2006-05-01

Mt Baker, Nooksack, and Chuckanut

Sometimes I wonder why I live in Washington state. And then I take a drive like the one I took over the weekend.

These first pictures are from the Mt Baker Highway, on the way up to, well, Mt Baker. Mt Baker is one of Washington's three biggest volcanoes, along the the more well know Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier. It's fairly quiet, although it did cause some excitement as recently as the seventies.

It is a well know Ski destination in Washington, and is home to the largest single season snowfall in the US, at 1,140 inches. Located 60 miles east of Bellingham, it draws visitors from around the world.

It was a typical overcast, damp, moss-y smelly Western Washington day. The further we drove, the higher we climbed into the clouds. Outside the car we could hear only rushing water from the ever present streams.







Near the top is a turn off for Nooksack Falls. It's down a muddy, bumpy, pot holed Forrest Service road that is only one lane wide. I was thrilled with the adventure; my more urban-oriented girlfriend preferred more solid pavement. The falls were well worth the drive, however. The rushing of the water as it flew over the rocks drowned out the CDs in the car. Until I closed the windows.




If you ever make the drive from Seattle to Bellingham, get off the freeway. Well, not right away, wait until exit 231. Then get off the freeway and take the Chuckanut Drive. It's not the quickest or most direct route; it will probably cost you and extra 30 to 60 minutes, but it is well worth it.

It start out normally enough. You pass some farms and homes. You pass a small business that has three rusted out trolley cars in front yard. It seems like a normal two lane highway. After about 5-10 minutes you come to the Japanese Gardens and antique shop, which is a great place to stop and relax. It's also a great place to view and purchase and mind-boggling array of bamboo. Or at least some large planters.

As you continue, the road livens up. You climb a high, twisting route that overlooks Puget Sound and the Oyster beds. The views form the car are outstanding; the views form the picnic stops even more so.


And, of course, here is my Subaru in its natural habitat.

1 comment:

Renee said...

WOW! Why do we live in NYC?!!!!