Island Summits and Ferry Chasing
Well it is yet another typical bad weather weekend. I had big goals of knocking off a large mountain but with the high winds, questionable avalanche danger and potential bad weather I decided to save that trip for another weekend and instead doing to check out one of Washington State’s largest coastal island summit, Lummi Point. Often it is best to take what the mountains will give you and Lummi Point was a great option due to its low altitude, no snow but a peak that required some amount of effort. The area itself is not that well known as a hiking destination however from what I saw the peak and the area are definite worthwhile in terms of the beautiful coastal, mountainous and island scenery that is in this area.
The Race to the Ferry Part One
Redwic and I were scheduled to meet at a Park and Ride in Lynnwood early on. However what I came to find out is that there are three Park and Rides within a five miles radius and I decided to park at the wrong one. It did not help that my map planner was wrong as well. So we finally meet at 5:30 after I found the correct location and of we went from there to the ferry to Lummi Island. The weather at the time here was light rain and snow showers with no accumulation.
Traffic was very smooth and we made excellent time getting up I-5. Once off I-5 we slowly made our way to the ferry. The weather cleared fast and we actually looked like we were going to luck out and have a great day. At first we thought we had plenty of time to get to the ferry so Redwic took the time to copy down information for the Lummi Point SP page. Unfortunately we underestimated the actual travel which made us start cutting extremely close to the ferry service time. We knew that if we missed this ferry we would have to wait an hour. Redwic’s music though kept going with the mood of our anxiety to catch that ferry. One we popped around the corner of the shore we could literally see the small ferry racing to shore. As we raced on the road to the ferry the music got more and more suspenseful. It was quite strange to see it happen and it will be something in my life I will never forget. Then just as the ferry landed and started to unloaded we made it just in the nick of time. The Whatcom Big Chief was the smallest ferry to date I had been on but it was a great ferry to ride. And with the clear skies and the sun rising, this ferry produced some outstanding visuals. Just the ferry ride alone was well worth the trip. But we were very happy just to make the 7:10 ferry.
The Trip Up to Lummi Point
From the ferry it was an easy ten minute drive to the trailhead parking. Once at the parking we had to be cautious because two large jumped out in from of us. We tried to take pictures but the deer were too far away and the sun was still too low in the sky for a good sun angle. After pulling the parking lot we had to make sure our gear was in working order we headed up the trail that lead close to the summit. The first part of the trail was at a steeper angle but it was in very good shape. Once a couple hundred feet up the trail then leveled out. At about 700 feet the trail then turned onto a former dirt road and lead gradually and at time at near level angles up the mountain. The trail then traversed comfortably near the side of a number of steep areas and cliffs. Redwic and I made great time here. We did stop for some good views of Orcas Island and Mount Constitution as well as the other islands but those stops were brief because we were on a mission for the true summit of Lummi Island, Lummi Point.
Once we got passed the end of the road we knew we had to bushwhack to the summit. On the way there we decided to bushwhack the woods just north of a marsh we took that to another fire road which lead up to the northern entry to the summit area. After it looked like we were going to be greeted with cliff. But there were a number of areas on the side of the number of cliff that were nothing more than low class 2 steep bushwhacking to the summit area. I found a nice ramp while Redwic found a nice area that headed straight up to the summit area. Once on the top of the summit area we found three areas that could be the true summit of Lummi Point. None of them had views but all three made good case to be the true summit. So we decided to stand on all three just in case. As stated before there were no views on the summit so we spent little time on top and headed down quickly.
The Race to the Ferry Part Two
On the way down we knew we were going to cut it close to the ferry again so we decided to quickly the pace on the way back. We took a shortcut bushwhack which at first looked like it was going to cliff out but we just went a little way and found that it make its way back to the trail. Once on the trail we first decided to just walk fast down the mountain once we realized that was not cutting the time we started to run. At first we went just a half mile just to see if we could make it. But then we realized we really had to pick up the pace so from the half point on we just ran as hard as we could down the mountain. If the trail was in bad shape no way would do this but it was in good shape. We kept the steady running pace all of the way down the mountain. At one point I tripped on a rock but I knew I had to get up if we had any chance of checking the ferry.
Once we hit the trailhead we through all our stuff in the car and raced to the ferry station. Again the music came on and of course it seemed to only add to anxiety to catch that ferry. As we raced past the each turn we knew that every second counted. We made it there with only 50 seconds to spare but at first it looked like the boat was going to be too full. But luckily the dock attendance had made just enough space so that our car could fit on the boat by mere inches. As soon as they chocked our wheels, we were off to head to the other side. Yet again just in the nick of time!!! Of course the music in the car became completely mellow the minute we set sail for the mainland. We were a little overheated from our impromptu run but yet again we barely made the ferry. But now we were on our way home.
The Rest of the Way Back
The rest of the way back was fairly laid back. We gave a look at another summit but realized that we were low on time so we just stopped of at Little Mountain and then headed on back. Little Mountain is a very well established park with plenty of trails as well as a number of man made overlook of the surrounding region. We just went there tagged the summit and then headed on back from there.
I want to thank Redwic for coming up with the great idea for this trip. Lummi Point was a great little mountain. Though the summit did not have amazing views, there were great views on the way up. Also I to thank him for organizing this cool trip. Lummi Point is an unconventional mountain from what I normally do but a great peak to go to. This was an awesome considering the circumstances. I can only dream of what is coming when the weather finally improves.