John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/13

Northwest Passage

Leaving the Lake Wenatchee area we flew along the river (Skykomish I think) toward Seattle, and it was a Northwest Passage for us. It reminded us in so many ways of our years in the Pacific NorthWest, before we met there and migrated South. There was the spiffy fire lookout hut that seemed to be open, reminding me of youthful dreams of living on a mountaintop for a summer scanning the forest for traces of smoke.

4459 Fire Lookout

4459 Fire Lookout

A friend who had done it told a daunting tale of a severe lightning storm that made deafening sheets of light all around the hut with every strike, going for hours, and some strikes so powerful they moved the hut off its foundation. I still wanted to do it, but never applied. Though some of the surrounding peaks were really spectacular, they might have blended into the sea of peaks in the Sawtooths.

4468 Peak Pair

4468 Peak Pair

There’s something subtly different about the mountains here, and it strengthened that Pacific NorthWest feel for us. I hadn’t noticed the craggy peaks in this area when living there, but even with the haze from the nearby fire the scene was magical.

4492 Craggy Peaks

4492 Craggy Peaks

Here’s another view of that enchanting high valley above the highway at the opening to the Seattle area.

4509 High Valley

4509 High Valley

The peak is so striking from any angle, we snapped lots of pix during that brief passage.

4531 Magic Peak

4531 Magic Peak

This whole area seemed like something from a fairy story, and looked as if it could be on another continent.

4543 Enchanted Landscape

4543 Enchanted Landscape

As we turned direct to Renton across a valley, the most Pacific NorthWest moment of all was spotting this scene on a small lake.

4563 Floating Memories

4563 Floating Memories

Not the fact that it looks like a painting, nor even our many memories of being out on boats exploring such lakes. The little boat with the umbrella at the top reminded us of a time soon after we met, when our enjoyment of a small Seattle area lake was supplemented by a similar boat cruising up to ask if we’d like a cappuccino. Whether it was Starbux, Seattle’s Best, Murchie’s or some other brand, it was one of the best cups of coffee ever. 🙂

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