Molly was able to get a few days off from work again. This time we picked her up in Bellingham, and then we headed west, passing through North Cascades National Park.
We were able to find a really nice campsite right on the river at Early Winters Campground. It is a first-come, first-serve campground. This is probably our favorite campsite yet!
Here is a few from the other side.
This campground was located about five minutes from the quaint town of Mazama. There is one local gas station/grocery store/restaurant with outdoor seating. It was usually frequented by many customers. Their homemade bread was to die for.
After we set up camp, we got on our bikes for a 17.2 mile bike ride along Methow Community Trail.
It was all flat, which was perfect for us to warm up our legs for tomorrow’s elevated bike ride. None of us had been on a bike recently. Shortly into the beginning of the ride, there was a suspension bridge that takes you over the Methrow River. We stopped to rest and to watch some dogs frolicking in the water. That’s Molly on her bike on the bridge.
The next day we drove to Chicakadee Trailhead, and did a 5.7 mile single track loop with considerable elevation, narrow paths, and a few steep drop offs. Needless to say, I hopped off my bike on a few occasions so that I wouldn’t fall down the hill. I did take one photo of the Northern Cascades off in the distance.
After the ride, we stopped in the town of Winthrop to have some lunch. Winthrop is a small, old fashioned, western-like town. Some of the buildings are quite old, yet maintained.
That evening, we saw a beautiful sunset from our campsite.
The next morning, we packed up camp and drove a couple of hours west. The map below shows our location at Rainy Pass.
We hiked Maple Pass Trail, a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail with breathtaking views. This is the third time that I have walked on part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Maybe some day we will hike the entire length of the PCT. Right.
Since it is a loop, you can begin either in a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction. If you go clockwise, there is considerable elevation gain, but the descent is not as steep. We figured our knees would prefer a gentler downhill. Once we began, it was pretty much an uphill climb.
We finally got our first glimpse of Rainy Lake.
It was rich in color and surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Scott always finds the best spot to take his pictures.
As we reached higher elevation, the wildflowers were everywhere! They were absolutely stunning!
We continued up the switchbacks, enjoying the colorful view but anxious to get to the summit of the pass. See if you can find Molly and me. Here’s a clue. She is almost at the top.
Am I there yet?
We finally made it to the top and pondered the trail we just climbed.
Scott found a perch to take our first picture of Lake Ann.
Next, he spotted a white mountain goat on the rocky hill. Can you spot it?
It was pretty chilly at the top of the pass as the wind was howling. We had a quick snack and then began our descent. We hope that you enjoy Scott’s photos. The view was truly amazing.
Here is a closer view of Lake Ann. Now, you can see the small island on the lake more clearly.