Eating polenta with a side of bird song
Jerry McIntire recently spent a few days in the Mount Baker Wilderness.
Where did you go?
The Mount Baker Wilderness in the northern Cascades range of Washington, hiking the Chain Lakes trail between the glaciers of Mount Baker (about 10,780 ft.) and Mount Shuksan (about 9,130 ft.). It was our son's first backpacking trip.
Where did you stay?
At a primitive campsite on Iceberg Lake, where we hung our food high from a tree branch to keep it from bears.
What did you do?
We scrambled to the lake's namesake snowfields to slide and make snowballs in the hot August sun, swam in less-chilly Lake Mazama, and, on our final morning, experienced the calving of giant snowblocks into Iceberg Lake. Swift waves raced through the mirror-calm waters and raucously rolled through the talus slopes along the shore.
Where did you eat?
After quieting the hearty roar of our backpacking stove (no fires allowed), we enjoyed our polenta or noodles with chicken in blessed silence with sides of pine scent, bird song, and the distant backdrop of cascading waterfalls – which later lulled us to sleep.
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