Friday, November 2, 2012

Washington, Oregon - Day 7: North Cascades National Park

The weather forecast for today was mostly sunny, but as we know, weather forecasts are not always accurate.  When we woke up this morning the skies were overcast with no sign of sun and the temperature was 40 degrees.  We left Winthrop and headed northwest on the Cascade Loop towards North Cascades National Park.  Even though it was overcast, the scenery continued to be spectacular with the fall color, rivers and mountains.

Soon we were climbing into the mountains into the national park.  We were never actually within the park today as the road goes through a corridor of national forest with the national park on both sides.  I believe this is because there are many hydroelectric dams on the Skagit River along the way which probably wouldn't be allowed in a national park.  As we got higher in the mountains, the temperature dropped into the 30's and we begin to see snow.  Most of the trails and park facilities were closed due to it being so late in the season so we mostly saw the park from the car.  It was a beautiful drive.

We did make a few stops including Diablo Lake.

 Another stop was Gorge Creek Falls.

That was our last stop in the park area.  We continued our drive west through the fall color until we reached the town of Concrete where we had lunch.

After lunch we continued west and completed our day's drive in the town of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.  We had some intermittent sun as the day went on, but it's raining tonight so I don't know what tomorrow will bring.  So far though, the weather hasn't been a deterrent, and in fact we have enjoyed being able to see the scenery under something other than sunny days.  We're not sure what we're going to do tomorrow so we'll decide in the morning.  The end of another great day on the road.

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