With windows wide open for the breeze off the lake I slept better than I could remember. I woke up early and could see the early morning mist rising up off the water. A person could get used to that.
I enjoyed breakfast and some social time with the other folks staying at the B&B, contemplating my destination for the day as well as where I should spend the night. I decided that the Monte Cristo hike was more than I wanted for the day, but the Ice Caves sounded just about right. I had to rag Gary some on referring to the Monte Crisco hike as some subliminal urge for fried chicken (okay if you were born after the fifties or sixties you will have no idea about this reference but I’m sure you can google Crisco for details.)
I decided that I would spend one more night in the US before heading into Canada so after making that reservation I headed back to the Cascades and the Ice Caves Trailhead.
The Moutain Loop up to the Big Four Mountain in the Cascades and the Ice Caves trail. Again the Cascades were awe inspiring and truly beautiful. If Sirius XM radio could have penetrated the mountains and trees it would have been a perfect drive. The weather was clear and gorgeous. Since its the Sunday of Labor Day weekend there was a fair amount of traffic and a gazillion cars pulled over for every possible camping spot along the side of the road.
The first half of the trail up to the ice caves was very smooth and much of the terrain was pretty flat. The woods surrounding the trail were beautiful and even the downed trees were pretty awesome.
The second half of the trail was more uphill and more gravelly. I guess it had been subjected to periodic avalanches so maintenance didn’t lean to paved trails but it was well maintained and graveled. The trail criss-crossed a stream or two and through the trees were more and more glimpses of the mountain.
Eventually I made it to the Ice Caves.
Needless visitors were not supposed to get as close as those in this picture but at least they help establish perspective for the photo.
My FitBit thinks that the increase in elevation on the hike was around 230 feet and who am I to argue with my fit bit.?.
The hike back was mostly downhill and I stopped frequently to just inhale the scent of the woods, Heavenly! I love the smell of the desert, especially after it rains, but the smell of a forest is another smell too good to miss. I took my time and even when I reached the trails end sat for awhile and soaked it in.
I replaced my hiking shoes with my Keens and got back in the car for the return through the forest and the drive to Lynden.
The drive was uneventful and I arrived at my destination in the mid-afternoon. My reservation was at the Inn at Lynden which was in an historic building, a former department building. Exposed beams and original wood lath flooring. Even what appears to be original plaster on the bedroom walls.
The amenities, though were very upscale… even to the empty crowler that could be filled up at the Overflow Tap with your favorite beer with a 10% discount. Also helpful that the Overflo Tap was located on the ground floor of the same building. Since they didn’t brew their own, I had the Boneyard IPA … Boneyard is in Bend, OR. Just a hint grapefruity and very thirst quenching.
I had a quiet evening with a few beers and dinner at the Burnt End, famous for their burnt ends and ribs.