Monday, October 29, 2001

Hello from Arlington, Washington!

Start time: 0845

Start odometer: 22198

Weather: Foggy morning, overnight rain ended, skies cleared during morning, temperature 32 degrees F., 27 in mountain passes, peaking at 52.


Tonight I find myself in the suburbs north of Seattle, Washington.  It was enjoyable day of driving, seeing the North Cascades for the first time.  The roads were clear, and though it was cloudy today, the rain stayed away, and I had magnificent views.  


The drive along Route 20, the North Cascades Scenic Highway, is wonderful!  Incredible views are around every corner, and any pull-outs are available to enjoy the landscape.  I will let the pictures and captions describe the drive.


Click on picture for larger image, hit back button to return to this page.

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Entrance sign along the side of Route 20 entering the North Cascades.

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Driving up the eastern slopes, the rode previously traveled below.

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The road as it continues up the mountain.

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Washington Pass.

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Crater peak in the background.

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A view of Ross Lake.

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Another view of Ross Lake.

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A look at Lake Diablo, with Diablo Dam in the background..

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At the dam...


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Looking back at the road over the dam after driving across.

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The back side of the dam.

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One of the water gates.

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The lake side of the dam.

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At a visitor center down the road, part of a generating turbine was on display. 

Beyond the peaks and passes of the North Cascades is the Visitor Center for the National park.  I watch a slide and film presentation of the park, then spoke with Ranger Dan.  He provided great information about the park, and as usual, our conversation covered many other interesting topics.  He is a seasonal Ranger, and will be going home to Pennsylvania in a few weeks.  He recently worked in Alaska near Juneau,  so we compared Alaskan notes.

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The Visitor Center building.

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Ranger Dan suggested an overlook and trail.  This panel was at the overlook which provided a great scene!

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The mountains mentioned in the previous panel.

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Along the trail, moss was everywhere!

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More trail moss.

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The Skagit River, a popular salmon run.  I only saw dead salmon, though according to the Ranger, there were some through here a few days ago.

Back on Route 20, I continued west until Route 530, stopping at the Forest Service office in Darrington.  Dan suggested the Mountain Loop Road as an interesting drive, but to check with this office to learn of the conditions of the road, as part of it is gravel.  The Ranger stated the road was not bad, so I continued my drive along this route.  It was a very pretty drive that began with a canopy of tree branches and leaves over the road.  There are many campsites and hiking opportunities along the road, though the campgrounds were closed for the season.

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A view from one of the overlooks.


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Another gravel road.  For the most part compared to some of the other unpaved roads I have traveled, this road was in very good condition.

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I enjoyed this drive.

I returned to paved road, then approached the Seattle area.  I decided to drive around the suburbs a bit, finally settling in Arlington.  Tomorrow I head towards the Boeing plant to try and take a tour.  Then I will probably head north towards Point Roberts to find the third of three Sunsweep sculptures.  I will talk about this more tomorrow.  Thank you for stopping by!  


Routes traveled today: Washington 20 - Wa 530 - Mountain Loop Highway (FS 20) - Wa 92 - Wa 9 - US 5

Lodging: Arlington Motor Inn

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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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Pictures may be used with permission.