Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Don't people pay attention to the signs they are putting up? You'd think those putting it up would have noticed that it was just plain wrong.
Our North Cascades Highway has now been closed at least over this next weekend due to expected snow. The forecast up there calls for at least 22 inches of snow overnight tonight and more over the next few days. The State Department of Transportation will check it on Monday for avalanche danger and assess then if it will stay closed for the winter. Last year it wasn't closed until Dec 1 and then it was a good month late on opening in the late spring/early summer.
That is a beautiful route for us to take going to Eastern Washington. It starts right in our backyard in Burlington and drops us out at the town of Winthrop in the Methow Valley. We usually actually usually come back that way, taking Stevens Pass (the US 2 Highway)when going East. The two together, along with the connecting roads, make up what is called the Cascade Loop Trip and it is a wonderful outing for a weekend (or longer) trip. The two main passes on the North Cascade Highway (Washington State Route 20) are each about a mile high- there is only one regular pass highway in the state that is higher in elevation and there is so much snowfall every winter plus a very high avalanche danger so they don't even try to keep it open. I believe I heard this past spring while they were trying to clear the roadway to make it passable that there was still something like 70 feet of snowpack up there. That is a lot of snow to have piled up.
Here is a scene taken along the Wenatchee River about eight miles west of the town of Leavenworth at The Alps, a store that all my vehicles seem to find it impossible to drive by without stopping. They have some of the best candies you can find anywhere and also a good stock of toads and other collectibles that others in my family like to look at (and buy). This is just an example of some of the fantastic scenery along the Cascade Loop Trip. You could easily spend a week making this trip and visiting all the things to see along the way. Don't forget to take your camera along.