We crossed the North Cascade Range via Washington 20 East. The winding mountain road took us through the ever changing beautiful scenery on the Cascade Loop. The magnificent peaks rising above the Diablo Lake bathed in the warm morning sun against the pure blue sky. We were excited to see the face of the Pyramid Peak for the first time. As the name suggested, it has the shape of the pyramid. The glaciers shined like ribbons on the caps, and the evergreen forest like beautiful dresses for the mountains. The fascinating emerald green Diablo Lake were lying peacefully underneath. Several small rowing boats came from the Colonial Creek Campground floated in and slowly drew lines on the calm water. What a wonderful start of the day to see this beauty again.
It was the first time that Stephen drove the Escape trailer covering long distance of winding mountain roads. He drove carefully at each turn. The towing mode worked very well especially on the downhill. He didn’t need to step on the break except when the turn was too sharp and need a slower speed.
As we getting close to the Washington Pass, there were some towering mountains by the road. We pulled over to view them closely. The mountains have granite peaks with some stripes of yellow colored stones and glaciers. Patches of green grass are shown among the dotted trees. To the east, under the lacy cirrus clouds, the mountains are covered with less trees. We arrived at the Washington Pass shortly. The towering granite peaks at the start of the pass are like castles guarding the pass. Glaciers wrap around the majestic peaks and big areas of yellow small rocks loosely cover the hill side. Some trees cover the mid and lower level of the mountain. The view from the Washington Pass Overlook was beyond gorgeous, as Stephen said. This grand vista of continuous giant mountains filled your vision. The mountains are scarcely vegetated and exposed with naked rocks, like the muscles of the earth and have a great impact to the viewers. They form an impassable wall. But the highway 20 carves its way around the mountains and carries people to pass the North Cascade Range.
Our truck carried us and the trailer down the Washington Pass and crossed the North Cascade Range. We were in the rain shadow of the mountains. The scene changed dramatically into a barren and bleak view. Sparsely vegetation covered mountains were the theme. Luckily, there was always a river skirting the highway and provided residents with water and hope.
We didn’t stop at Winthrop which is an old western style small town. It was filled with shops and cafes for tourists. A section of the road was under repair because of the fire. It seemed that the fire burned down a concrete building right by the road and the woods on the hillside across the road. That was devastating.
Temperature was climbing to the upper 80s when we got closer to Chelan. We drove through downtown Chelan, and took highway 150 going south. After several big turns on the down hill road, we drove through the old iron bridge crossing the wide and deep Columbia River. There are lots of orchards by the road. Some orchards are covered entirely with giant burlap shades. I wonder what are growing underneath. I guess the shade keeps the plants from drying out so fast under the brutal sun. Apples, grapes, and berries are grown in this area.
We cheered when we finally arrived at our campground – Daroga State Park by the Columbia River at about 2:30 in the afternoon.