Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Colors 2010 Caravan

Last weekend was the NATCOA 5th Annual Fall Colors Caravan, a trip across the North Cascades and back. Stops included Sauk Campground near Rockport, WA, Silverline Resort in Winthrop, WA, and Alpine Campground in Leavenworth, WA. This was the first weekend just about all summer that we didn't head for Okanogan to work on the house.

Six rigs departed from Haggen's grocery store in Arlington to head to Sauk. For once, we weren't the only Pastime camper in the bunch. A new member has joined with their Pastime! Yay!

Mini-Caravan Going to Sauk Campground

After a dry evening around a campfire, rain arrived during the overnight hours. The large drops of water from the surrounding trees interrupted any chance of getting some much needed sleep. Oh well.

The caravan lined up and pulled out of Sauk promptly at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Look out Winthrop - here we come!

Lined Up and Ready to Roll

The journey from Sauk Campground takes you along Hwy 530 and the Sauk River. Then you turn onto Hwy 20 and follow the Skagit River up to Newhalem. It was a gray and drizzly morning but when you've got 20 campers traipsing down the road, who cares?! We're still having a good time.

Skagit River

It's a Little Wet Out

Entering Newhalem

Leaving Newhalem Along the Gorge

The first scheduled stop was the Diablo Overlook above Diablo Lake. We filled up their parking lot with campers.

Diablo Lake & Overlook

Our next scheduled stop was just east of Washington Pass. However, as we got to the pass we were greeted with the thickest fog and cloud soup we have ever encountered on this highway. Ever! The camper in front of us disappeared into it.

Where'd you go, Redgreen?

After some quick chatter on the radios, we abandoned plans to pull over and continued on to the next stop just outside of Winthrop.

It wasn't raining when we stopped at the pullout along the highway. We lined the campers up for the photo op before departing for Silverline Resort.

Winthrop Pullout

Not too long after we arrived at Silverline, so did the rain and I put my camera away for the evening's activities. We had one of the best potluck dinners. Almost 60 people crowded into the pavilion and EZ-Up shelters that had been set up to accommodate our posse of campers and groaning tables of food. Oh my goodness, there was everything from turkey and stuffing to delicious salads and scrumptious desserts. No one went away hungry.

After dinner, a rousing game of camper bingo was then enjoyed by all before the numerous door prizes were handed out. Then it was time for the campfire. Four of the EZ-Ups were hauled down to the group campfire area. We circled the fire pit with the shelters and stayed dry while Mother Nature tried to dampen our spirits. No way! It just made for better memories.

On Sunday morning, a majority of the attendees headed out for the next stop on the caravan in Leavenworth. Due to work commitments on Monday, we were not able to make this leg of the trip.

We did take advantage our of early departure from Winthrop to make a few stops along the North Cascades Highway rather than zipping on by like we normally do.

Our first stop heading west out of Winthrop was just below the hairpin turn at Liberty Bell and Washington Pass. We took photos of the area so our fellow caravaners could see what they missed the day before.

Liberty Bell

Back on the road again, we continued our journey west.

Approaching the Hairpin Turn at Washington Pass - Look closely and you can see another camper making its way along the upper section

Looking back down from the top of the Hairpin

Meadow Area West of Washington Pass

There is a waterfall between mileposts 136 and 137 that we've always wanted to stop at. So we did. The weekend rainfall certainly had an effect on water flow at the falls. Many pictures later, and a short walk with the dogs, we climbed back into the truck and continued on.

Waterfall Along the Highway

In the gorge just before entering Newhalem, the road threads it way through, hugging the step rock walls. There are several pullouts and scenic spots so we decided to take advantage of one. Normally, the riverbed is quiet below Gorge Dam. But with the recent rains, there was plenty of water being released from the dam rushing through the gorge. The rain also awoke several dormant waterfalls that we haven't seen all summer.

Not So Calm Riverbed

Looking Up from Near the Bottom of the Gorge

More Waterfalls

Winding Road Through the Gorge

It was a good weekend. Wet but fun. It felt weird though not to be working on the house. But we'll be back it soon enough!


The Accidental Bavarian said...

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Visit us at Accidental Bavarian

Anonymous said...

Very nice sis!