Saturday, September 21, 2013

Seattle Bound

Seattle Bound! August 20-21
Seattle Skyline

After a restful evening camping on the shores of Puget Sound I ordered up coffee and an omelet from Chef DJ and dined on the beach for breakfast. Afterwards I drove to Battle Point Park to burn some of those calories off by skating and taking shots at their outdoor hockey rink. I got a little more than I bargained for when a couple of 7 year olds that were there schooled me in the art of hockey.

Who knew big cranes keep Mt. Rainier from falling!?
Barely surviving the peewee hockey onslaught I showered off and headed down to the ferry. The last time I drove a vehicle on a ferry was during a high school surf expedition down to Cape Hatteras in my 1975 Chevy Caprice Classic. The "Metallic Dinosaur" as we called it, had dropped its exhaust system just minutes before loading on to the ferry. I'm not sure which was louder, my car or the ferry. Actually, it was no contest, the Metallic Dinosaur's un-muffled V-8 was ear splitting. Of course, that didn't stop us from terrorizing the Outer Banks all week. But I digress. So putting those bittersweet memories behind, I loaded on to the ferry  and watched as the Seattle skyline grew bigger and more pronounced by the minute.

Seattle Ferris,...I mean Ferry. Actually Both!
Chugging the van up some San Franciscan like hills I stepped out for a walk in Cal Anderson Park prior to moseying over to Bloedel Hall to attend a Dharmma talk by Rodney Smith who has been a "virtual" teacher of mine for many years. The series of talks I joined was the advanced topic of Dependent Origination (essentially the western "law of cause and effect", but in exquisite detail.) and that night's topic was "Desire". It was a nice treat to actually be there in person and participate in the evening instead of listening to it afterward via the internet. 

Mt. Baker
Although it was a little, actually a lot out of the way, it was recommended to me as a "not to be missed" destination so the next day I worked my way north to within spitting distance of Canada. Of course,  I didn't spit because Canada is a good neighbor and there is no reason to be disrespectful. And if I did spit then they would be like, "Hey, what's that all a boot?" Which would make me laugh hysterically because I find that accent hilarious and then from there an international incident might flair up. And we wouldn't want that! So to wrap up a way too long introduction, the destination I'm referring to was to be "Artist Point" which is within the Mt. Baker/Mt. Shuksan basin. 

With a name like "Artist Point" you have to expect some pretty glorious views and I wasn't disappointed. The first afternoon and evening I shot the Hell out of both Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan. Not surprisingly, many of those pics were of Mt. Shuksan with "Picture Lake" in the foreground. Supposedly this is "The Most Photographed" spot in all of the National Parks. I'm not sure if that is true and I don't know who is in charge of tabulating those statistics,  but for the record you can go ahead and add another  150 shots! The fact that it was the night of the full moon and I love shooting in moonlight didn't hurt me greatly increasing the shot count. 

Mt. Shuksan in "Picture Lake". Is this photo upside down?   Hard to tell. Hint: to properly view, stand on your head!
In the morning I hiked the ridge trail and got some panoramas of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker which is still active and occasionally blows off some steam. On the way down I chatted with Ranger Graham about the areas geology and potential for tragedy or natural growth to the immediate areas, depending on one's perspective.

 From there I politely  shouted "Au revoir "to our Canadian neighbors and headed south through Sedro-Woolley on to explore some more of the North Cascades Mountains..........

Juggling Snowballs in August!

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