Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The North Cascade Challenge!

Having completed my "semi"-loop around the Olympic Pennisula my next goal was to ride over the North Cascade Highway,  Do some mountain work.  Lolli would follow along with my Vanagon as Sag Wagon.
She would wait for me at various places along the way with water and food and we would camp in it at night so I would not be burdened with panniers full of camping equipment.  Perfect!

I decide I will start my ride at Newhalem.  Newhalem is close to the start of the North Cascade Highway  but only at 500 feet elevation.  Mount Washington and Rainey Pass top out over 5,000 feet!

We arrive at a State Park on the outskirts of Newhalem late in the evening, set up the Vanagon and go to bed.

Up at 8:00 and getting ready to roll.

Riding through Newhalem I park my bike against the steam engine for a photo op.

And then, I settle into the ride.... UP!

Part way along Lolli stops to see how I am doing.  She had stopped in Darrington to buy me a cold chocolate drink, snickers bar and some trail mix.

Back at it and the first of two tunnels.  The day is warming up.

Some beautiful scenes along the way.

After seven miles I arrive at the turn-off to Diablo Campground.  Soon Lolli pulls up and we decide to see what the campground looks like.

Well, it looks Perfect!  In no time at all the Vanagon's top is popped and my hammoch stretched between two trees.
Only seven miles.  Well, it was a lot of up and it was getting hot!

In the afternoon we walk on into Diablo, which was a company town during the building of the Diablo Dam.  I find a trail up to the dam and hike up while Lolli waits in the shade.

Eleven switchbacks and another half mile I arrive at the Dam.

This makes up for today's wimpy bicycling effort.

Like I said.  Perfect!

The next morning we haul my bike over Washington Pass and Rainey Pass.


And find another perfect campsite at Klipchuck State Park.

What can I say.
Camping with my Lolli in the Vanagon trumps solo bicycle camping.
Riding in the Vanagon trumps pedalling.

So long North Cascade National Park.
Maybe some other time.