Author Topic: Artist Point - July 2019  (Read 361 times)

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Offline Daboo

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Artist Point - July 2019
« on: July 10, 2019, 03:16:44 am »
I was going to ride with a friend Monday to Mt. Rainier, but he dropped a brick on his thumb and besides the pain, he couldn't get a glove on it.  So rather than brave the traffic down south, I headed north to one of my favorite locations, Artist Point on Mt. Baker.

Heading north on Hwy 9.  This used to be the main highway to British Columbia before I-5.





The ride up Hwy 9 is sweet.  Valleys with some high hills rising on each side, probably a result of glaciers coming through here a long time ago.  As you get farther on Hwy 542, the Mt. Baker Highway, the curves get tighter and more frequent.  Unfortunately, either my suspension is getting worn out, or the frost heaves are getting deeper and more frequent.  I had a Ducati rider catch up and pass me.  After about a minute, I let him go.  I chose to enjoy the scenery and not the "race course".

As you get closer, not only does the road get more technical, but the views open up.







There's no shoulder, so you need to decide whether to pay attention to the road, or the scenery.  You can't go fast on these roads and look around.







We didn't get much snow here this year.  The major snowfall went south to Oregon and nothern California.  But the world record for the most snowfall was set here at Mt. Baker in 1988-89, with 1140 inches or 95 feet of snow.




i find something so incredibly...dumb.  Every time I'm up at Artist Point, I see bicyclists and motorcyclists ride up to Artist Point.  Maybe...ride or walk around the parking lot...and then head down hill and home.  They miss so much. 

There is no other place in the Cascade mountains that I know of, where you can drive/ride to the top of a high alpine ridgeline and then hike from there with only about 25 feet of elevation gain.  There's a trail that heads towards Mt. Shuksan on the far end of the parking lot.  Another trail heads off towards Mt. Baker.  After getting out of the parking lot, both are relatively level.  The pictures below are on the first trail leading towards views of Mt. Shuksan.  Today was a brief window between a weather system that just passed, and another headed in Tuesday evening.  So until I got ready to leave, both Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker were shrouded in clouds.  Still, I think it was beautiful.

Mt. Baker is somewhere in those clouds...













Down in the bottom right is a tight 180 degree turn where your biggest concern is to not stall your bike.  Forget the speed limit. 





Zoomed in to show Mt. Baker in the clouds.





I stopped here to eat my lunch.



I might make this the background wallpaper on my phone.



This picture has an interesting effect that I hadn't planned.  From the bottom, you have a curve in the windscreen.  then a different curve in the pavement. Then the curve of the snow.  Then the curve of the road. 




On the way down.







At the end of the day, the clouds started revealing Mt. Shuksan.




I keep coming back here.  The roads are great.  The scenery is jaw-dropping.  I can't get a combination of the two anywhere else nearby.

Chris
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Offline Rusty

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 03:45:26 am »
Spectacular pictures and report! When I do travel up there I will ride this road! Very Cool!!

 :motonoises:   :motonoises:   :great:

Offline Road Runner

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:53:58 am »
WOW!!!
David L. Hamil
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Offline BrianD

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 11:01:38 am »
OMG that is gorgeous.  I need to go there.   :motonoises:
Brian Dutton
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Offline Bumblebee

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 12:43:13 pm »
Thanks for the report and for posting these superb photos!  I'll just have to add Artist Point to the growing list of places I have to see if ever I get out your way again!   
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Offline robertv

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 07:54:45 pm »
Wow that is spectacular Chris! I wish I had time to ride this on the weekdays to avoid the crowds and traffic. I have to agree that with Mt Rainier and St. Helens centered in the state, it makes it very popular during the summer and hard to enjoy the ride/drive alone.

I'm definitely adding this to my to-do list and will attempt this on a weekday if possible very soon!

-robert
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Offline Daboo

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 08:32:31 pm »
Let me know when you want to go.  I've done that ride 3 or 4 times a summer.  It's just that good.

I'm also up for Hurricane Ridge, or riding around the Olympic Peninsula.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  :D

Chris
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Offline Tundra

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Re: Artist Point - July 2019
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 05:34:34 pm »
Stunning!! Thanks for posting and sharing your ride.