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Sunday, August 14, 2016

We Check Out Buck Creek Campground Part 2

We spent another few hours exploring before we got to Buck Creek Campground.

We had bagel and coffee at Mount Loop Coffee and Books in Darrington. When I first walked in I was greeted by one of the locals who introduced me to himself then the owner and then continued to talk my ear off about the town and history and points of interest. I could tell the owner of the store was a little worried I would head back out the door, but I assured him with a wink that I was fine and once we ordered our lunch we got to sit and enjoy the ambiance in peace. lol. It was a friendly and homey little place and with no real agenda or time frame it was nice to just hang out with a few locals and people watch.

Once on our way again we took a old logging/fire road and drove way back into the woods. At one turn around we got out with the dogs and they had a blast checking out all the smells of the warm fir needles and fern fronds, there must have been a lot of critter smells and none went to waste with our kids taking them all in.

We decided we better get to the campground as we were going to have a long way back home. What a charming, quiet, out of the way place. We paid our $5 day fee and as we drove through were greeted by the camp host and his wife. A gentle smile on both of their faces. As our friends promised, this is a magical place.

We took a walk around the unoccupied campsites with the dogs, all on leash of course, and these photos are all scenes that can be seen from these campsites. Here is the facility details overview: Situated on the banks of Buck Creek in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Buck Creek campground offers stunning scenery...

Scattered beneath a towering canopy of old-growth forest, the sites in this campground are secluded and within walking distance to the waterfront, making it an ideal setting for visitors wanting to camp in a private, rustic setting.

A funny story: We wondered if there could be a way that we could actually camp here sometime with our pack. We decided we aren't there yet. 4 dogs would be way too many for one, and as we walked around the campground, all dogs on leashes, we saw some campers in the distance and of course Tim had go into full alert barking mode which let Liza know she needed to bark too, Sorry!!!!!! Also on a side note, the mosquitoes were fierce! But what a beautiful and serene place this is, minus Tim/Liza and maybe with some bug deterrent. <grin>

We had passed a small sign that said "Suiattle Indian Cemetery" on our way in to the campground so on our way home we wanted to visit this humble cemetery.

This was a very small cemetery with some very old burials. Some decedents who were 105 years old dating back to birth in the early to mid 1800's. There were a lot of children and babies too. Really gave us pause to think of what this whole state looked like and what life was like for them and what knowledge of flora and fauna, and the land, has been lost with these ancient ones.

Sweet carving on top of the sign post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We Check Out Buck Creek Campground Part 1

Our friends who have recently bought a groovy vintage VW Westfalia hippy bus and are using it to do some camping were telling us about a sweet little campground in the Mt Baker National Forest they found called Buck Creek Campground. This campground has everything they are looking for in a campground, which is not what most people are looking for.

1) No trailers/RVs allowed
2) Pit toilets (also called vaulted toilets)
3) No power or water hook-ups
4) No showers
5) Dark skies at night (no lighting in the campground makes for perfect start gazing)

What does all this "no everything" add up to for them? Not many people, no loud compressors or TV's, just communing with nature and really getting unplugged while they stargaze and listen to the river and bird sounds around them.

We thought it would be a fun day trip to take the dogs and head out to see this beautiful area and campground.

Heading out toward Darrington, WA we were looking for a place to get out and get a walk in. We found a wonderful bike/walking trail that is the old railroad grade in the early stages of being built along the Stillaguamish (Stilly) River. Perfect! It was a cloudy day, a Tues, and we had the place to our selves. All the dogs were so happy to have a new place to explore.

This path is going to eventually go for many miles, even past the Oso landslide. We found a small section that we could walk on now and it ran alongside the Stilly. This area is pretty undeveloped and it was a wonderfully peaceful walk.

Tim was all set to check out the new sights and smells.

The Stillaguamish River named after the Stoluck-wa-mish Tribe.

The Stillaguamish Tribe is composed of descendants of the 1855 Stoluck-wa-mish River Tribe. In 1855 the population resided on the main branch of the river, as well as the north and south forks. The name Stillaguamish, under various spellings, has been used since around 1850 to refer to those Indians who lived along the Stillaguamish River and camped along its tributaries. They were a party to the treaty of Point Elliott of January 22, 1855 under the spelling Stoluck-wa-mish. No separate reservation was established for the Stoluck-wa-mish Indians. Some moved to the Tulalip Reservation, but the majority remained in the aboriginal area along the Stillaguamish River. Tribal headquarters are located in Arlington, Washington.

A beautiful bridge spanning the Stilly. We weren't sure if Tim would be ok crossing...

He had no problem with it. It was a very sturdy, didn't sway or creek at all, and the walking surface was solid, Tim wasn't worried at all :)

I happen to adore the combination of metal and nature juxtaposed together and if the metal is oxidizing/rusting then all the better! I had fun taking interesting photos of the bridge trusses.

The rusty metal had a light coating of moss, and I was enthralled...

The other bridge is a car bridge over the river.

Cute Birdie

I loved these big rivets? I wasn't sure what these were for.

Another love of mine is oxidized peeling paint. Many times the paint that is deteriorating is much better looking than when it was new, lol.

Once we crossed the bridge we found a little trail that we could use to get down to the river and do some exploring. Down the hill we go!

Liza wastes no time getting in the river, she just loves to wade.
Looking back up at the bridge we crossed.

A pretty little pond that got separated from her mama Stilly, she can join the big river again once we get some rain.

We loved this big rock formation and all the maidenhair ferns growing from it. Amazing they can even survive.

Little Jenny's paw...

So many rocks, so peaceful...

Tim was very relaxed out here, I love how soft his face looks. He continues to blossom.

Birdie meditates while Tim soaks up the ambience of the environment.

This is looking up the Stilly. To the left of the pic and just on the other side of the trees is the bike/walking trail.

Liza gets one more wade in before it is time to head back to the car.

Jenny, who now has very poor eyesight, got stuck on the bridge. She does this quite often and we have to be sure to keep our eye on her as she can easily get separated from us. She normally stays right on one of our heels but if she gets tripped up then she will stop in her tracks and look North, South, East, West trying to find us.

Here we are! She made it all the way back without a hitch once she was able to track me. We tend to walk a lot slower these days due to Jenny not as fast as she used to be, but that is ok with us, she still loves to go and so we just adjust to her pace. Sweet sweet girl.
We head back as we still had some driving to do, so stay tuned to part 2 when we find the campground!