Sullivan, with a few highbrow recitations of Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll thrown in. (Small surprise that few other hikers were seen on the trail, likely cowering at the trailhead hoping to avoid the cacophony). The lower trail was in good condition, the upper had benefited from some recent brushing and erosion repair work by WTA although still represented quite a scramble up (it’s possible the lead goat assisted with that work, but how do goats handle trail tools?) It was a fine day, with only minimal whining about the climb up, and capped with pints all around at the Beer Shrine before returning to town and higher oxygen levels.

Photos will likely be posted to the Mt Baker Flickr site once available, stay tuned for that.
Meg

Church Mountain Hike

August 11 – Saturday – Church Mountain Meadows Hike

Fairly strenuous, about 2500′ elevation gain and 6 miles round trip to the meadows. Gung-ho hikers may want to go the extra mile and 1000′ to the peak, but should make their own travel arrangements. The trail switchbacks steeply up through old growth forest, finally emerging at open meadows below Church and Bearpaw ridges with views south and west from our lunch spot. Meet at Safeway parking lot at Orleans and Sunset, for an 8 am start. Contact owen.bamford@gmail.com for more information.
Trip Report
On the 11th a small group did a practice hike from Taco Bell to Starbucks. Today (12th) a slightly larger group of seven hikers set out for Church Mountain. The weather was cool and misty, the forest was green and damp from rain yesterday, and the occasional openings in the forest gave inspiring views of thick cloud filling the Nooksack valley. The trail is in excellent shape. Pressing on up the switchbacks, we finally emerged on to the meadows. Attractive little creeks, with artfully arranged clumps of flowers, emerged from the high cloud-obscured cirque and crossed the meadows before disappearing over the edge. Somewhere a marmot whistled. We stopped for lunch at the usual viewpoint  on the meadows shortly before the trail heads up to the summit. The clouds occasionally lifted enough to see the steep meadows above us, but by the time we had finished eating the clouds were down again and we couldn’t see anything much, so we headed back to the cars. On the way down the sun finally appeared, but the tops were still cloud-covered so we probably hadn’t missed anything. We met an optimistic hiker on his way up to camp at the meadows, hoping to see the Perseid meteors.
Distance was only about 5 1/2 miles, with an elevation gain of just under 2500′, so we were back early. Some of us stopped for icecream at Maple Fuels. Thanks to all who came, for your company and for not whining about the lack of views.
Owen

Chain Lakes Hike

August 19 – Sunday – Chain Lakes Loop Hike

CANCELLED DUE TO SMOKE FROM WILDFIRES – Will be rescheduled via Short Notice List.

This is a beautiful but fairly strenuous hike with a lot of ups and downs, although we will discuss whether or not to “cheat” and shuttle around the hardest climb from the picnic area to Artist Point. (Majority rule.)Bring plenty of water, lunch, a windbreaker, wear appropriate shoes, and carry hiking poles if you need them. Plan to be out all day. Description of hike here: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/chain-lakes-3Meet at 8:15 in Sunnyland parking lot to divide into carpools for 8:30 departure.Email psbeason@comcast.net for more info.

 

Scott Paul Hike

August 17 – Wednesday – Scott Paul Hike

About 1900′ elevation gain, just under 8 miles. This trail traverses open meadows and ridges above treeline at around the 5000′ level on the south flank of Mt. Baker, returning to the trailhead on the Park Butte trail via Schreibers meadows. Great views! Also, possible wet feet as two creek crossings may require wading.
Meet at the Chuckanut Park and Ride. We will leave at 8 am. Contact owen.bamford@gmail.com for more information.
Trip Report
After the murk of the last few days, and the solid cloud cover in Burlington, the sky at the trailhead was blue, with little clouds blowing about, and a nice bright sun shining. It was perfect weather for hiking- not too hot, not humid, with a cool breeze. The road was in fairly poor shape, with clusters of deep potholes and some roller-coaster waves on the bends. The trailhead parking lot was full when we arrived, though we saw very few people on the trail, so most people must have gone to  Park Butte.
Six of us hiked the  trail clockwise, starting on the Park Butte trail through Schriebers Meadow (with blueberries) and taking the right fork onto the Scott Paul trail. From there the trail climbed through forest before breaking out into the open at the foot of Railroad Grade and then climbing up and over a series of moraine ridges, across rushing creeks bordered by masses of pink mimulus, with the summit of Baker always visible above the end of the Easton glacier. A shady lunch spot allowed relaxation before tackling the last stretch, up and over another ridge and across another creek, then a steady descent on good tread took us through forest with more blueberries, (unless they were blue huckleberries), past some magnificent trees, and back to the parking lot.
Total distance was (I think) 8.1 miles. Gain in elevation from the trailhead to the high point at 5200′ was 1800′, but the cumulative climb allowing for the repeated ascents and descents was considerably more than that, so bragging rights were gained.
As always, thanks to those who came for their company on this excellent hike. Whining was kept within tolerable limits. I will post some pictures on the web site when I have sorted them out.
Owen