Three Days In Washington State

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

Day 1 route

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 sun rise behind the cascades as I head towards Diablo Lake
Sunrise!

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).

A quick stop on the way!
Sunrise scenes

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. 

Diablo Lake
It was summer, but the cascades was still capped by snow
Wildflowers in full bloom

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. 

The clear Turquoise waters of Diablo Lake
Taking a moment at the Lake
the mountains reflected on the waters

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. 

A quick stop on the way to Washington Pass Overlook

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.

At Washington Overlook
Liberty Bell
The view from the overlook
The sharp peaks carved by generations of Glacial erosion.

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. 

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