Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hanging with Amy 2016: North Cascades National Park and Ziplining on Camano Island

Though it hadn't been a part of our original plans, we ended up spending Monday driving up to North Cascades National Park. I'd been here several other times but had never stopped at the actual entrance. Unlike most national parks, there is no charge and there are no toll booths. It's just part of the highway with a visitor's center a bit further along the road.

We stopped off at Ladder Creek Falls, mostly because they have clean, flushing public bathrooms at the hydroelectric plant, and there wouldn't be those again the rest of our drive. I LOVE our selfie here! We made the short but steep climb to the top and took a few more selfies there.

Amy was delighted to go through a few tunnels on our way to Gorge Creek falls. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the waterfalls were. They were mostly dry in July of last year, but this year they were pretty good. I guess that's one good thing that came out having a delayed summer.
Amy was a bit terrified by the steel grate bridge we crossed, but she put on a brave face and made it across both ways. It's pretty cool (or frightening depending on your sense of vertigo) to look all the way down to the ground. 

Diablo Lake
We hopped back on the road to see Diablo lake and enjoy a few other roadside waterfalls.

We stopped to eat our lunch with the woodland creatures at Rainy Lake campground.
It was a fun hike down to the lake with a smiley face cut into a log. There were also facts along the hike telling us about the trees. Some of them curve because the snow melt pushes the trees down but the trees want to grow up.
There were some nice little waterfalls along the way.
After a nice jaunt we made it to the lake. It was so nice to do this hike not 8 months pregnant! It's a pretty easy hike, but hiking is brutal for me when I'm pregnant, so last time it'd been much more strenuous for me. The waterfall was better than I'd ever seen it. It's hard to time a trip here when you know the water flow will be decent. When we came in June of 2012, there was still too much snow to even get in the parking lot, but when we came in July of 2015, the waterfall was super dry. 
It's so pretty!
 We bushwacked a bit to get closer.
 I love how clear the water is here.
Ross Lake

The sun had come out, so we stopped at Diablo lake again now that the clouds were clearing. The wind had really picked up by then too.


On Wednesday of that week we drove up to Camano Island to go ziplining. I'd never been up there before, so we checked out a few scenic areas on our way there and back. Our first stop was Utsalady point, which was honestly a bit of a let down. You see all these beautiful views as you drive up to it, then the view from the public park is just meh. All the good open views were in rich people's backyards.

But Utsalady bay was gorgeous! This wasn't a particular place we'd had on our radar. We just continued down the hill on our way back to the main road. We found this lovely bay at the very bottom. We couldn't find anywhere to park at it legally, though where we went was public property. I guess you just have to walk here if you want to stay longer than the couple minutes we were there taking pictures.

After that we stopped to poke around at the gift shop in the little town center next to their tiny library.

Then off to we went ziplining at Canopy Tours NW with this cute group of moms, daughters, and sisters reunion. Most of them had never done it before. Ziplining had also not been part of our original plans, but we'd seen a flyer for it on our Boeing tour and decided we had to go.

My pants didn't have pockets, but Amy's did, so all the videos are of me. She didn't trust my bra to hold her phone for some reason.

We had to walk across some logs to get from one tree to another. It felt a lot like doing the ropes course I'd done recently.

Amy decided to give the tree a hug, but I decided I loved it even more than she did.

This ziplining was very different from what Oscar and I did at Glacier National Park. There we were lying down flat in a pencil point and had to brace ourselves and pull up our bodies for the impact at the end. Here we were sitting up and holding on, and there was no hard impact.

Pics from their camera that we prepaid for when we bought our tickets. Amy's looks awesome!
We got to fall backwards on the last zip. Backwards is fun! They also do this course in the fall in the dark. That would be awesome! 
After our final zip we'd been told there would be a bonus feature. We found out we got to be lowered down to the ground from our last tree. They said people get really scared by this and ask if there's any other way down, which there isn't. I'm surprised anyone would be bothered by it after ziplining. It's much slower and feels more secure.
 Mission Impossible! Dun, dun, duh duh...
 Down we go!
What it looked like from the bottom. The tour guide took the camera for Amy and one of our fellow zipliners snapped some shots of her being lowered too.

Next we headed over to Cama Beach state park and Camano Island state park.
Rock photos! Amy was braver with the barnacles than I was.

 And a long drive home later, we were home for Nibbler to love on Amy again.

1 comment:

  1. Wow it looks like you two had such a great time. Love the gorgeous pictures and the awesome zip line pictures. You both were soooooooooooooooooo brave. Love this fun blog sweet daughter.