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Old 07-05-19, 02:13 PM
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Alright, so that happened.

Tour started on Friday afternoon last week. I was more or less retracing my steps from a 2016 tour. I headed northeast to the Skagit River valley, and then east up the valley into the Cascade mountains, along the North Cascades Highway.

Eventually, the Skagit valley becomes a series of dams and lakes managed by Seattle City Light - Gorge Lake, Diablo Lake, and Ross Lake - supplying about 20% of the power used by Seattle. But below Gorge Lake, the Skagit River and the North Cascades wind their way up a steep, grim gorge.

I spent the night at Gorge Lake Campground.

Day 2

Saturday morning, at Gorge Lake, I got back on North Cascades Highway.

This was going to be a monster day. Washington Pass was 37 miles and 6000 feet of climbing away. On the opposite side was the Methow River valley, and my aim was to continue for 73 miles after Washington Pass until stopping at Alta Lake, near where the Methow River pours out into the mighty Columbia River.

Overlooking Diablo Lake:

More climbing...

Before reaching Washington Pass, you cross a few marked lower passes. One of these is Rainy Pass. Contrary to its name, and unlike on my 2016 tour, Rainy Pass was quite sunny six days ago.

...more climbing...

After quite a lot of climbing, I finally reached Washington Pass. The overlook is stunning! The North Cascades Highway takes a bend, right before plunging down into Eastern Washington.

I took no more photos for the rest of the day, but jumping into Alta Lake definitely felt good.
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