North Cascades Scenic Byway

North Cascades National Park, Washington.

On our way to the North Cascades, we picked up the scenic byway at Twisp. This 140-mile (225 km) byway leads to the mountain range often considered to be the North American Alps. The opening photo features a view of the byway as it winds up the side of a mountain on our journey. There are pull-offs aplenty and lots of opportunity for photography. This post and gallery are but a small sampling of the images I gathered on the way to and through the park. Continue reading

Hoffstadt Creek Bridge – Second Highest Bridge in Washington State

Toutle, Washington.

The best access to the blast area defined by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens is via State Route 504, also known as the Spirit Lake Highway. Built to replace the original highway destroyed by the eruption, this 52-mile (84 km) highway contains 14 bridges that span the valleys west of the mountain. The tallest bridge on the highway spans a deep valley where some 370 feet (113 m) below, Hoffstadt Creek winds its way west toward the Toutle River. Continue reading

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount Saint Helens National Monument, Washington.

May 18, 2020, marked the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens. It would seem that there was plenty of warning that something big was going to happen on that Spring day in 1980. After all, there were a couple of months of earthquakes and small eruptions. According to the USGS, however, advances in technology in the last 40 years might have allowed for reduced risk and earlier notification. But those advances were the result of the catastrophic eruption that “fed a towering plume of ash for more than nine hours, and winds carried the ash hundreds of miles away. Lahars (volcanic mudflows) carried large boulders and logs, which destroyed forests, bridges, roads and buildings.” Continue reading

Power to the People – Dams on the Columbia River

Columbia River, Washington.

Washington state depends upon its many rivers for both irrigation and electrical generation. There are over 1100 dams in Washington, mostly small, under 50 feet (15 m) tall, earthen, and used for irrigation. According to Wikipedia, there are 49 dams in the state that are hydroelectric, mostly operated by Public Utility Districts (PUD). In addition to electric generation, many PUDs also provide other community services such as communications, water, sewer, and other typical utilities. The PUDs serve about a million residents of the state in 26 counties. My opening image this week features the Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 10 January 2021

Ellensburg, Washington.

The Yakima Scenic Byway is a popular detour from the Interstate highway system in central Washington state. Highway 821 and the drive through this beautiful river valley will be featured in an upcoming Travel Tuesday here. For now, here’s a teaser, an image from my drone of a section of the valley near the city of Ellensburg. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 29 November 2020

Whidbey Island, Washington.

Between the mainland and Whidbey Island, there is a narrow strip of water that separates Puget Sound from Possession Sound. There is a ferry that travels that passage with terminals at Clinton and Mukilteo. On a cloudy morning, we found ourselves on that ferry. It was the first time I’ve ever been on a “drive-on” ferry. I found the entire process interesting. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 15 November 2020

Quincy, Washington.

This is my third (and final) Cellpic Sunday from the rest area near Quincy. If the photo looks familiar, you may be remembering the image of the lake with the Interstate bridge from a few weeks ago. That image is one-third of three captured in a sequence that shows the entire lake view of Wanapum Lake as seen from that high vantage point. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 8 November 2020

Olympia, Washington.

On our trip to the western states, we had great weather almost every day. Truthfully with Washington state’s reputation for dreary, rainy weather, we only saw a couple of wet days. It was on a wet Wednesday morning we spent some time in the state’s capital city. We chose to drive by the state capitol buildings to see the grounds. I was struck by the fountains in front of the state’s legislative building. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 1 November 2020

Quincy, Washington.

Last week I shared an image from the scenic viewpoint at Mile Marker 139 on I-90 near Quincy. I hinted there is another attraction at the site. This is it, the Wild Horse Monument. If you like to hike, you’ll also find a trailhead here. It’s a short but relatively steep hike to the top where you can get an up-close look at those metal ponies. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 25 October 2020

Quincy, Washington.

Near mile marker 139 on I-90 is a rest area and scenic view. Of course, I had to check it out on our #RoadTrip2020. That bridge in the distance carries traffic on I-90 over the Columbia River. The river is wide here as a nearby dam downstream has created Wanapum Lake. Continue reading