Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Artist Ridge Trail to Mt. Shuksan

After calling the forest ranger station up at Mt. Baker to determine visibility for the day, and getting an affirmative for clear and sunny skies, we jumped in the truck and headed back up Hwy 542 to see the mountains without any smoke to interfere with their beauty. On the way up we made a short detour on Glacier Creek Road where Allan was able to photograph the salmon at the end of their run. Many of the large salmon were devoid of any color and lying dead at the sides of the stream but a few were still struggling valiently to swim further upstream.
We continued on up the highway to Picture Lake where we sat in the shadow of Mt Shuksan and ate our lunch. Then we walked the 1/2 mile trail all around the lake helping ourselves to wild blueberries which were growing everywhere. Back in the truck, we continued to climb to the very end of this highway where we parked at Heather Meadows again, but this time we were able to see Mt. Baker in all of his glory. Far below we could see Baker Lake where we had just been the day before. Then we walked out to the end of the Artists Ridge Trail to see Mt. Shuksan one more time. On our way back down from Heather Meadows we stopped at the visitors center to look at Bagley Lakes. Next year we intend to do the walk around the upper and lower lakes. In the photo you can see lower Bagley lake with American Peak in the upper left corner. Outside the picture on the other side of American Peak is Canada Peak and these two peaks are on the US Canadian border just a few airmiles away. This area has turned out to be one of our favorite places and we look forward to returning here next year.

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