Few weeks after the hike to Heliotrope Ridge in Washington, we finally got a chance to go to United States together. This time we arranged the trip through a mailing list that connects hikers in Vancouver area. Probably it was established by German speaking migrants to Canada as it’s called Wanderung. Many people look for hiking companions using the mailing list, so it’s good idea to join when you arrive to Vancouver if you don’t like hiking alone, don’t have a car, simply would decrease transportation cost or are afraid of facing bears on your own. No matter why you choose to join, you will have fun hiking with other fellow outdoor lovers. When the weather is good, there are plenty of destinations to choose from every week, and often more than two destinations are offered on the same day.
This time entering US was much faster. We had quite long line of cars ahead of us. Unlike last time, now only Katalin needed to fill in the paper to get in without visa. Nobody asked us what we carry. We heard stories that sometimes border guards confiscate item such as fruits or meat products. Funny thing is that you can’t take any fruits from Canada to US, but for example Canada imports lemons from US. So you may end up loosing the American lemon when crossing the border 🙂 Anyway, we were in the United States of America together for the first time! But definitely not the last!
This time the destination was Hannegan Peak. The trail is in the Mt Baker hiking area too, but in different part of it. The hike itself is about 20 km long, but most of the distance is on relatively flat path following valley. The valley was amazingly colored by fall.
Only after Hannegan Pass we started gaining elevation, but thanks to many switchbacks it wasn’t steep at all. When climbing up we passed big blueberry bushes. I had to stop several times to eat, so I arrived to the peak section of the trail after Katalin. The last part of the trail goes on the ridge ascending slowly to the Hannegan Peak. We had a very short break on the top. It was still very cloudy and we couldn’t see much.
The strong, cold wind on the peak didn’t encourage us to wait for the possible views. As we went down, I again stopped for quite much time to eat blueberries. While eating, I didn’t even realize when the clouds were gone! We could finally see the peaks on the other side of the valley.
I spent so much time eating that I couldn’t see the rest of our group. I started running down, but I caught up with the group only on the pass where I saw the group taking pictures with mules. Forest ranger took new trail signs up using the mules and the animals were resting while the signs were being installed.
The way back went pretty smoothly. Crossing the border took much more time in the evening. There was a line of cars through whole Sumas town. We got off the car, did some grocery shopping and went back to the car that moved just few meters forward. Luckily we reached the border in about one hour. The rest of the drive to Vancouver was in usual traffic.