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Baker Lodge

 

March 16-18, 2007

 

Daniel and I spent a winter weekend at the Mountaineers Lodge at Mt. Baker.  The weather was wet and unseasonably warm, so we had periodic rain during the weekend, rather than fresh snow.  Even so we had a good time getting away and playing in the snow together.  Daniel spent most of his time constructing a huge snow fort, with me as his assistant laborer.

 

We drove up on Friday evening.  To get to the lodge, we had to carry our gear up steps carved into the twelve-foot snowbanks at the edge of the parking area, and then we used our sled to haul it to the lodge.  Daniel settled right in with his tea and papers to invent games during the indoor times.

 

Daniel pulling our gear to the lodge.

Daniel with his tea and papers in the dining room.

The weather provided only a brief glimpse of the classic view of Mt. Shuksan from the lodge windows.

 

In the morning we began work on the snow fort.  We dug out a large central cave, plus started a side tunnel and curtain walls.  The warm snow shoveled easily, but left the workers very wet.

Starting to dig

Building up the walls

Hauling snow out of the cave

 

In the afternoon, we also went sledding for awhile, and I persuaded Daniel to hike along Lower Bagley lake to see the bridge that we had crossed in previous summers, now covered in eight feet of snow.

Daniel sledding down toward Lower Bagley Lake

Bridge at outlet of Lower Bagley Lake, viewed from the frozen center of the lake

Daniel on the same bridge in 2005, viewed from the shore of the lake

 

Daniel sledded in his usual breakneck way, as shown by the following sequence:

 

     

Starting Downhill

Gaining Speed

Tilting

 

 

 

Overturned

Crash Landing

Aftermath

 

In between outdoor sessions, we warmed up again in the lodge.

 

Daniel with his papers and frog

In the lounge

Eating hot chocolate with a knife

 

Because we had to leave early in the morning, we went out after dinner and continued digging after dark to finish the fort.  We celebrated its competion with tea and cookies in the main keep.  Daniel wanted to stay in the snow cave overnight, but we didn't have the right gear for that.

 

The tunnel lit by flashlights

Daniel in the snow cave with tea & cookies

Matt & Daniel in the finished cave.

 

On Sunday morning, we made a final visit to the fort.  The completed fort consisted of three parts.  At its core was was the central keep, which was a snow cave with a bench to sit on and shelves for supplies.  To one side, there was was a postern entrance that led down a tunnel to the central cave.  And surrounding those was a front courtyard surrounded by a curtain wall of snow blocks and an arched gate for the entrance.

 

Side Entrance

Daniel throwing snowballs from entrance to the central cave

Daniel in the archway of the outer wall

 

On the drive home, we had one more treat.  Alongside the highway near Mt. Vernon we saw a huge flock of snow geese resting on a field, with groups constantly taking off and flashing their white wings as they circled around landed again.


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