Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
I'm Retired
Joined
·
9,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A couple of us from Calvary Chapel, Lynnwood and Brian650 took a trip up to Artist Point on Mt. Baker yesterday. Since three of us were from the same church, I used that as a start off location. You can see my 400, Deborah, in the foreground. Then Pastor Scott and his Triumph Bonneville. Next is Doug on his silver 2007 400. At the end is Brian and Mel, his wife, with their silver 650.

[attachment=14:j97kd09t]P1030985a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]
Just a half-hour up the road is a convenient rest stop on I-5. We stopped there to do an initial check to see how everyone was doing before jumping off to hit the back roads.

[attachment=13:j97kd09t]P1030987a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]
Our route, should you be interested, was to get off just after the Smokey Point rest stop and take Hwy 530 over to Hwy 9 north. We'd basically follow that north till we hit the Mt. Baker Highway, Hwy 542. http://binged.it/Ppb19y Here's a picture of what the end looks like on Bing maps. What I love about the end part, is there are curves where 15 mph is way too fast. I have almost no "chicken strips" on these tires now!

[attachment=0:j97kd09t]Artist Point End.jpeg[/attachment:j97kd09t]
Hwy 9 is a delightful road to take up north. You soon get out of any towns of size once you're north of Arlington. It's hills, trees and pastures. The towns like Acme have only a few hundred people...maybe. The curves range from some gentle sweepers, to some hard 90 degree turns in towns so small, Bing maps doesn't even give them a name. Alongside you, is the Nooksack river, making it's way from the north side of Mt. Baker and picking up water all the way down as it grows from a small fast moving river, to a wide broad one in the lower elevations. The scenery is constantly changing and just lifts your spirits.

Up at Kendall, you take a sharp right and continue along on Hwy 542, the Mt. Baker Highway. For much of the way, the road is lined with tall evergreens. If traffic is light, you can have some fun playing with more and more turns. Those make way to open vistas as you get closer to Heather Meadows where the Mt. Baker Ski area is located. You want to be a little careful through those areas...there aren't any guard rails. If no one sees you go off...they'd have no idea where you were, and you'd be a long way down.

I "forced" everyone to pull over on the last few miles to Heather Meadows. It's not really hard, when you're the ride leader. :lol: I did tell everyone to bring your cameras and if you found a stop you wanted to make for a picture, to do so. This is Mt. Shuksan in the background. From the left to the right, is Pastor Scott, Doug, Mel, and Brian.

[attachment=12:j97kd09t]P1030988a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

I was amazed at the glacier going down the middle of Mt. Shuksan in this view. Size is hard to estimate here. There's really no reference. But the large abrupt end to the glacier where it is falling off the edge, looks to be about 500 feet thick. That's a lot of ice and snow! Mt. Shuksan is "only" 9131 ft high, Mt. Baker being 10,781 ft high. Some would say they are no big deal. Colorado has peaks over 14,000 ft high. But I drove my 66 VW Beetle to the top of one of those in Colorado. That picture of Mt. Shuksan makes it seems like it would be a bit difficult to do the same. :)

[attachment=11:j97kd09t]P1030990a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=10:j97kd09t]P1030991a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]
When we got to Artist Point, there isn't much there but a bathroom and parking lot. I told the group we'd meet up in an hour, and they could split up or do whatever they wanted. Everyone said an hour was too long. That was till Pastor Scott took a walk up one of the trails around the edge of the 20 foot high wall of snow on the edge of the parking lot. One vista after another unfolded before our eyes. It wasn't long till he and Doug both said an hour isn't long enough. Several hours were really needed to just soak in the beauty of what you could see. Here's Pastor Scott and Doug with Mt. Baker in the background.

[attachment=9:j97kd09t]P1030994a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=8:j97kd09t]P1030995a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

This one is the background wallpaper now on my home computer. I couldn't get a good angle on it, but right in the middle is a area of hillside that looks like someone took an ice cream scoop and carved out a very definite "S" in the mountainside, and it is partially filled with snow now. The picture doesn't do it justice. This area is jaw-dropping.

[attachment=7:j97kd09t]P1030996a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=6:j97kd09t]P1030997a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=5:j97kd09t]P1040001a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=4:j97kd09t]P1040002a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=3:j97kd09t]P1040004a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]
To give you some perspective, the dot you see on the highway past us, is a motorcyclist.

[attachment=2:j97kd09t]P1040005a.jpg[/attachment:j97kd09t]

[attachment=1:j97kd09t]P1040006a.JPG[/attachment:j97kd09t]

This trip to me was very special. I've made the ride to Heather Meadows and Artist Point a few times in the past. Twice, the road was still closed to Artist Point. The first time when I found it closed, I decided to hike up to find it. I'm not sure if I actually did find it, since I'd never been to the end of the road. Then two years ago, I got there the day after it opened. In fact, I watched them dig out the bathroom...which was in about 30 feet of snow at the end of July. Last summer, the road never opened. There was just too much snow. So this time was special. Not only was the road open, but enough of the snow was melted off to allow exploring the nearby trails. The window of opportunity for this was so small. In a few weeks, the rain and clouds will move in, and while you'll be able to hike, you may not see much of anything.

If you're interested in the pictures from the previous trips, do a search in the Rode Stories here for "Baker", "Artist Point" or "Heather Meadows".

Chris
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,235 Posts
Beautiful pictures Chris.
 

·
I'm Retired
Joined
·
9,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
P.S. You just gotta love that 400...69 mpg over the trip.

Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
No one can dispute the naked grandeur of the western peaks. Thanks for taking me along with you. I wish I could scream up that last section with y'all.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top