[Tweeters] Mountains Baring Fang

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Mon May 12 07:22:46 PDT 2014

Another fine sunrise at my parents home here atop a hill in Port Townsend Wa. where there is a fine view of the Cascade range, from Baker to Rainier, and everything in between.
This morning's sunrise looked particularly like a nuclear bomb going off thru the low filmy clouds. Thankfully our lucky star is 90 million miles away. In another really cool light phenomenon, the sun this morning was bracketed by Sun Dogs, vertical "rainbows" in the low silky stratus clouds over the mountains. The North Dog marked Mt. Baker, the South Dog, marked Glacier Peak. Heaven acknowledging our local volcanoes. Real nice.
These days the sunrise is rolling North, now somewhere up in the Skagit. When I first arrived here to take care of my folks in the Winter, the sunrise was much further south of course, and before the Equinox, highlighted that fang of the Cascade skyline, Mount Baring.
Mt. Baring is a mountain that many of you have seen on your birding trips as you drive up through Everett Wa, whether you know it by name or not. It sticks up prominently in the big gap formed by the wide glacial valley of the Skykomish. " Hey Mabel", you might tell your birding partner "that mountain looks like it's pushed over!".
Well, in fact, Mt. Baring does actually overhang on the North side - for a couple of thousand feet. This remarkable overhang is the largest of any in the mountains around here that I know of. Check out the topographical map on that. The North face rises about 3,700 ft above Barclay Lake, a short hike if you wanna go.
Way back when, Baring was probably a Nunatak , a peak completely surrounded by glacial ice. The undercutting of ice must have contributed mightily to the overhanging North Face.
However, Mabel, there is an alternative geological theory to this leaning mountain that has been developing over the years. See, there is this real old guy lying beneath Puget Sound; "Glacier Guy" I call him. Buried for thousands of years under thousands of feet of continental glacial ice over the Sound, Glacier Guy is kind of on the rebound, but mostly snoozing. He's a giant - look at a map of Everett Wa. and you will notice the unusual thumb shape of North Everett - well that's actually Glacier Guy's thumb.
Like I said, Glacier Guy is a real snoozer, but one day he felt a bunch of cold muddy water running down his arm, and half asleep, reached up with his hand to stop the leak. And he almost did, but fell asleep again - and now the Snohomish River still runs around his thumb.
On another day, Glacier Guy, trying to sleep some more, reached out to block the Sun - he wished he was still under that nice dark glacier blanket. Grasping toward that pesky Sunrise to the East, he accidentally poked ol' Mt. Baring, bending it over - just like it is now.
So when headed through Everett, look for the leaning mountain - you gotta see it from the right angle.
Jeff Gibsonwatching mountains fromPort Townsend Wa.

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