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Friday July 22- North Cascade Loop

We went east on Rt. 20 on the North Cascade Scenic Loop. Total, we drove 249 miles today! Our first stop was in Sedro-Woolley. The downtown has chainsaw sculptures in the quaint downtown area. Here are some of them and two murals. 

We continued west on Rt. 20 towards the next town, Concrete. Three miles before concrete is an Elk watching site in the meadows of Hurn Field. Evidently the elks did not get the memo, as the large herd was not present to greet us! We continued into the town of Concrete where we saw this mural on the Police Dept. / Fire Dept. building. 

The guidebook suggested, strongly, that we stop at the Cascadian Farm Stand. So we did. Nothing there we wanted except ice cream, so we decided to stop in on the return trip.

We stopped in Newhalem at the North Cascades Visitor Center, stamped our National Parks Passport and walked out on the Sterling Munro trail for a view of the Picket Range. Unfortunately, the clouds were still pretty low, so the view was limited.

A few more miles down the road we stopped at Gorge Creek Falls.

We walked out and saw this waterfall, then walked out to the end of the trail to the Gorge Creek Dam. This is a picture of the dam and Gorge Lake.

We jumped back into the car and crossed the bridge, realizing that the big falls was to the left of the bridge. There hadn’t been a sign there and the traffic was heavy and moving rapidly. There was no parking there, so we were not able to capture a picture of the falls.

Our next stop was at Colonial Creek, where we ate our picnic lunch.

This was a campground that also had a picnic area, interspersed with the tent campsites. Kind of strange… In the picture above, the sandy area is where we ate lunch. Our next stop was at the Diablo Lake Overlook. The weather was starting to clear, but it was windy, and cool, with temps in the high 50’s.

We continued east to the Ross Lake overlook,

then up to the summit of  Rainy Pass(4875 ft),

where the sun was shining. A few more miles and we topped Washington Pass(5477 ft).

The guidebook notes that both of these passes were at one time at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. We were more than 140 miles inland. The Washington Pass overlook was closed, but there was a turn lane, so we pulled into it and took these pictures of the stunning scenery. We decided that this was far enough for today, and that we can see the next part of the highway from our next campground in Leavenworth next week.

We made a U-turn and headed back west. On the way we decided to count the number of waterfalls. There were 50! Some were small and some were large, but they were all beautiful.

We stopped in Burlington at the Walmart to pick up Bob’s prescription, then hurried back to the Thousand trails to drop off the dogs. We headed out to dinner with Al, Carol, Ginny and Joe at Randy’s Pier 61 restaurant.  It was Ginny and Joe’s 44th wedding anniversary and we wish them many more!

The dinner was as good as the previous time that we had been there. We had a nice time with our friends, then returned to the motor home and went to bed. We have to be up early in the morning!

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