10.03.14 to 10.04.14
Day one, 8.2 mi Day two, 9.1 mi = 17.3 mi for the weekend
gain: day one, 2533 ft day two, 2441 ft = 4985 for the weekend
max: 4591 ft
me and a whole bunch of other volunteers!
Canyon Lake is a Whatcom County Park whose purchase and development was aided by the WLT. The original way this lake was reached was via a logging access road with an easement through Sierra Pacific timber holdings. That road and two bridges washed out years ago so the only way in is to walk up the 10 miles or so to the lake…or is it. Actually there is an upper gate accessed via North Fork Road off of Mosquito Lake Rd. Follow the road until it turns gravel and continue on, this road passes through the Racehorse Crk WLT property of which I am the steward. At the first Y, go left and start up the hill. This road is passable by all types of cars in my opinion. Follow the road to the gate and park remembering that cool kids don’t block gates. From here it is a mere 5 mi to the lake, I like to take my mountain bike. We (WLT) are trying to get a 0.5 mi easement from S.P. that would connect up to our already obtained easement from years ago so that the general public will once again be able to access this Whatcom Park. Part of the process of obtaining the easement is to show that the park is still in use so we go out occasionally (we have a key for these times) and do work maintaining the trails. This was one of those times. This trip was also sponsored by REI so there were a bunch of people up there from them and they gave us all nice trail shirts. This was a two day trip, on the first day we just got a feel for what needed to be done by walking up the trail for a mile or two. At this point it was late afternoon so one other and myself set out to the ridge in hopes of getting a few pictures of the hill.
It was starting to get dark and my hiking partner did not have a headlamp so we headed down the 4.5 miles or so back to camp. The dusk falling on the hills from the ridge afforded some great shots.
Back at camp we made food, drank beer and then headed off for the night.
Two young adults, college students, volunteered to hike up to the old growth forest with me the next day to brush out the trail and then to get a snowshoe route laid out with markers. We had agreed upon a time but they were a no show. I asked others to let them know that I would meet up with them later (they never did show, changed their minds and didn’t let me know) and I took off up the hill. I spent some time brushing out the trail and then had lunch up where the trail meets and old road that I knew would connect over to where I was the night before.
The clouds had moved in over night and it had been misty all day, the views were not as good as the night before.
After lunch I had just started to head over to the connector road and I saw a butterfly I had never seen before, a Red Admiral. It is really late in the season for them (I do butterfly surveys for the N. Cascades Butterfly project) but this one seemed content up there and hung around letting me get some pictures.
On the way out I limbed up, climbed up, and nailed markers on trees to mark a snowshoe route for winter use. I have to say, I was exhausted by the time I was back to the truck. It was a good time out at the lake and the ridge beyond, I was happy to get to help maintain the trail and hopefully others will be able to access this area more easily next year.