The Cascade Scenic Byway

Trip Start Jun 23, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Concrete Grandy KOA

Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Distance Traveled:  FAR!!!! (Around 300 miles)

Time of Travel:  LONG!  (Was told the loop would take four hours--try 10!

Arrival back to KOA:     1AM or later- was half a sleep and it was LATE!

Best:    Washington Pass Scenic Overlook

Worst:    Amount of time drive took

Unexpected:    Rick pulling off the side of the road in the middle of nowhere to blow off fireworks (The kids listed this as their best of the day)

We went looking for places within the Cascade National Park, which was along the scenic hwy, to go on a few hikes.  Finding our trail of choice was fun.  We were looking for the Diablo Lake trail and went through a very strange town of Diablo.  There were houses there.  There weren't any people.  A few cars.  No people.  We joked that it was like a scary zombie movie---every one who came never left.

When we got to the trail, there was a sign that said a portion of the trail was closed due to a mud slide.  We decided to try it.  We got about 10 minutes into the trail and found another sign.  We decided to go back and try to find another trail.  Of course, it started raining.  By the time we found the other trail, everyone was hungry.  We ate lunch and then decided it was too cold and rainy to do a hike today (59 degrees).  We continued on the scenic trail.

The highest point in the Cascades (5557 feet) was the Washington Pass Scenic overlook.  WOW! is all I can say.  The only thing stopping you from falling off was the wooden railings.  We were on these huge boulders that were actually the edge of the mountain.  It was FANTABULOUSLY Spectacular.  I think it was the highlight of the trip so far.  We even got a few family pictures thanks to Rick's smart thinking to use the camera's timer.

Next, we stopped in the town of Winthrop, which is an old Western town.  It was really cool.  They had a few shops.  Of course, we found a few things to purchase.  For me, some survival stuff I forgot to get before we left on the trip (Roll of eyes predicted here.)  They also had an amazing Ice cream store that made their own waffle cones and ice cream.  (Amazing)  They also had 41 flavors of soft-serve.  Kim got the cheesecake flavor and said it was the best she ever had.  Grace got the cotton candy and it looked like pink lipstick on her face.  During our entire walk through the town, we all kept saying "This is really cool."

By the time we got to the town of Leavenworth, we just wanted to get back to the KOA.  (The police officer from the day before had told us to stop in Winthrop and Leavenworth.)  Leavenworth is a mini "Swiss Alps" town.  We did stop and get out to find a restaurant.  It really was a beautiful little town.  But, by the time we got there, most of the stores were already closed due to the 4th of July.  We did find a lovely German restaurant and we all found lovely items to order.  All except Kim were satisfied with our meal.. .Rick especially, because the bill was reasonable.  He said "I don't care how much a meal costs.  If everyone cleans their plate, it's worth any cost."  We all cleaned the plate and it wasn't that expensive.

Yesterday, coming back from Mt. Rainier, we stopped to purchase some fireworks.  They have been for sale everywhere since we got to Wyoming.  We found out that we couldn't shoot them off at the Koa.  Something about forest fires....As we drove into a small town that we have no idea where it was....there were a few drunk hoodlums blowing off fireworks in a local park. (Where there was a sign "no drugs or firearms here. " )  Rick pulled off to the side of the road and got all excited about shooting off his fireworks.  I was of course worried about safety, being that I am the mother and the reasonable one in the family.  I made the kids stand back.  They were all so was the usual blowing off the fireworks stuff...not spectacular....but they all had a great time and the kids said it was the highlight of their day.

A REALLY long day, but GREAT.

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