Sunday morning was partly cloudy, the road was starting to wind up and down these gentle rolling hills. Grasslands with sparsely covered trees and a few cows grazing on the range were prevalent for the first hour. We descended down to a valley floor only to find the mighty Columbia River at Kettle Falls. In the old days, one would cross this river by Bonners’ Ferry. Today we drove across and pulled into the visitor center. A farmers’ market was in full swing; even had a live band playing these wooden instruments much like the South American natives do today. It was sort of neat.
|Little Camper Big Trees!|
Off we went, going up and up. It wasn’t hills anymore... it was mountains, we could see the cloud cover getting closer or I should say we were rising closer to the clouds and soon, rain and then we were above the clouds at Sherman Pass 5587ft. We were in the Okanogan National Forest. Every now and then we went through towns like Republic, Wauconda and Tonasket. County road 20 West turns south for a little while and back to the west getting closer to the Cascade Range. Rainy Pass and Harts Pass were the best mountain views yet. I’d even go as far as to say they are the best I’ve seen. You watch the road wind up and up until your actually in the snow fields, snow banks still 10 feet high on June 24. The temperature now at 47 degrees, I got out and took many pictures, I can only post a few because I have to resize in order to upload.
Diablo Lookout is another super spot; the Ross Dam down in the gorge produces one million horsepower of electricity for Seattle. The aqua colored reservoir, rock cliffs, giant trees all blend in to make the detour from US 2 to County 20 worth the extra miles.
We stayed in Newhalem at the Northern Cascade National Park Campground. The trees are so big and tall that you get a stiff neck looking straight up over 200 feet. The park staff had recently cut a large cedar that I gave up counting the rings after 250.
That is what we did and saw