Thursday, September 10, 2015

Heliotrope Ridge

The popular Heliotrope Ridge trail runs from its trailhead off the Mount Baker Highway to an over look which provides great views of Mount Baker and of Coleman Glacier.  It is also the climbers' route for the west side of Baker and the route we took last fall when we climbed the peak.  I hiked the trail with my brother, Tim, while he was in the area on business and enjoyed it once again, though I've hiked it uncounted times.  There wasn't much blooming but we had a beautiful day in spite of the bad weather back home and even did part of the climber's trail up the Hogback before returning, stopping along the way for a cup of coffee/hot chocolate and a late lunch.

At one point I stepped up on some mossy (and slippery rocks) to take a picture of some Devil's Club berries and slipped and fell.  I rolled across the trail and down the slope on the other side of the trail, all the time trying to protect my camera.  My downward progress was arrested by another clump of these plants.  Tim, who heard my yell of dismay came running back to help me extricate myself.  Apart from a few bumps and bruises I was uninjured except for a lot of thorns in my hands and and arms and legs, thorns that I am still trying to get out.  Not sure, at my age that it was wise to try and protect the camera rather than myself.

Further down the trail I also discovered I had lost my water bottle, a bottle that is merely an old Gatorade bottle wrapped in duct tape (for fixing anything that breaks).  That would not have been a great loss in itself, but it has gone with me uncounted years and many miles and I didn't want to lose it.  We looked for it and found it in the clump of Devil's Club when we came back down.  Even that, however, was not the end of the story.  When I was home again and looked at my pictures I had a whole series of blurs among them.  I must have had my finger on the shutter as I rolled across the trail and down the hill and they were the result.


Grouse Creek

Devil's Club berries

 Earthstar fungus

Kulshan Creek

along the trail

Heliotrope Creek

Bolete mushroom

Glacier Creek

near the viewpoint

Heliotrope Ridge viewpoint

Pearly Everlasting

unidentified seedheads

Dwarf Fireweed

Coleman Glacier

Mount Baker

from the viewpoint

Grass of Parnassus


Yellow Fireweed

Devil's Club berries

Red-banded Polypores

one of the "photos" taken while falling


  1. Poor you, I cannot imagine an encounter with Devils Club
    I am surprised you did not include one of your DevilClub blurr abstracts.

    Glad you got your water bottle back. Trust old friend equipment just adds something

    1. Thanks, Marti. I'm going to add one of the blurred pictures since you suggested it.

  2. Action Shot I love it
    leaving the end of the month. Dr Lee commented on my blog this morning, that their winter rain has been exceptional and the flowers are really bursting forth!
    So I guess i get a great Spring after all.

    1. Thanks, Marti. I'm very envious. And, as to the water bottle, that old Gatorade bottle has gone more miles and seen more places than most people I know and means more to me than some fancy new bottle.

  3. I am glad you did not hurt yourself badly. I do not even want to imagine getting injured in a remote area like that. I am also happy you were able to reclaim the water bottle. In the end it makes for a good story. :-)

    I also enjoyed the impressive photos of the glacier and landscape. It really makes me go there again. Such a beautiful area.

    1. You are always welcome, Martin. Appreciate the visit and comments.


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