Like trickling water
making it’s way
through mossy crevices,
I pass through this world
Thursday 08.18.12: Newhalem Campground to Colonial Creek Campground
This was sort of a rest day so as per tradition I’ll keep this short. Basically I’m at the verge of crossing the Cascade Mountains and I wanted to be rested, but I also wanted to be a bit closer to the pass. So I rode up the 20 to the next campground, a mere 11 miles up the road.
I really took my time, checking out the North Cascades Visitor Center, shopping and wandering around the odd company town of Newhalem and doing little hikes as they came up. In Newhalem I hiked the short Cedar Trail which was, as you’d expect, filled with cedars all signed with various bits of trivia.
On the 20 I got a taste of the day ahead with the road steadily going uphill almost the entire way. The day had began mostly cloudy but it had burned off and it was now hot – hopefully this pattern continues tomorrow and with an early start can cross the pass in the cooler temps.
I continued to check out things as they came up: a dam power Station across a suspension bridge, waterfalls, views of the dams and their lakes. At one of these I hike a loop trail that was paved to the outlook then looped around as a dirt path. I took the dirt path back (minimizing redundancy) and encountered a bear there! It was eating berries and bounded away when I came up. It climbed up some rocks and then stopped looking and smelling back at me. I took some pics (not with the iPhone as I wanted to zoom in, but none to post alas) and continued on. This is the closest bear encounter I’ve had and it’s really a privilege to get to see such a magnificent animal in the wild.
The road was usually climbing but at Diablo and Ross lakes it would dive down and I’d lose a lot of that hard won altitude. Still climbed about 1500 feet in todays short ride. After one of these descents I was at the Colonial Creek campground where I had plenty of time to wander around. Tomorrow it’s 32 miles of climbing, so to bed early.
Miles today: 13
Miles to date: 284