Kim's sister Kelli was visiting here last week. We took a little trip up Highway 20 to the tourist town of Winthrop. Our anticipated route from there was all mapped out on the side of an old building. We were going on up the road to Washington Pass and the Rainy Lake trailheads.
A few miles beyond Winthrop route 20 becomes the North Cascades Highway. It is a tremendously beautiful drive that would have taken us through North Cascades National Park if we had kept going.
On the climb up toward the pass we came upon a roadside snowbank. Snow in mid-July is worth a stop.
Did I mention it was a big snowbank?
On a day when the temperatures were in the 90's this spot, with the breeze blowing toward you, was wonderfully air conditioned.
At Rainy Lake the parking area at the south trailhead was blocked by four feet of snow, and the trail was covered over. Two years ago when we were here it was all open in late June. We went across the highway to the north trailhead and found we could get into the parking area with a little residual winter driving skill. We didn't attempt the trail, but wandered around the area for awhile.
It was springtime up there. Snowmelt was running everywhere in little rills and rivulets. The Stream Violets and other wildflowers were blooming, and buds were still swelling and new leaves unfurling.
We tobogganed out and started back down.
It wasn't a fishing trip, but we did stop so I could get some photos of the Methow (MET-how) River. This is simply gorgeous water. It is coming into its own again as a trout and Steelhead river.
Back in Winthrop we strolled around and then relaxed with ice cream and excellent espresso shakes.
Everyone who comes here is required to sit in one of the saddle seats.
It isn't a requirement, but we also like to stop in at the candy store. Some pretty scenic views in there, too. Maybe something for the road, and that long plane ride back home for Kelli.