On Top Of The World

One thing about predicting the weather in the Pacific Northwest — you can’t go wrong with guessing RAIN. It’s days like this that I wish I could move to some place sunny and warm all the time. Even the Sahara Desert sounds pretty good right now. However, when I look at some of the photos I’ve taken of the places around here; I can understand why I put up with the rain for all these years.

Here are some snap shots I took of one of the most beautiful places on Earth: The Artist Point. If you see the place, you would understand why its name is so fitting. This beautiful majestic vista will take your breath away and make you feel like you are standing on top of the world.

Artist Point is located at the end of Mount Baker Highway, State Route 542 and boasts 360-degree views of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker, as well as access to a variety of trails. The road to Artist Point is 2.7 miles long and more than 5,000 feet above sea level. It is typically buried under snow and closed from October through July. Typically it opens in late July when the snow have melted enough for the road to be passable and remains open until late September or early October.

If you look at the upper right corner of the second photo, you’ll see a trail. This 6 mile steep trail will lead you to the Mt. Baker photo above.

Here is a close up view of the trail. It’s a lot steeper than it looks. Good thing I had Max to help pull me up the trail. Judging from his ear to ear grin, he was a very happy pup.

Here is the view Max was looking at — Mt. Shuksan. It is one of the most photographed mountains in the Cascade Range. 

Max and I have spent many beautiful, sunny days exploring the wilderness that Mt. Baker has to offer. Our last expedition to Mt. Shuksan’s Lake Ann was unsuccessful because of  bears. I didn’t see the bears but Max could smell them. As we came around the corner of the trail, his fur stood up on the back of his neck and he barked viciously. At first I thought Max was just spooked by a squirel and I tried to go around him but he blocked the path and pushed me back. He would not let me go past. Max is probably the most friendliest dog on earth. And for him to behave that way, I know better than to ignore his warning. We turned back — even if we were only a mile away from the lake. We later heard from other hikers that they saw bears on trail.

Maximus, my protector…  terrified of the vacuum cleaner and yet not afraid of bears.

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Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 ft (82 m) waterfall on the Snoqualmie River between Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington, USA. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Washington’s most popular scenic attractions. However, the area is best known internationally for its appearance in the television series Twin Peaks. Unfortunately, the land is owned by the Puget Sound Energy, and most of the Snoqualmie river is diverted into the power plants.

The historic Salish Lodge & Spa overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. The original building on the site was erected in 1919. It was completely remodeled in 1988 and the fireplace is the only remaining part of the original structure. Besides the amazing close up view of the falls, I hear the lodge is famous for their fantastic breakfast menu. Although, it looks like a beautiful place to stay; I’m not sure how easy it would be to sleep with the loud thundering sound of the water falls roaring all night long…