Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Road to Jasper

Leaving North Cascades, we drove north (ACROSS THE BORDER, first visit to Canada for Onions).  This was a long driving day, so we stopped in Vancouver for Chinese Food.  Here we are at the famed (in the Chen family) Shanghai River!




From Vancouver, we decided to take the scenic route to Jasper that took us along the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler and then over the mountains into central British Columbia.

Onions jumping for joy at the scenery.  Little did he know this was just a preview of what was to come.


Lake summer sunset as we drove into Kamloops


The next day was our last overcast day of the entire trip.  Here's an obstructed Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

We got to Jasper and our campsite.  FYI, American campsites are surprisingly a lot better in our opinion.  Canadian campsites are too close together.

Since we couldn't see any of the scenery (we would the next day!), we decided to head up to the Miette Hot Springs (recognize a pattern?) for the evening.  Hot springs turned out to serve a dual purpose, the secondary one.....showers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Return To North Cascades National Park

After our visit to Seattle, Onions and I headed to the North Cascades National Park.  We had taken a day trip a few years back but Highway 20 was closed due to snow and we saw little.  Our first hope was to see Mount Shuksan.  Hoping to access it from the Mount Baker Ski Area, this is what we got.




And, yes, you'll see this same outfit, or some variation of it through all pictures from this trip.  I didn't wear pants the entire rest of the trip!


After the cloudy and rainy trip to still unseen Mount Shuksan, and a scramble to find some butane for our camp stove (Mom and Dad, we left ours at your house!), we drove into the North Cascades National Park along Hwy 20 to our campsite at Newhalem Campground. 

Actually, the drive along Hwy 20 is through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area.  Most of North Cascades Park itself is only accessed through back country trails.  On our first full day, in North Cascades, rain and overcast skies. 

Driving east, we crossed over Washington Pass.





Looking east down towards the Methow Valley (where the mountains make the right turn)

Washington Pass

We continued east and ended up in Winthrop, and as you would expect in Eastern Washington, it was sunny and hot.  We stopped in for pastries and coffee.

On the drive back, we stopped in to walk around the Rolling Huts complex.  It appears that, although the huts roll, they haven't actually moved in a while.


Just east of Washington Pass, we decided to hike up to Cutthroat Lake.




Beautiful as it was, I could only imagine how much more amazing it would have been to be there with blue skies.

But after about five minutes, the bugs got us and we hustled back to the car.

On the drive home, the sun started to come out!  We were hopeful that it would remain sunny for the rest of our stay.




The new shower tent!

Roast nuts for breakfast!  I now understand why you get offered warm nuts in first class on an airplane.

On our second full day, we had scheduled a boat ride on Diablo Lake.  Turns out the Skagit River has three dams on it, which generate about 20% of the electricity for the city of Seattle.

Sun and clouds again.  No pics from the boat ride because, well, it wasn't that spectacular and also, I took a very typical Chen nap.

After the boat ride, we looked at the map to try and find a way to get UP INTO the mountains to try and find a grand vista.  So we drove up a river road for 14 some miles.  We could see the mountains, but they were still obscured by clouds.


Alas, we got to a place where we were forced to park because they were clearing trees from the road and doing construction.  Plus, to get up, we had to hike 14 miles round trip.  Wasn't in the cards.

Ross Dam lit up at night with Ross Lake in the foreground.



This picture is a good summary of our days in North Cascades....sometimes clear, like the hill in the foreground and clouds obscuring the mountains.  Not to worry...we suffered some not so great weather here and were rewarded with perfect weather for 90% of the rest of the trip.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hanging With O and Friends

10 days in Seattle and lots of time hanging with O.  We were hoping that O would join us for some camping so we practiced by introducing sleeping bags.

O's third birthday present?  His OWN sleeping bag.


Playing with "power tools."  Part of this trip was taking on Dad's to do list. The major one?  Building him a new pumphouse.  Onions was a trooper and tackled it.  Let's just say, it required renting a nail siding gun. 


TWINSIES!



Root Beer vs. Pepsi Taste Test

Obsessed



Mesmerized

Perfect weather for a birthday party




Next step in the camping plan.....sleeping in the sleeping bag in a tent.  So we set up a tent without the rain fly and slept in the tent.

Easy, peasy.  The only hiccup was when he woke up, he wanted Mom and it was me.

We got to visit our friend Jennifer and her family up on Whidbey Island.  Also had a chance to have dinner at Micah's and Heidi's houses.

Pizza and hanging out with Vickie and Kristin.  Not pictured, Vickie's husband, Geoff.

Pizza

No pants needed for ice cream.  Love you, O!