Hiking with My HusbandFebruary 2, 2008
It’s been raining for days. Perfect puzzle weather. But I’m feeling like I need to “get out.” So I’ve been thinking about our last vacation: Jay and I spent a week in Mt. Baker National Park in September. We were blessed with seven days of sunshine, warm weather, nice drives, friendly people, good meals and relaxation. In other words: The Perfect Vacation. Our “base camp” was a cozy rustic resort in the woods outside Glacier, Washington, called Snowater.
We hiked. A lot. And we always took the long-cut. (This is the opposite of short-cut – ask my sister.)
We saw a lot of fungi. Not sure why. Maybe because of the unusual amount of rain last summer. We called them “funguys,” because of their often uncanny resemblance to a particular body part. (It’s all about the power of observation. Like watching big fluffy clouds and picking out animal shapes.) We have a hundred photos of funguys. I took a lot of amazing pictures of other wild things, too. Mostly my husband’s butt. (He always hikes in front of me.)
He does this because he is “Forger of the trail. Protector of the wife. Fearless breaker of spider webs.” (Also, Breaker of the wind.) He is usually in front because I stop for Kodak Moments, wandering off the trail in search of the perfect light through the perfect tree at the perfect funguy. Then I break my own wind. I mean spider webs.
Our hikes were very quiet. Few people. One day the trek was less populated than others. It was a beautiful trail winding along side the rushing Nooksack River. Rush hour traffic consisted of two slugs crossing the very same trail. They were still crossing on our way back, a couple of hours later.
Northwest hiking is not like California. It’s pretty and cool. Pretty cool. Also green. California is pretty cool, but in the summer it’s not cool, and rarely green.
Not far from Mt. Baker, back down 215, is Bellingham and the beautiful San Juan Islands. Also whales. Three pods of resident whales totaling 92 live in the bay. We saw 58 of them on a six hour leisurely boating excursion around about a thousand little islands.
A late lunch, on a dock, in the late afternoon sun, overlooking a sparkling blue, island-dotted bay, with a meal of the freshest fish and the crispest Pinot Grigio, HAS to be about the best.
Unless it’s a late dinner, by the fire, in a cozy mountain restaurant, with a flavorful grass-fed, perfectly grilled New York strip, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mt. Baker winery.
I told Jay we should consider retiring there. Then we learned that was the only nice week these folks had all year. (I guess there were a couple of sunny days earlier in the summer but they were so hot the mosquitoes and other bugs held these good people hostage in their own homes.)
So we’re not retiring there. But we’d visit again. For sure.
I still need to “get out.”