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Pacific Northwest Road Trip ~ North Cascades National Park

January 18, 2012

So, this Pacific Northwest road-trip is officially old news.  We traveled up the coast over 6 months ago and have yet to complete the blog posts or printed pictures from our adventure!  Since returning we’ve day-tripped to San Diego, spent a weekend in San Fransisco, camped in Death Valley and road-tripped through the southern most part of the southwest…  Talk about behind on blogging!  That said, I am determined to stay in some sort of organized order and wrap up this crazy string of posts.

Feel free to catch up on our first stops… Redwood National Park, Oregon Coast, and Olympic National Park!

Our next National Park on our Northwest tour was North Cascades… but first we made a stop over in Anacortes, Washington.  The quickest way from the Olympic peninsula to Anacortes was to drive our car onto the ferry and cruise across the Puget Sound in just around thirty minutes. Situated North of Seattle, Anacortes is most well known as a stop-over city when heading out to the beautiful San Juan islands.

We didn’t have time in our schedule to travel to the islands but we did make time to experience something that the area is known for… beautiful sea kayaking!  We had a great experience with our guide and group of 6.  It was a double kayak so each of us could rest a little and let the other do all the work on occasion!  During the trip we kayaked a few miles and circled a tiny little island which is protected as an animal sanctuary.  On that day we were lucky enough to see a bald eagle  attempt to steal fish from the sea lions lounging on the shore.  It was one of the most amazing things either of us had ever seen!

The next morning we headed out to North Cascades National Park.  The park is huge and much of it is only accessible through multi-day back-country hikes or dirt roads.  We knew we didn’t have time during our short vacation to explore so we accepted the fact that for us it would be a “drive through” park.

Even though we only touched on the beauty from the main road it was still an amazing experience.  The area is often referred to as the Alps of the States and I can see why. Every where you turn there are waterfalls fed by the runoff of glaciers high up in the jagged green mountains.  The river flowing through the Cascades is controlled by a few different dams which create two lakes of the most gorgeous shades of blue and green. The power stations controlling the dams create the electricity needed by the City of Seattle.

I’m not sure how soon we’ll actually be able to make it back to North Cascades. It was the northernmost point on our trip (extending through the Canadian border) but if we do I hope next time we will have the opportunity to explore the heart of the park.  I’d love to see some of the hidden water falls and mountain peaks!

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