About two hours northeast of our home in Everett, Washington, is the North Cascades National Park. The last town before the park is the “company town” of Newhalem, which is basically owned by Seattle City Light. Seattle gets a large portion of its electric power from the dams on the Skagit River, within the National Park. Right within the town, you can see the Gorge Dam as you leave to go into the park.
A short drive east brings you to the Diablo Lake Overlook, a beautiful mini-park, with restrooms and some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, and Diablo Lake, which is the reservoir behind the Diablo Dam.
You can just barely see the dam in this photo, taken in May of 2021.
Last weekend, we took our first day-trip up to the Diablo Overlook. Even in the mountains, the temperature was over 80 degrees! There were a lot of people around that day-more than we usually see. One of the distinguishing features of Diablo Lake is the blue-green color of the water. This is caused by glacial water runoff-yes, there are actually a number of glaciers on the surrounding mountains.
This photo captures the striking blue-green color of the water.
This is the mountain behind the above photo.
Looking the other way, the water is just as blue-green. Just to the left of this picture is a big campground, and there were lots of kayakers out, paddling around in the protected bay. If you go farther, the wind can be pretty strong, so you don’t see as many kayaks there.
The mountain on the right is Pyramid Peak, and on the left is Colonial Peak. There are hiking trails to both mountains, and there’s a high lake up near Pyramid.
This is the roadcut, just across the highway from the overlook. You can see the various kinds of metamorphic rock here; dark gray gneiss, white quartz inclusions, and red iron oxide. The North Cascades are very young mountains (in the scheme of things), having been formed only about 25 million years ago.
I thought the wispy clouds over the mountains were just gorgeous.
And I thought this was quite fortuitous. Yes, that’s the Moon.