Thursday, November 1, 2012

Washington, Oregon - Day 6: Scenic Byways

Our next major destination for the trip is North Cascades National Park and to get there we are not looking for the fastest way, but the most scenic.  Val downloaded a booklet of scenic byways published by the Washington State Tourism Department as part of the national All American Road and Scenic Byways Program.  It is a great pamphlet with many routes crisscrossing the state so we have tried to use them as often as possible.  Today we took several of these routes.

We left Yakima early and traveled up through Yakima Canyon following the Yakima River.  It was mostly cloudy, but there was some patchy blue sky and sunshine.  The fall color was again outstanding.

Once out of the canyon we continued north through rolling hills, rivers, lakes and spectacular fall color.  The forests were replaced by smaller stands of trees, but still very scenic.  This is apple growing country and there were orchards everywhere.  We stopped at a stand and bought some apples to snack on and they were fresh and delicious.  As we traveled north the weather turned cloudy again and we had intermittent rain showers the rest of the day.  The weather stayed cool in the high 40's to the low 50's.

We followed the Columbia River for awhile until we reached the town of Chelan which was a big tourist destination centered around the long and narrow Lake Chelan.

We stopped for lunch in the town of Pateros and enjoyed the view of Lake Pateros as we ate.  There is just an incredible amount of water up here with lakes and rivers everywhere.  Coming from dry Southern California, we are amazed.  Our goal for the night was the town of Winthrop so after eating we had about a 40 mile drive to complete our day. The countryside was ablaze in fall color and in this rural farming area of rolling hills it is especially beautiful.  Winthrop is another small tourist community which is know for the town center area made to look like an old western town.  We were pretty skeptical as to how it would look, but it really is nice and quaint, and isn't overdone or over the top.  We are staying at a great place called the River's Edge Resort on the Chewuch River which is just outside of town.  We didn't really need the space, but we ended up getting a two bedroom cabin on the river with a fireplace, hot tub on the private deck and as a bonus - a washer and dryer so we could wash our clothes.  This is a great time to travel as it is the off season so lodging prices have been pretty low, especially in places that cater to summer recreational travellers.

Our cabin.
The Chewuch River from our deck.
The last part of the day today we were on a route called the Cascade Loop which is a series of county roads and two lane highways forming a loop through the Cascade Mountains that starts and ends in the Seattle area.  Tomorrow we will be heading north towards North Cascades National Park and the good news is, it's supposed to be sunny and warmer over the next four or five days.  We'll see.

No comments:

Post a Comment