Day 1 : A sunrise drive to the cascades
On 3rd July, I woke up at 2 am and shot out of bed. After freshening up and a lite breakfast later, by around 3:30 am I was on the road. The initial plan was to reach Washington pass by 5:00 am in time for sunrise, but I quickly realized that I made a miscalculation here. To Reach Washington pass by 5:00 am, I should have started from home around 2:00 am. A little bit disappointed, but not out, I drove on. It was a long trip and it was important to not be down for small misses. Washington pass is really not that far and a sunrise trip can be made later
The drive went on as usual with This time around, I took WA 530 (I broke the habit I mentioned in the first post) and the drive towards Rockport started. Daybreak was slowly starting and I could see the silhouette of Cascade ranges against the sunrise light and the morning fog. I sorely missed not being able to reach Washington pass in time as it was a clear and red sunrise. I imagine the scenery at Washington pass would have been amazing.
The route is standard and there is no not much to talk about as I have already covered it in earlier trips. By the time I reached Marblemount, the sun was already up, the music was on and I had started to move on from missing the sunrise. Just after Marblemount, I stopped at my favorite spot to stretch and get some movement back in. I was not used to driving an SUV and I felt like I could feel the weight of the car on every turn. (Hey don’t blame me for getting a 7 seater for a solo trip, it was the only car they had).
I had been to this route a lot of times so I decided to skip Diablo Lake this time and head straight towards Washington Pass. But Diablo lake had a different plan for me. As I crossed the entrance for Colonial Creek Campground and started the ascend towards Diablo Lake Vista point, I could see the waters of Diablo Lake and in that overcast early morning light, it looked amazing. The water was completely still and reflected the cascade mountains perfectly. I pulled over at Diablo Lake Vista Point and decided to take some pictures. I had taken pictures of Diablo Lake quite a few times earlier but this particular day added a lot of charm to the view – with the early morning haze and the clouds slowly moving by the mountains.
Once I had my fill of taking pictures at Diablo Lake Vista point, I decided to head down hill towards Colonial Creek Campgrounds. This is one of my favorite spots to take pictures in the area and I spent quite some time here taking pictures.
After all the photography session, I decided to move on towards Washington Pass overlook. It was no longer sunrise but it was still overcast and the view point at Washington Pass’ overlook was still attractive. I made a few stops in between because the drive was that scenic and it demanded a stop every once in a while. The overcast conditions cast a lot of shadows and contrast to the view and the road was pretty much empty. The kind that makes you feel like you own the mountains.
The time I was here before at Washington Pass Overlook (which was about 2 or 3 weeks before this trip), I had to stop at the entrance and walk to the view point. It is not a very long hike and not particularly demanding either, a slight inconvenience if nothing else. I reached Washington Pass’ overlook at around 7 30 in the morning and was pleasantly surprised that the gates were open and I could drive all the way to the overlook’s parking lot. The parking lot was empty and I quickly made my way to the viewpoint which is a very short hike from the parking lot. The view from the overlook at the time is best explained by pictures.
After spending some time at the overlook, I walked back to the car and set out for the next way point which is also my breakfast stop. I was starting to feel hungry and the best option I had to grab good food was at Winthrop, WA. Washington Pass Overlook to Winthrop is about 30 miles, which is a good 30 minutes drive and I happily made my way towards it.