Brave New World in the North Cascades

We needed to get away for a little 'mental health' so we set our gaze on the North Cascades for something refreshing to take our minds off the world's woes.

Heading North to Oso

Recently we decided we just needed to get away from the craziness of 2020 even if we couldn’t travel far. The trick was Theresa and I were craving something new but how to accomplish that when COVID-19 made it somewhat risky and irresponsible to travel long distances? We finally settled on turning our gaze towards the North Cascades.

Washington has such a massive and diverse selection of activities that we just haven’t turned our attention to the northern range of the cascades. I also admit to a small part of me being reluctant to travel through the greater Seattle corridor with the trailer. It’s really not that bad, just very low on my list of ‘fun’ things to do….somewhere right there with going to the dentist!

It didn’t take long to find a good basecamp from which to start our week of exploration. Turns out it was just outside of Oso. Depending on where you are in the country the name may be instantly recognizable or it might just seem like you should know it, but can’t remember why.

Oso unfortunately gained national recognition when, in the spring of 2017, a huge landslide engulfed 49 homes and claimed 43 lives, It’s a tragic event which should have been avoided but it’s also a tale of resilience, sacrifice, and highlights the best of humanity. There’s a memorial along the highway which gives a great vantage of the cut in the hillside. I can tell you it’s very eerie to stand that and imagine the events of that day. Here’s a good article with much more detail on the events of that day.

coaast surveys resume

We're back in the field collecting data for COASST. After being absent for 3 months we weren't sure what to expect at our beach and I was a bit intimated with the thought of hiking over Scott's Bluff once again.

I invite you to follow our updates from the field on twitter.

Boulder River Trail

After getting settled into our basecamp we started doing a little research on what our first trip might entail. We quickly settled on driving out to the Boulder River Trail and seeing if the double waterfalls that are mentioned are worth the hike.

The trailhead is just off the Arlington-Darrington Highway on NF-2010. The path is well marked and the trail takes you through some wonderful old-growth. Towards the start of the trail, we heard a waterfall in the valley to our right, but the undergrowth was too thick to get a good look at it.

We needed to get away for a little ‘mental health’ so we set our gaze on the North Cascades for something refreshing to take our minds off the world’s woes.

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However, it doesn’t take long before you come upon the second waterfall which is the highlight of the trail. It’s a high double fall which apparently has no name. It is one of the most stunning waterfalls I’ve seen in Washington. This is a popular trail but as it was a Monday morning we had the place to ourselves and we took advantage of it with a nice picnic at its base.

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Loving the fall colors on a beautiful winters day. ⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #photography #reflectiongram #washingtonstate #vancouver #travelgram #washington #travelphotography #pnwonderland #northwestisbest #seattle #pnwphotographer #likeforlikes #sony #travel #instagood #pnwadventures #upperleftusa #pnwisbeautiful #outdoors #nature #followforfollowback #pacificnorthwest #portland #oregon #naturephotography #canada #hiking #explore #sonyalpha #pnwlife ...

Here's my latest news article regarding the world of citizen-science "Harbor Porpoise Found on Toleak Beach" https://buff.ly/3oJuZBd ...

The waterways surrounding Fort Clatsop in Oregon. They have a replica fort build by the Corp of Discovery based on plans found in Capt. Clarks journal.⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #photography #reflectiongram #washingtonstate #vancouver #travelgram #washington #travelphotography #pnwonderland #northwestisbest #seattle #pnwphotographer #likeforlikes #sony #travel #instagood #pnwadventures #upperleftusa #pnwisbeautiful #outdoors #nature #followforfollowback #pacificnorthwest #portland #oregon #naturephotography #canada #hiking #explore #sonyalpha #pnwlife ...

Just one of the peaks you’ll find in the stunning North Cascades. From this vantage it’s hard to believe this was taken at the height of summer. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #photography #reflectiongram #washingtonstate #vancouver #travelgram #washington #travelphotography #pnwonderland #northwestisbest #seattle #pnwphotographer #likeforlikes #sony #travel #instagood #pnwadventures #upperleftusa #pnwisbeautiful #outdoors #nature #followforfollowback #pacificnorthwest #portland #oregon #naturephotography #canada #hiking #explore #sonyalpha #pnwlife ...

