Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

Mount Baker, Washington

Mount Baker is another Washington State more or less active volcano. It sits at an elevation of about 10,770 feet and is one of the snowiest places in the world. As much as 95 feet of snowfall a year has been recorded at the ski area on the western slope at about 5,000 feet.

We've never seen Mount Baker so we decided to make sandwiches and devote the day to exploring the mountain.

Like most state entities, Washington State is having budget problems. I don't think they've decided whether to spend the money to clear the road to Artist's Point at about 5,300 feet.

The machine above is a really serious piece of snow clearing equipment. The blades on the front show evidence of wear and serial welding repair.

This is a D8 Caterpillar, modified to serve as a ridiculously overpowered diesel snowplow . Personally, I really like JB Weld epoxy. One JB Weld user claims to have repaired a cracked block on a D8 with JB Weld and subsequently saved his company $40,000. Another used it to repair broken dentures. I use it for anything that needs to be glued together like molten iron. One of my favorite SF stories is about a demented D8 on a Pacific Island that becomes sentient and attempts to murder it's human operators.

Funny...It's 50 degrees up here but it feels warm in a t-shirt.

We take a little hike along a river with class five rapids. It would be fun to schedule a float here.

The walk along the river is a rain forest environment. The moist air blows in from the Pacific and is uplifted 10,000 feet. The result is a lot of rain at the lower levels and snow up high.

Biomass is everywhere here. Moss, ferns and green stuff covers everything.


  1. looks like an awesome place...sil

  2. Beastly Machines! Didn't think snow required such raw strength? Guess I am from the South..... lol