I was standing out on our back deck a little bit ago, watching the dog as she sniffed around the yard, when suddenly in the corner of my eye I saw a large, dark shape fly out of view. I whipped my head around in time to see an adult bald eagle flying just above the neighbor's trees.
This happens from time to time--a reminder of how beautiful this region is. Sometimes it's a little thing. Sometimes it's huge.
Yesterday, some friends and I went snowboarding at Mount Baker Ski Area in the North Cascades. I'd never been there before, but had heard nothing but great things about the place. Someone asks, "What are you doing this weekend?" I answer, "Going to Mount Baker," and they smile and their eyes drift off to the ceiling, before eventually they say, "You're going to love it."
Yeah, I love it.
The drive itself is a wonderful trip through farmland, tulip country, and lush forests. The road winds through small, picturesque communities before snaking its way through the mountains and ending in the parking lot of the ski area.
Upon stepping out of the vehicle, my mouth dropped open as I looked around. Towering snowy peaks in all directions, the most overwhelming of which is Mount Shuksan, a massive glaciated peak that would remain in our sight for most of the day. The ski area itself is located on the Shuksan Arm, which connects the 10,778-foot Mount Baker with the 9,127-foot Mount Shuksan.
With such amazing surroundings, sunny blue skies, and Baker's incredibly diverse terrain, this was easily my best day of boarding this year, both in terms of sheer fun and my own performance. A perfect end to the season. Now, bring on the camping and hiking!
Photo Set HERE. Slideshow HERE.