Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mt. Baker in Washington

We finally pulled ourselves away from Whidbey Island and although our goal was North Cascades National Park we ended up at a magnificent spot west of there, Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest.  Michael had done some research on the area and available dispersed (free) camping.  That led us to forest route 12 and a premier spot looking at snow covered Mt.. Baker about 8 miles away.

Route 12 was very gravelly but for the most part easy to travel.  Most of the road was single lane with pull-offs in case there was an oncoming car.  Cars (traffic) was sparse, and people heading further up the mountain were on their way to Blue Lake.

On either side of the road, hemlocks, pines and other firs towered over us!  It was thick with trees in all directions!  So beautiful and green!  Distant mountains were visible, and beautiful tall stalks with purple flowers were lining the road.  We found these flowers in a field guide and they were identified as fireweed, which made no sense to us as they were purple and not the color of fire!

 Our campsite was at the end of a dead end road off of route 12.  By sheer luck we found it. We parked where stone berms prevented any further traffic, but the road continued past  the berms and we ended up scrambling over them to hike the road that continued for about a mile.  It was a relatively easy walk on gravel and a carpet of moss or lichen that cushioned our feet! We were rewarded with incredible views of Mt. Baker and the Cascade range!  Part of the fun was finding so many blueberry and raspberry bushes, and we went to town picking them!  Although I found they had a bitter aftertaste, Michael loved them and wrapped a bunch in a bandana to bring back to camp.  He ended up eating all of them on cereal and loved every bite!

We spent 5 nights camping here and excepted for the last day which was cloudy, every  day was sunny and the sky a glorious shade of blue.  If we set up our trails in the sun, it was hot!  Temps reached the high 80's, and humidity was in the low 30's, so it was tolerable. Whenever there was a bit of shade, we moved, and surprisingly it was cool and breezy then.  We often had Mt. Baker in our view and couldn't get enough of it!  Sometimes, clouds obscured parts of the mountains, and every once in a while, a cloud would look like steam coming out of Baker, which happens to be a volcano!
Cascade Range
Michael on trail from our camp

Mt. Baker


Interesting spreading moss, Club Moss

 
Happy hiker!

National Forest and Mt. Baker

Clouds obscuring Mt. Baker peak

Berries!



No caption needed!

 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Whidbey Island Days

Last Friday, we departed Whidbey Island for the Northern Cascades!  We were excited to be on the road again, but Whidbey really has captured our hearts. We camped our last nights at the county park and did a nice hike through the woods near there.




We also spent an early morning walking around Coupeville, a quaint little "downtown" with a main street.




After our upcoming adventure, we will return to Coupeville for mail and prescriptions.  My first new flute will be arriving too, which has me very excited!



Monday, July 13, 2015

House Cleaning

Fortunately, with a teardrop trailer, there isn't too much to do in the way of house cleaning.  But, every couple of weeks we strip the mattress and roll it up to check for a build up of moisture.  The moisture build up is on the wood floor of the trailer, basically where our torsos are on the mattress when we sleep. By checking regularly, we avoid mold.  We wipe up the moisture and then let the cabin air dry for a couple of hours.



The whitish/gray material under the whisk brush and dust pan is Hypervent.  On one side are these thousands of polymer curly q's that are rigid.  The other side is a soft thin material.  It helps to allow air to move below the mattress, lessening the wetness occurrence.  We place the polymer side down.


HYPERVENT DRYING

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Retirement!

When you're retired, this is how you use your spare time!



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Port Townsend

Yes, we are still in WA, Whidbey Island!  The other day, I took the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend, with Jenn, Bear, and two other friends.  It is a nice 30 minute ride with very pretty views.


While there we had lunch, saw a movie (Inside Out), and walked around.  Port Townsend reminds me of Chatham, on Cape Cod.  Several blocks of assorted shops, with one fabulous used bookstore, and a good number of restaurants.  There are also docks you can sit on.  Jenn and I found a couple of chairs and watched boats and scenery.



Bear plays the Native American flute beautifully and always carries at least one with him.  Whenever and wherever the mood strikes, he plays!








Friday, July 3, 2015

Rocky Point Beach

This Whidbey Island beaches are so different than the Atlantic Beaches. Here they are cluttered with amazing drift wood and uprooted tree trunks from who knows where!  And especially cool are the gazillions of rocks that cover the beach.

Jenn and I visited Rocky Point Beach the other day, another glorious sunshiney day here on the island.  The water was a very pleasant, tolerable cool and here I was wading in the Pacific ocean!



Rock collecting was phenomenal!  Jenn was on the hunt for small white stones and I picked up all sorts of goodies, including this green rock with what we think are coral pieces.



Jenn


These chunks of trees somehow landed here. They are bleached out, but are beautiful and old.



There is beauty in everything.  Strolling on this beach with Jenn in the sun, and with my feet in the water, made for another spectacular day!