My Polish grandmother used to say when the weather was lovely "It is a sin not to be outdoors on a day like this."
Well Thursday was a magnificent day and not wishing to be sinners Mary Ann called David, our son, and together we went to the end of the road at Mt. Baker, to "Artist Point." It takes takes less than one hour to go by car from our house to the parking lot at Artist Point. Since Mary Ann broke her neck two years ago she has not been able to walk the distance to the end of the path from the parking lot but David and I did. Here is a photo of me at the end of the path with Mt. Shuksan in the background. I am facing west, toward Mt. Baker.
We moved to Bellingham over 40 years ago and have loved it for the opportunities for outdoor living. In the early days we would go hiking and camping with our two sons. We climbed to the tops of various ridges and vista points all through the North Cascades but we never attempted to climb Mt. Baker or Shuksan. We knew which trails opened first as they had more sun and the snow would melt soonest. Some of our favorite hikes would be in the high alpine meadows but often they would not be open for hiking until late August or early September and if we had an early snow before we got up there we would not do that hike in that year. We got books on the
wild flowers of the Pacific Northwest and taught our sons to identify them. David really took to hiking and loved it but Todd would rather be on pavement than on the trail in the forest. As we get older we have to give up some of our favorite hikes but the roads here take us up into the mountains which allows us to drive to where we can get some of the most incredible views imaginable so we still get out but do not do the hiking we so loved years ago. For many years during the summer months we would dedicate one day each week for a hike in the forest and take turns deciding which hike we would take. Each year we would also plan at least one camping trip and one visit to Mexico, Guatemala or some other destination in a warm climate in the winter.
Just so you don't sell your home and move to Bellngham let me add that not all days in the summer are like this. In the winter months we get weeks on end where we do not see the sun and clear sky. When it rains it drizzles down. Often we think we had a good rain and the weather report says it was a 'trace.' That is one reason we always take off for sunny areas for a week or two in mid-winter. But, when the sun is shining it is a sin not to be outdoors as this is God's country.