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Sunday, June 14, 2015…
It’s time for a hike!
Since Todd was born over 9.5 months ago, we’ve gotten outdoors with Todd to do lots of active and fun activities: skiing, walking/hiking, rollerblading, and bike riding. It’s been great! But– before this weekend, our hiking was limited to a few stroller-friendly trails (Bagley Lakes, Rainy Lake, Big Four Ice Caves).
Now– it’s time to start carrying him in a pack. We’ve had our Ergobaby carrier ready for use since before Todd was born. Testing out the pack in the house revealed that Todd looked a lot more comfortable sitting on my back (compared to Eric’s).
We chose Anderson Butte for this week’s destination because: 1) it’s within a couple hours driving distance from home, 2) it’s a short hike (1.4 miles one way), and 3) it offers spectacular mountain views.
We’ve been to Anderson Butte, Watson Lakes, and Anderson Lakes a few times before– long ago (~13 years ago!)– when we used to do a lot of backcountry skiing. (The highlighting on our map shows our previous trip routes).
The Anderson Butte trail is located just east of Baker Lake (near Mt Baker, WA). You take Highway 20 and then the Baker Lake Road. You cross the dam (which has a neat view waaay down the spillway) and then you go a few miles on the gravelly, switchbacking, and sometimes steep Anderson Creek Rd (#1107), to the Anderson-Watson trailhead (Tr 611.1 and Tr 611.2). The trailhead elevation is 4300 feet.
Todd slept in the car on the way to the trail, and then woke up for the hike. He enjoyed looking at all the scenery on the way up. The trail is fairly rocky overall, and we do always hike with a pair of old ski poles. Eric mounted our GoPro camera on one of his poles. The camera has a nice, wide angle lens.
The temperature was perfectly “warm but not hot,” and there was a good bit of shade from the forest canopy. I put a little sunscreen on Todd’s face, but he does still need a proper sun hat.
As you can see from the map, the trail gets much steeper after you take the left turn for Anderson Butte (after 0.9 miles). The views looking to the north/northeast open up once you reach the ridge line. I’m not sure which mountains are pictured here, but Mt Blum, Hagan Mountain, and Bacon Peak are in the foreground, somewhere. The Picket Range (Mt Challenger, Crooked Thumb Peak, Phantom Peak & Mt Fury) is somewhere further away. These 3 pics form a scene from left to right…
From the top (5400 ft), you can also see both Mt Shuksan…
and Mt. Baker…
We had the summit to ourselves, and Todd was happy to get his hands in some dirt. He tried his best to taste the various rocks and plant matter. “Yucky,” I kept repeating. (I wasn’t able to soak in too many mountain views at the time, or else I’d have risked having a choking victim on my hands. It’s nice to have these pictures now.)
Before we headed down, Todd had a quick snack.
Note that we did have to negotiate one blow down on the trail…
On the way down from the top, it was clear that Todd was getting tired of being confined, but after a short bit of fussing, he fell asleep for part of the descent.
We got back to the car 2.5 hours after we started. We kept a leisurely pace. Our first “real” hike with Todd was a success!
Baby Todd, you are one lucky boy! You were born to a family of hikers, mountain bikers, skiers…mountain lovers! Adventure awaits! Naturally, your first trip to the mountains would come early…
FIRST TRIP – 9/27/14
Artist Point & Bagley Lakes
Mt Baker, WA
On September 27th, when Todd was 5 weeks old, we felt ready to take on a long car trip. We were itching to get out into the mountains, so we drove to the end of the Mt Baker Highway (SR 542), to Artist Point, elevation 5210 ft.
(By the way, this is where you access the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail. Check out these spectacular pictures of Mt Baker and Mt Shukshan, from the route.)
Todd does great on car rides of any length. He falls fast asleep! I’m not positive, but I think this trip took about 2.5 hours each way.
Once we arrived at the popular destination, we pulled out some chairs and fed the boy. Mt Shuksan was in the clouds.
We walked along the stroller-friendly nature path, to views of a partially clouded Mt Baker. I don’t think Todd opened his eyes to look.
Some nice people offered to take our picture, with Ptarmigan Ridge in the background. I’ve hiked that trail before, and we also once did a backcountry ski trip along that route.
We took our first family selfie. No one smiled…
After we topped off Todd’s tank with some more food, we drove a short stretch down the road to the Bagley Lakes Trailhead. Another stroller-friendly path greeted us.
We tried to show him the columnar basalt, but all he would do is sleep…
Pictures of Bagley Lakes…
Clearly, Todd’s first trip to the mountains was memorable for him! He slept the whole way home, too.
By the time we left, the clouds over Mt Shuksan had lifted…