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Week of June 18, 2001:
Cattle, Mt. Baker, Lummi Island, & Polite Present


Henrietta the HolsteinMy friend B.L. Ochman is crazy about cows, so I promised myself while we were in the Pacific Northwest, I'd try to get a photo of me with some cattle. Sounds simple, right?

Brother David took me out for an excursion, saying he would drive me anywhere I chose. I had a few choices, and explained that while on the way to or from these places I'd like to get some cattle photos. We went up to the Sumas area, searching for bald eagles. The trees were rich with leaves, and we didn't see one. But we found some cattle. In the middle of some photographing, I looked more closely at the animals, and realized there wasn't a cow among them: they were all guys.

Judy with curious cattleAs we drove through Nooksack, Everson, Sumas, and other hamlets, we found a few other pastoral scenes that included cows, but generally they were in a distant field. We decided to stop at a farm with a huge barn full of girl cows, and shoot some photos.

Not a bad idea, until we got out of the car. We were overwhelmed with the aroma of ammonia. I'd forgotten that cattle in barns do not have private lavatories. Deciding that this adventure would help clear my sinuses, we approached the barn, and David got a few good pictures. Not quite the same as seeing them grazing in a field, (see below but it was easier to see the beautiful markings.


Mt. Baker

Photo of Mt Baker from Mt Baker Vista area June 2001Back on the road, we spent more time looking for bald eagles, and decided to head for Mt. Baker, one of the loveliest mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Our destination: Mt Baker Vista area, a nine-mile road just after the Glacier Ranger Station.

The winding two-lane road roams over numerous cheerful creeks, and sports a stopping point for hikers. Serious hikers. David and I continued up, stopping to shoot photos as clouds threatened to cover our view. We reached the top, and shot until the clouds kept their promise. Camp robbers (fluffy birds with no sense of fear or courtesy) live at the end of the road, and enjoyed entertaining us. They're officially called Gray Jays. One even hopped inside David's car. No food. Out it went.

The road to Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan snakes to the north of the two mountains. photo of Mt Shuksan, about 1950, by Cal CrookThese two stately, yet very different, mountains are spectacular. You can't see Mt Shuksan until you are quite a bit east. It's snuggled in its own little niche near Mt Baker. In 1950 or so, our dad, Cal Crook, took the photo you see in this paragraph. Good photos of this area are difficult to come by, because you often can't determine whether or not clouds will cover the mountains until you are relatively close. It's a drive I recommend to anyone vacationing in the Bellingham area. Even if you don't see the mountains, you will luxuriate in rich, towering trees full of unusual birds, and a landscape dotted with the Nooksack River and many other waterways. Clean, fresh country. Especially nice in the summer.


Lummi Island

Sister Jan Pierson devoted one day to taking me to our old stomping ground, Lummi Island. Our family had a cabin (polite name for a structure that for years didn't have running water and never had a bathroom...we used an outhouse on the hill).

Judy sitting on rocks above old summer home beach on Lummi IslandGone are the days of the old, chugging Chief Kwina, with its island residents, many of them Grangers, acting as crew. The island itself is still fresh and lovely, and Jan and I shared some special moments. We went to the old place (much refurbished but still a summer place) and headed for the front area, surrounded by crusty but strong rocks not too far above the beach. We disturbed over 30 Canadian geese as we went down on "our" beach and inhaled the memorable aroma of dried seaweed and kelp. Quiet. Peaceful.

Surrounded by aromatic wild roses, we returned to the car and drove slowly around the island. Not many accessible beaches anymore. Oh well. We finally found a beach near where Hawley's Marina had been, grabbed our lunch, and clambered over logs to a place where we could enjoy the view and our meal. Again, perfect.

From this area we headed to the old (1909) Congregational Church, studied engravings in headstones, then headed down a hill with steps to a pristine beach. If anyone visits Lummi, I recommend this as an ideal place to enjoy a packed lunch and some quiet time.

We meandered around, stopped at a store with friendly owners, went into a little gallery that sells Native American arts and crafts, then reluctantly returned to the dock to wait for the ferry to pick us up. What a perfect, fun-filled day to remember.


Polite Present: Manual of Good Manners, 1831

Excerpts from a charming, serious 2 1/2" x 4" book published in 1831 by Munroe & Francis.

AT CHURCH: Attend diligently to the words of the minister. Pray with him when he prays, at least in your heart; and, while he is preaching, listen attentively, that you may remember.

Be not hasty to run out of the meeting house when the worship is ended, as if you were weary of being there. Walk decently and soberly home, without haste of playfulness, thinking upon what you have been hearing.


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