The Broken Bridge and Other Stories

So. Last weekend we went down to Mt. Baker.

Helen Tripp, a friend of John and Gayle’s (and our officient), has a timeshare down at Snowater at the bottom of a spur of Mt. Baker, and let John and Gayle use it for the week. We went down Friday night and Lisa flew in on Saturday morning. Five people in an one bedroom condo may seem a little crowded but was actually fun (though apparently I should take dominoes a little less seriously).

I was just coming down with a cold and was trying not to have a repeat of the germ fiasco that was January, so I determined to take it easy. With the number of books on hand, that was not terribly challenging.

On Saturday morning, we all lounged around reading until Steve, John & Lisa decided to take advantage of the unexpected sun and head up the mountain. I didn’t go. See above re: easy.

Pre-hiking quietness:

They decided to go all the way up to Artist’s Ridge to try and get better views of Baker proper.

Here is (some hill that isn’t Mt. Baker but looks like it ought to be).

Here is some more (random hill that isn’t Mt. Baker), from Artist’s Point.

Someone turned the table… um, camera… on Steve. So cute! I almost wished I had gone. Almost.

Saturday night (as I recall) we had round one of a competitive Mexican Train tournament.

Sunday, I was feeling a bit better, so Steve and I went for a walk up the Nooksack river. The river trail basically starts right outside the door of the condo, and the Nooksack is so darn pretty, that I didn’t take TOO much convincing. Steve was pretty good about taking photos on the way back, so we got some good exercise on the way up. We crossed the highway to where we could let the dog off the leash and took the Horseshoe Trail to the very end, then wandered back.

We came across a stunningly beautiful pool beside a sandy beach. It was protected from the current by huge rocks. Had the water not been icy, icy snowmelt from the infite glaciers of Mt. Baker, it would have been a great place to swim.

As it was, no. Just no.

Steve took a photo of me and Angel by the pool. In penance, he had to carry some of the rocks I picked up.

We found a deeply strange rock on the edge of the pool. It was green and red with white stripes. Angel obligingly stood on it to add interest to the photo.

When we first reached the trailhead for the Horseshoe Trail, there were big signs up warning hikers not to go on the second bridge as it was damaged by storms. When we got to the bridge, it was a bit slanted, but I gave it a good shake and it seemed sturdy enough, so we went across as happy as could be. I guess the West Coast Trail affects your judgement when it comes to the apparent safety of bridges, ’cause we didn’t think about it again, except to take a picture on the return journey.

The next day, however, Lisa and John walked the same trail. They heeded the signs, and did the scramble below the bridge. Turns out all the support beams on one side were cracked through. Oops!

We determined that Steve prefers rainforest and I prefer the drier, lighter forests of the interior. We decided part of our vows should be “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in rainforest or boreal”… I wonder if Helen would go for that?

On the way back down the river, we enjoyed the slanting sunbeams through the rainforest, on the bare alders and on the blue-green Nooksack River.

There was more lounging in the afternoon, with Angel being cute, cuddley and cadge-y, trying to get illicent food whenever possible.

Here she is trying to get into the ‘pub mix’ while simultaneously cuddling with Gayle.

Sunday evening was round two of cutthroat Mexican Train. Sometimes I’m lucky. Other times I swear. Steve and I made delicious curries — well, Steve spiced, I chopped. It was great fun. We only had tense words once which, for a galley kitchen, is pretty damn good.

After a leisurely start to Monday morning, we drove off to further adventures up the Nooksack. We drove down a tiny, slick little dirt road to see the Nooksack Falls. Last year when we went down we couldn’t get in at all. The falls are spectacular, though frankly a little nerve-wracking. There are signs All Over The Place telling you not to go beyond the fence or YOU’LL DIE IMMEDIATELY. Which is not to say that I don’t agree with the signs. They even have a slightly macabre listing of all the people who have died — trying to get a better picture, no doubt, as Steve found it difficult to get a shot of all the falls at once. I can see the temptation to go over the fence in search of the perfect photo… but we were sensible. Or scared.

On the other side of the sign from ‘The List’, there was some interesting history about the area. It had been developed by some ‘mining’ entrepreneurs who actually wanted to use the force of the falls to generate hydroelectricity. Their ruse worked, and the Pelton wheel generating station was in use for over 100 years, only closing in 1997. They had a flume (the original was fir staves held together by iron bands — picture a REALLY long barrel) that carried the water down a kilometre or two down to the riverside where the generating station was. The pictures showed the plant was in a really graceful 19th century building, so we went down the road to where it was, hoping for a glimpse. No luck. There were huge No Trespassing signs everywhere threatening dire consequences for those who went further… and we’re scared of consequences, so we turned around. Here’s a photo of the flume instead.

Monday afternoon we snuck in a few more games of highly intense Mexican Train, then an early dinner and back to the Coast! We made the last ferry with time to spare — enough time, in fact to go up to Cypress Lookout and look at the lights of the city.

It was a lovely holiday. Thank you Helen, and John, Gayle and Lisa for their hospitality and for hiding all the sugary treats until after we had left 🙂

Speaking of, we still held off sugar through Valentine’s Day, when we went out to dinner at the Old Boot in Sechelt… mmm, lamb. Next week I’m going to start a six-week exercise program called ‘Boot Camp’, God help me. My mum started Curves, so we can commiserate. I’m looking forward to this program, even though I’m dreading it. Hopefully, I’ll be in the same position fitness-wise at the beginning of April as I usually am at the beginning of July. Yay! Boo. Yay! Boo.

Yay! Boo.

And on the wedding front, I’ve got everything in hand to start invitation-making. We’re in town this weekend for the Chinese New Year and to see Lisa and run all kinds of errands. Somewhere between semi-finals of the Great Mexican Train Tournament I hope to make an invitation production line.

Choo choo stamp choo choo stamp choo choo stamp damn! choo choo stamp choo choo

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