Just one of the view from Artist Point in the North Cascades. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #photography #reflectiongram #washingtonstate #vancouver #travelgram #washington #travelphotography #pnwonderland #northwestisbest #seattle #pnwphotographer #likeforlikes #sony #travel #instagood #pnwadventures #upperleftusa #pnwisbeautiful #outdoors #nature #followforfollowback #pacificnorthwest #portland #oregon #naturephotography #canada #hiking #explore #sonyalpha #pnwlife ...

Ventured out and met some friends to catch up down at Budd Bay in Olympia. It was great catching up with them and the day showed some blue sky now and then. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #WildOlympics ...

A fine place to have a picnic on the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Recently we spent a week exploring the North Cascades. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler ...

Looking down at Crater Lake on a fall day two years ago. Later that same trip had a incredible night session on the lip of the crater. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #WildOlympics ...

Just published our latest adventure, or maybe misadventure. You can find the link in my bio up top. - "A Quick Peek at Mt. Baker" ...

We had fog the entire time during our #COASST survey. It got a bit down right spooky when we were in the section of woods on top of Scott’s Bluff. The fog plus the fact that there wasn’t a sound felt a bit spooky. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored ...

Our view from camp on the Sol Duc River. I just love fall on the Washington Coast. Tomorrow we’ll hike out to our #COASST survey beach. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored ...

Sunset over First Beach in La Push. Our base of operations when we conduct our #COASST surveys. We’ll be heading out again this weekend. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored ...

Just one of the stunning views to be found in the North Cascades. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #explore #hike #cascadiaexplored #pnwonderland #northcascadesnationalpark #pnwcollective #seattle #pnwdiscovered #diablolake #hiking #optoutside #nature #naturephotography #cascades #travel #washington #adventure #pacificnorthwest #washingtonexplored #washingtonstate #explorewashington #thatpnwlife #upperleftusa #pnw #pnwadventures #mountains #pnwlife #nationalpark #wanderlust #backpacking ...

Just published our latest adventure, or maybe misadventure. You can find the link in my bio up top. - Brave New World in the North Cascades ...

Out on the Oregon coast near the mouth of the Columbia. Rode our Rads to check the wreck of the Peter Iredale. She’s been on the stretch of beach since 1906. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

The smoke chased us off the mountain but it did make for some nice lighting while we were there. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #findyourpark #purewyoming #sunset_madness #sunsets #sky #northcascades #sunset_ig #sunriseporn #sunsethunter #sunset_stream #landscape #rockymountains #ig #sky_captures #landscapephotography #dontgochasingwaterfalls #peakbagging #pnw #sunrises #wanderwashington #sunrise #mtrainier #ig_sunset #sunset_vision #sunrise_pics #olympicnationalpark #oregonstateparks #explorewashington #nature #sunset ...

North Mountain Fire Lookout

Our second venture out was a tip from old exploring partner Jason. He had mentioned that he had heard of an old fire lookout somewhere in our area. A quick bit of research online and we found it; the historic North Mountain Fire Lookout.

Obviously the lookout sits atop of its namesake and is located 12 miles outside Darrington. The hardest part of reaching the lookout is the 12-mile drive up some of the worst dirt track that I’ve ever taken the FJ up. I was sure I had a couple of fillings loose by the time we finished.

At one time Washington had 600 fire lookouts in the state. Now there are less than 100. There is an organization that is refurbishing the structure and ‘Friends of North Mountain’ has done a good job. The tower is in excellent shape despite having been built in 1965 and sitting vacant since the 1990s,

The evaluation at the tower’s location is a little over 3800’ and the views of the surrounding valley went a long way in making up for the drive. The building itself was locked but the stairway still provides a great view. Quick sidebar for those who enjoy mountain biking. Apparently, this is a sort of mecca for that activity with many single tracks spider webbing the mountain.

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