Recent Entries

August 28, 2004

North Cascades NP

Day 8. After a hearty western breakfast in Winthrop, in the sun, at
the side of the main street, we set off along route 20 towards North
Cascades National Park. The Methow valley becomes steeper sided and
starts to climb as you enter the Cascade mountains. The first jaw
dropping moment was gazing upwards at the impossibly photogenic
jagged mountain peaks as you drive the sweeping climbing road
through Washington Pass. Shortly after levelling out at the top of
the pass is a turnout for a view of the pass. We considered driving
on but decided to stop and take a look. Good decision !

After a very delightful walk through woods you come to the look out
area which is high up over the road as it climbs up to the pass. In
front of you presenting unimpeded views, there is a vertical drop
down of what seems like a couple of hundred feet (there is a very
solid fence stopping you getting too close to the edge). The place
is awe inspiring seeing the grand sweep of the road as it bends and
climbs, framed by the peaks behind it. Like so many places I have
seen now in the USA the sheer grandeur of nature laid out before you
creates a reverential hush in all who stand there to drink in the
panoramic vista. This panoramic view created from stills from my video will hopefully give you some idea of the experience.

Spiritually refreshed we drove on. The next wonderous place was the
look out point over Ross Lake
created behind Ross dam. However long
you stare you really cannot believe the colour of the water, it is
so unreal, more like a surrealist vision in a vivid
green/blue/turquoise. Only the white trail of the wake from a motor
boat crossing the lake below insectlike in proportions from the high
vantage point, convinces you that the lake is not painted. The vivid
colour is apparently caused by microscopic specs of minerals swept
down from the glaciers feeding the lake.

After a couple more stops for walks to overlooks and a pause at the
visitor centre we left the Cascades behind us and followed the
Skagit river valley towards the coast. Passing under the I5 we
headed for the coast and our destination Whidbey Island. We stopped
where route 20 crosses a spectacular bridge to Whidbey island at
Deception Pass. It was hypnotic watching the swirling currents as
the tides ebbed (or was it flowed) through the narrows far below.
The typical Pacific coastline with a wooded backdrop and drift wood
all along the highwater line was picture postcard perfect.

We travelled south to our motel on the outskirts of Oak Harbor the
Coachman Inn. The rooms were surprisingly good with lots of room, a
dining area completed with sink, cooker and fridge. After an hour or
so in the pool, we visited a local supermarket for provisions and
then had a quiet night in the room with a few buckets of ice. my
wife took the opportunity to do the laundry (helps keep the amount
of luggage down - heaven knows how much we'd have to take if some
wasn't washed along the way).

Posted by Graham on August 28, 2004 02:00 PM
Category: 2004 the pacific north west
Travel Resources
This Blog is part of the
BootsnAll Travel Network

Email this page
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Designed & Hosted by the BootsnAll Travel Network