Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gorgeous Gorges

So.  The trip to Seattle.

Tate's doctor and audiologist at Children's Hospital?

Tate's progress with his CI?

The actual trip to Seattle?

On Monday, apparently, a tanker truck spilled diesel all over the south-bound I-5 lanes
(just north of Seattle),
ruining everyone's day, and closing I-5 for about five hours.
But that was Monday, and we went on Tuesday, so what gives?

Tate's audiologist and I decided (and believe me, the two of us could solve the world's problems in an afternoon, I think ;D) that all of those people decided to leave for work a couple hours early on Tuesday, to make up for lost time on Monday, or something like that.  Which totally boogered us up.  Normally, leaving home at 5:45am (fun! not!) gets us through ahead of the mess, but not this time.  Arrrrrgh.

But the good news is that Tate is doing so well, he doesn't need to be seen again for six months :D

Yay, Tate!

So, to take my mind off yesterday's miserable drive,
I offer you some more photos :D

Heading east through the Cascade Mountains on Highway 20 will bring you through some breathtaking scenery.  Just "upstream" from the little town of Newhalem, we hit the jackpot.

But a jackpot you should definitely enjoy from above...

We looked down from the roadside into a beautiful valley, with amazingly clear water.

Yes, it's really that color.  Looks like a lovely place for a swim, doesn't it?

But here's the reason for the warning...  Gorge Dam.
Seattle City Light (the power company) will open the spillways to generate power when it's needed, so you don't want to be caught down in the valley.

Found the photo below online of the dam releasing water... stay clear!

No problem.  There was so much to see from above!
Even the lichen was glowing.

Just above the dam there's a place to pull off and park with an enticing trail to a lookout point.

But the sizzle was better than the steak - couldn't see much from the lookout, as the trees have grown.  Maybe after the leaves fall...

But the leaves were what I wanted to see anyway!

Just above the parking pull-out Gorge Creek comes down from the mountain in a torrent
and enters the river above the dam.

They've made the bridge pedestrian-friendly because it's such a photogenic spot.
The catch is, the bridge looks like this as you look across it.
No problem, right?

But it's actually a metal grate, and you can see right through, down to the bottom of the gorge!

 And it's a looooooong way down!

Looking up the steep hill at the series of waterfalls.

Look how narrow the gorge is - really!

And beautifully clear water.
Amazingly pure.

 For scale, that "smaller" rock in the center is probably easily eight feet in diameter.

Yah.  It's really far down there!
Deep breath... look across the bridge ;D

Look down...

I'm not particularly afraid of heights, but that did give me the willies a bit.
But so worth it to see this...

And off the other side of the bridge, the creek joins the upper Skagit River.

And, no, I'm not fudging.  The water really is that color.  Something to do with the fact that the glaciers above scour tiny particles of rock into "rock flour" and it's suspended in the water, and that affects the way the water absorbs different wavelengths of light.

Or we could just say that Washington is a magical place and you should plan a pilgrimage here :D

Just don't come through Seattle in rush-hour.


melanie said...

hee hee -- gorgeous scenery yes! Traffic not so much :-\ Did you make your 8am appointment still?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

We were late, but it worked out. Apparently Tate's doctor and his audiologist don't normally see patients on the same days, but the doctor was on call and sort of did us a favor by giving us the 8am appointment. So when we were a bit late it wasn't a tragedy. ;D

Monica said...

What breath taking pictures! I was holding my breath on the bridge! I hate heights the older I get... :)
So glad to hear Tate is doing so well!

Rebecca D said...

Washington really did seem magical... I don't feel like I saw enough so I need to return soon! :) Miss you friend!!

The Hibbard Family said...

Yes, these pictures definitely make me want to make that pilgrimage to Washington!