Upriver on the Skagit

Diablo Lake Panorama

NOTE: Just catching up with blogging after traveling around the islands. Things are a bit post-dated right now.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yesterday we followed the Skagit River through Mount Vernon and out to its confluence with the bay. Today we decided to head the opposite direction and follow the river upstream. Our route would takes up into the North Cascades National Park.

Old Skagit Railroad Trestle

We started on the Skagit River Road along the south side of the river, away from the more crowded Highway 20. The road twists through farms, runs through large stands of trees, and crosses many tributary streams. The last time we were up this way we found several access points that let us get down to the river for a better view. This time we couldn’t find the same access points, so we kept driving.

Near the town of Concrete we crossed the river and picked up Highway 20. The road crossed the Baker River, where we found a nice dirt road leading down to where The Baker and Skagit Meet. Continue reading “Upriver on the Skagit”

Skagit Ideal

Samish Island View

You see those mountains out there? They aren’t just mountains, those are islands!

So said my soon-too-be father-in-law, Jim Wright, as we drove across The Flats for my first visit to Samish Island in 1988. The reclaimed farmland that connected the mainland to the island created the illusion that we weren’t close to water at all. It wasn’t until we gained a bit of elevation that I saw that we were, in fact, surrounded by it.

Samish Island Panorama from Chuckanut

From that moment on, I was hooked. There was so much to see and do, and it was all so different from where I lived. Over the years, and with subsequent visits I’ve built up an ideal of life in Skagit Valley County. It’s an ideal of a slower pace of life, filled with cool weather, incredible scenery, wonderful coffee and fresh baked goods, produce from the local farms, and fantastic seafood. Each quaint little town is filled with curious characters and Victorian architecture. Travel up the Skagit River, and you enter the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, with soaring trees and volcanic mountains and lakes filled with glacial waters. Head two hours north or south, and you have the cultural vibrancy of Seattle or Vancouver. If I were to move from South Carolina, I think this would be where I’d want to settle.

Skagit Barn Continue reading “Skagit Ideal”