Sunshine on Mt. Baker

The low winter light on Mt. Baker this afternoon was as nice as I’ve ever seen it as I bicycled east on Slater Road. There’s lots of fresh snow on the mountain, and the Black Buttes cast long shadows on the side of the peak, accentuating the volcano’s shape and texture. It would have been picture perfect except for the uninteresting strip of clouds hanging over the summit.

I wasn’t in a position to do any photography anyway. I’d been working furiously preparing high-res files for a stock agency and just had to get out of the office and burn off some energy, so I went for a brisk but relatively short bike ride in the afternoon sun. I only rode a little under 17 miles today, cruising along the flatlands near the Nooksack in a loop that took me out Marine Drive, up Ferndale Road, east on Slater, and then back to town on Northwest.

Wednesday afternoon I also took off for a ride, but with more hills and an inevitably slower pace. It’s nice to be able to get out and ride during the winter months to keep my blood circulating and general fitness level up.

I’ve also put in a couple of days of kayaking since Thanksgiving. The first was about 10 miles on Lake Shannon near Concrete, with glorious views of both Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan. It was a gloriously sunny day with heavy frost on the ground when we launched. The second kayak outing was on Saturday on the Samish River, paddling upstream from the mouth at Edison. It was a cold and snowy day, although we didn’t get snowed on as heavily as we thought we would. There were numerous bald eagles and other raptors perched in the bare trees along the river and several blue herons at the water’s edge. We also saw lots of coots and smaller numbers of other waterfowl. Upstream of the tidal influence the current was about 1 mph, just enough to notice but not enough to cause a lot of extra work.

The Mt. Baker ski area opened on November 27 and I went up for opening day. The snow was cold, the sky blue, and the skiing great. I ran out of legs before I ran out of daylight.

We’ve got so many recreational opportunities around here that it’s sometime hard to decide just how to go out and play. That’s a blessing.

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