When we had that last blast of snow, Dan and I headed up the Mount Baker Highway to Glacier for some winter fun.
Along the way we walked a riverbed, communed with eagles, and ate at a charming restaurant while snow danced outside the windows. We had such a good time that I thought, “Why do we have to wait for snow to propel us out this way?” Here are some ideas of how to make the most of your No-Snow Day on the Mount Baker Highway.
1 Unexpected Eats
As you may know by now, I am charmed by restaurants in unexpected places. Between Bellingham and Glacier on the MBH is a restaurant that I would describe as Mountain Chic: Il Caffe Rifugio. The cuisine is rustic Italian, and they bill themselves as “A Farm to Table Culinary Destination.” It’s definitely worth the drive, which is maybe 20 minutes outside of Bellingham. For brunch, I had the Breakfast Carbonara with fettuccine, bacon, and topped with a poached egg. When I broke that yoke and it covered the salty bacon and noodles in silky goodness, I thought I’d died and gone to culinary heaven.
Tip: They make awesome cinnamon rolls, but the last 3 times I was there, they were sold out. Next time I will call ahead. That said, the freshly made donut holes in the photo worked out just fine.
5415 Mount Baker Hwy, Deming, ilcafferifugio.com.
2 Unexpected Walk
It is well known that a wonderful eagle viewing point is on the Mount Baker Highway, Mile Marker 20. But when we were on our eagle safari, we overshot the marker. Turns out that was a happy accident because we found the Kendall Creek Hatchery less than a mile away. We turned right on Hatchery Road and followed the sign to the parking lot. From there it was a 3 minute walk over various colored river rocks to the banks of the Nooksack. The river had receded to the point we were actually walking on parts of a dry riverbed in the middle of a snowstorm. Yes, we saw eagles. But in the end, the experience turned out to be more about how cool it was to be walking on a river without getting wet, while filling our pockets with black, green, and brown polished rocks for our collection. We will return on a No-Snow Day to see what other creatures are to be seen, and to make friends with the Nooksack. Click for a map.
3 Unexpected Pit Stop
By the time you get to Glacier, it’s up to you whether you want to play through to Mount Baker. If you don’t have time to partake of one of the many hikes, at the very least stop at the Wake ‘n Bakery before turning around. Their tag line is, “Get Sconed.” You did see that was a “c” in “sconed,” right? This little coffee shop and bakery has a decidedly hippie vibe complete with tie-dye shirts for sale. It’s a great place to chill with a latte and a baked goodie. Just be prepared to add some extra time to your itinerary: the generous assortment of baked pleasures will give you pause as to just which one to choose. 6903 Bourne Street, Glacier, 1 block off the main highway. getsconed.com