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Canyon Creek & Damfino Lakes – Mountain Biking – September 29, 2012

Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) was our intended mountain bike ride for the day.  Eric had been wanting to check it out because it’s the only trail in the Mt. Baker Ranger District open to mountain bikes.  This trail is just a “stone’s throw” from Canada, immediately north of Mt Baker, in Washington State.

On our Green Trails map (#13, Mt Baker), Canyon Ridge is a dotted line trail, which can be code for “bushwhack.”  As such, I started the day with an attitude of adventure, thinking that any “good” riding would be a “bonus.”

Little did we know that our adventure would start sooner rather than later.  Right at the highway, the Canyon Creek Road (#31) was CLOSED.  What?!

We found out from the ranger at the Glacier Public Service Center that the road had actually been closed for 2 years because of a partial road washout.  (That shows you how often we frequent the Mt Baker highway!)  When we got home, I found this page on the Forest Service website, showing the list of road conditions.

Instead of going elsewhere, we decided to ride up the road to see what was up there.  As I have done before, I called this a “Gratitude Saturday.”  To me, that means I’m open to how the day will unfold, instead of trying to make it live up to preconceived plans.  It also means that I feel particularly content and appreciative of the “little” things.  On this day, I loved just being on my bike, with my husband, in the mountains, under the trees, next to the creeks, and among the critters.  Bliss 🙂

Canyon Creek Road (#31) leaves the Mt Baker Highway 542 at about 900 ft elevation.  It terminates at 4200 ft elevation.  The trailhead for Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) and Damfino Lakes Trail (#625) is located at road’s end.

We ended up biking the entire 15 mile road…a workout!  About the first third was paved.  The middle section alternated between pavement and gravel.  The final third was gravel.  By the time we got to the trailhead, we decided that the destination for the day would be Damfino Lakes rather than Canyon Ridge.

The short, 0.8 mile trail to Damfino Lakes (#625) was in surprisingly decent shape for being essentially cut off from the majority of civilization.  (Although we did see motorcycle traffic that day).  The trail climbed 400 ft.  The lakes were small, but beautiful.

In these pictures, you will see some of the “little” things that I photographed during the day, with gratitude:

  • Grey-blue glacial water flowing in the N. Fork Nooksack River
  • Peek-a-boo views of the Canyon Creek Valley
  • Fields of fireweed in a clearcut (I just had to imagine how intense the color must have been when it was all blooming)
  • Old logging signage from the 1950’s
  • Canyon Creek as it parallels the road
  • Bridges, flowers, mountains, valleys, patches of snow
  • Damfino Lakes
  • Glimpses of Mt Baker

[Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery]

“Experience the Cabela’s Adventure Today”  -Cabela’s website

A new Cabela’s store opened April 19, 2012 in Tulalip, Washington.  “Hunting. Fishing. Outdoor Gear. World’s Foremost Outfitter.”  Oh, joy.  Exactly what the world needs more of:  glorification of animal killing.

“Walk through the main door and look up to see two mounted Orcas chasing a school of Chinook.”  -HeraldNet

Since opening day, the parking lot’s been constantly packed.  I know this because I drive past the place every time I drive to and from work.  (Between the Tulalip Tribe Resort/Casino, the new Cabela’s and the adjacent Seattle Premium Outlets (outlet mall), there is no evidence that I can see of our “down economy.”  But, I digress.)

“Displays will feature 200 animal mounts, including bears, elk, grouse and otters.”  -HeraldNet

There is a banner displayed on the outside of the store:  “Personal Defense & Home Protection.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight:  You’re the quintessential Cabela’s customer.  You enter the store to buy items that are specifically designed to– track, sight, call, bait, lure, decoy, catch, shoot, target, kill, gut, skin, butcher, season, cure, brine, grill, dehydrate, smoke, grind, slice, and vacuum seal– living, breathing, sentient animals who are simply minding their own business, trying to survive and thrive.  Right so far?

You– Mr. Average Joe Hunter & Mr Average Bob Fisherman– go out in nature with all of your Cabela’s “goods” with the hope that something– someone— will die at your hands.  If the purchased items fulfill their intended purposes, then lives will be taken.

You want to take the life of an animal.  It’s not your life, it’s his life (or hers).  But you want it for yourself.  His body belongs to him, but you don’t care.  You feel entitled to it.  You don’t consider his needs, only your own wants.  You don’t empathize with the animal, despite the fact that he will fight to survive in whatever situation becomes threatening to him.

How ironic that…

When you navigate the world, you want to remain comfortable.  You seek contentment.  You know that your life is your own.  Your body belongs to you.  You withdraw from pain.  You don’t want to be hurt, and you don’t want to be killed.  You will defend yourself against threats to your safety and the safety of your family.  Maintain “PERSONAL DEFENSE.”

When you come home, you expect that your shelter will be undisturbed.  You don’t want others to take that which does not belong to them.  You assume that your belongings are secure because “what’s yours is yours.”  Maintain “HOME PROTECTION.”

Sorry, I don’t get it.

You want to take the life of another, but you don’t want to have the same circumstance visited upon yourself?  It makes no sense to me whatsoever.  Can’t you see the contradiction?  Can’t you choose to live in a better way?  If you think you have the courage to do so, then I can help show you how.  Let me help you.

“This is freaking impressive,” said Tyler Schmidt, a 16-year-old from Arlington making his first visit to a Cabela’s store. “When I die, this is where I want to go.”  -Marysville Globe

I like this comedy bit from Ellen Degeneres about hunting:

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown


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