Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a varied terrain, ranging from the high Cascade Mountains splitting the state North to South; and lowlands in the West, going down to the Pacific Ocean. Today, there are signs of Spring from both places.
First, The North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) runs from the small city of Anacortes, across the State, and through the North Cascades National Park, over Washington Pass. There are numerous hiking trails everywhere in the North Cascades that are very popular in the summer months. One of our favorite places to take a day trip to is the Ross Lake Overlook, a very nice picnic spot with a great view of the glacial lakes that feed Ross Dam and Gorge Dam which supply the area with hydroelectric power.
The highway is at such a high elevation that it is closed in the winter, because the state can’t afford to station the snowplows there all year. Most years, the pass gets cleared for traffic some time in March. This year is different, since the snowpack is about double the normal quantity. All of our Washington State mountain passes have gotten huge amounts of snow, and some ski areas will be open through April! The announcement was just made that North Cascades plowing will start next week, which is very late. This is what it looks like now.
The other major sign of Spring in our area is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which is supposed to take place every April in and around Mount Vernon. Last year’s festival was canceled, due to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, and that cancellation was a major blow to businesses and farmers in the valley (like all the other economic destruction wrought by the Government-mandated shutdowns). This year’s Festival will be held, but you have to buy tickets at $10 each if you want to get out of your car to visit the fields. Here’s an idea of what you see if you drive up for the Festival. I’m sure we will go this year.
I wish all my loyal readers and followers a Happy Spring! Get out there into nature, and enjoy yourselves. And be sure NOT to wear a mask!