North Cascades National Park (6)

Temperature: not sure, but cold enough to warrant a down jacket

Visit Date: June 9

Partner in Crime: Meg Franz, Brad Gannon, Tim& Barbara Gannon, Peter & Patricia Franz

Route taken: Route 20 through Marblemount up to Ross Lake Overlooks and back

Obligatory Entrance Photo

Since my dear friend Meg was in Washington graduating with her Masters degree, and there are a lot of people excited enough to come celebrate this occasion with her (myself included), I hijacked the party and somehow convinced everyone to go visit North Cascades National Park. It's not really a difficult sell because, well, have you seen the pictures of the North Cascades(?), but typically National Parks and graduations don't always go together.

Visitors Center

After a late breakfast, we piled into two cars and headed towards the North Cascades. The family photos of the park entrance were a great way to get us all laughing at the start of the trip. Because really, if you can't make a fool of yourselves together (and have photographic evidence), what is the point? Mental Note: there are stands built for cameras at the entrance sign- if you're traveling alone, you have an easy setup spot for your camera.

We headed towards the Visitors Center to get an annual pass for Meg's boyfriend's dad Tim- he had tried the previous weekend in another park, but they were all sold out. As someone who thinks our National Parks are seriously under appreciated by the majority of Americans, I was happy to know that people are supporting our parks enough that they would sell out of passes. Also, once you're over 62, the park pass cost goes down to $10. I point it out because that low cost might encourage the 60+ crowd to get out there and enjoy our national treasures, but also, why can't I be over 62 and get cheap passes? I promise I will use them!

Mental Note: plan some time at the visitors center to look at the exhibit- it's well worth the time!

There is a sweet little trail at Gorge Creek- the overlook is pretty, but you will be rewarded many times over by taking the little trail to the south (I think... I'm not great with directions) towards the dam. The long views are grand, but the trail itself yields some good details for someone who keeps an eye out. There are a couple different types of moss growing by the path, the rock yields some beautiful striations, and there are a couple plants growing in decidedly difficult places.

We continued on to Diablo Lake- the overlook is well worth the drive. There was a storm rolling in, making for some great grey-cloud photos.

We moved on to Ross Lake Overlooks, where we took some pictures, had an impromptu yoga session, then headed back down the hill for dinner.

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