|Joseph carefully improves his rock monument at Table Mountain|
Trusting a favorable weather forecast, we loaned Isabella a pair of hiking boots and ascended the Mount Baker Highway to its spectacular dead end at Artist Point, swarming with day visitors and the occasional renegade off leash hound. Our day hike to the peak of Table Mountain just barely qualified as a 'hike' given that the round trip total totaled 1.6 miles. But climbing the 420 feet to summit along the sheer cliffs at Joseph's pace did elevate our heart rates.
"I was trying to creep her out!" Joseph admitted, confirming my suspicions as to what had inspired him to blurt, "I sure hope the volcano doesn't explode today!" as we paused on one of the switchbacks. In fact, Isabella had not realized we were hiking on a volcano, but since Joseph so delicately brought it to her attention, we were able to share a bit of local geography knowledge with our Australian guest.
|A final force|
The actual explosions we witnessed were not volcanic, but rather the result of an attempted 'tall-as-me' tower construction project on the peak by Joseph. Tempted by piles of rocks on Table Mountain, Joseph set to work balancing stacks and nearly reached his height. But a slight builder's tremor caused the creation to come tumbling down with a forceful detonation, thoroughly impressing a group of 5th grade boys from Ferndale whose school group had just reached the peak. Several of them immediately set to work building their own towers amidst the rocky landing.
|Joseph, Bridget, Isabella and a summit cloud concealing Mount Baker's peak|
Our quick trek back down to the parking area offered a few final peeks at the almost visible tip of Mount Baker, but the pesky summit clouds kept the full stature of the mountain veiled. We could hardly complain, though, as the clouds only added to the dramatic backdrop of our midday mountain adventure.
Day 3 follows.
|Joseph at 5,520 feet, Mount Shuksan beyond|
|Bridget and Joseph on Table Mountain|
|Joseph's first trip up Table Mountain (age 5 mos) ~ a sleepy passenger on Tim's back|
|me and the mountains plus clouds|