North Cascades NP

We dropped the kids off at the Seattle airport on Thursday after a fun filled visit.  Our plan upon their departure was to grab a few necessities from the outlet mall, then pay a visit to Chateau St. Michelle winery (home to one of Kim’s favorite chardonnays).  Much to our chagrin, being a much larger winery then we are used to, the place was a tourist trap (very nice grounds) and we decided to leave without even tasting 🙁  No worries, literally across the street was Redhook Brewing Co.  We had a nice time tasting their beers and enjoying their patio.

On Friday, we packed up camp and were off to North Cascades National Park. Now that Lindsay was gone, we could get back to some more serious hiking.  After setting up in our new temporary home, we had the afternoon to explore the park.  We stopped at some pretty overlooks and enjoyed a short walk along Thunder Creek.

20090704-029xThe next day was the 4th of July.  Our plan was to ride through the park on the motorcycles and do the Marble Loop hike around Lake Ann. 

20090704-031xThe hike started from the Rainy Lake Picnic Area, where we found ourselves being the “picnic” for a wide array of bugs that were enjoying making lunch out of us.  Unfortunately, we left the bug spray at the camper. As we worked our way up the trail we found some nice people who were willing to share some of their spray, hence the smiles on our face.  Or could that be due to the views of Lake Ann from above?

20090704-052xLooks like a good place for a bear to have lunch, huh?  We once again found ourselves trying to capture yet another bear picture for the book.  Mom, you’ll be happy to know we were too far away to get a picture worth posting. We thought this was a nice filler:)  By the best of our (limited) animal identification ability, we think this bear was our first grizzly. 

20090704-055xRight about the time we spotted our furry friend we were stopped by deep snow on the trail.  What the…? It’s the fourth of July, there shouldn’t be any more snow! We were a little bummed about not completing the loop, especially since we had done most of the 2,800 foot “up” of the hike.20090704-069x  

On the way back down we had to take advantage of the timer shot op.  The North Cascades are described as the “North American Alps”.  As we hiked and toured the park we understood why. 20090704-126xWhen we finally made our way back to the camper, we were able to enjoy the fireworks from our campground.  Apparently this was the happening place to see the local display.  They did a very good job and many locals were in attendance.  We would say it was comparable to small town displays back home.  It was a nice ending to a good day!

20090705-011xOn Sunday, we set out to tackle Cascade Pass – a drive to a hike that was recommended by one of the rangers.  On the way, we spotted the road to Hidden Lake – a hike we wanted to do, but were told the road to the parking area was washed out.  Well, they apparently fixed it recently so we switched gears.  We set out on the 4.5 mile (one way), 3,200 ft elevation gain trail to find Hidden Lake.  The views were outstanding.  We tried not to break out in song too often “the hills are alive with the sound of music…” (Pretty corny, huh?) 20090705-014xThe trail brought us through a variety of different terrains from deep forest to open meadows (all on the VERY steep side of a mountain).  As we worked our way up, up, up, we noticed that some people in the distance had stopped by the snow line.  We had been next to snow for a while now, so we assumed they were resting. As we mentally prepared ourselves for the continued trek, we noticed they had set out across the ice field, having stopped to put on their snow/ice gear. Once again we were foiled by the snow.  Hidden Lake will continue to be hidden from us.  Looks like we may have to invest in some crampons. 20090705-024x

There was a great deal of glacial run off which made for several fun stream/creek crossings. 20090705-029x

Chris decided to find out how cold the water actually was.  VERY!  By the time Kim snapped the shot his feet were numb! 

We ended the day completing the drive up to Cascade Pass.  We didn’t have another hike in us after doing about 2/3’s of Hidden Lake but we still enjoyed the views from our “auto tour”.  Kim even spotted two young black bears playing on a patch of glacial ice in the distance.  Once again, too far to capture a good picture…

Today is our last day in the Cascades.  The plan is to clean the camper and get packed up for ALASKA!!!  Tomorrow we put the camper in storage and head to Vancouver BC where we will catch our flight on Wednesday, YEAH!!!

4 Responses to “North Cascades NP”

  1. Jim and Cheryl says:

    Your posts are terrific – we will be anxious to read about your Alaska experience. We are looking for a “deal” to get up there again this summer. What cruise are you taking???

  2. admin says:

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks! We are having a good time and are really looking forward to Alaska. We are flying up on Wednesday and renting a car for a week. From there we have a Carnival cruise booked out of Whittier on July 15th-22nd through the inside passage. Not sure if it was a great deal but not bad and it worked with the schedule. Maybe we will see you in the Irish pub on board:) Stay well and good to hear from you.

    Kim and Chris

  3. mike says:

    Kim and Chris,
    Your pictures are as always, amazing! that part of the country is beautiful! we enjoy keeping up with your adventures on the blog. You guys are going to be so used to posting, and have built such a large following, that you will have to continue, we look forward to pictures and narrative of your daily goings on “back at the ranch”. Enjoy Alaska, and be safe.

    • admin says:

      Hey Mike,

      Sorry we didn’t get back sooner but we have been playing tourist in Alaska. You make us laugh. SOmehow we don’t think people will be interested in how many hours we worked, what we had for dinner or if we are regular 🙂 so keeping a blog when we get home will most likely be out. Glad you are continuing to enjoy checking in, we still enjoy updating. Send our love to Carri and Chase. Hope you are all enjoying your summer!

Leave a Reply