Our Day Trip to Stevens Pass!
Sep 28, 2006
|Today we decided to do a short 50 mile scenic drive further West up Hwy 2, destination Stevens Pass. We were in no hurry & it was a good thing! There was so much to see around every corner, we had a blast.
Our first stop was at the Tumwater Dam. The Tumwater Hydroelectric Project was constructed from 1907 to 1909 & was the largest west of Niagara Falls. It was constructed by the Great Northern Railway Company to produce power for electric locomotives traveling through the old Cascade tunnel on the Stevens Pass Route. Electrification of the three miles of line brought an end to the serious smoke & gas conditions in the tunnel resulting from the coal burning locomotives. Four 100-ton electric locomotives were in service on the trolley line to pull passenger & freight trains through the tunnel, which was abandoned in 1929 upon construction of a new 8-mile-long Cascade Tunnel. The Project was closed in 1956. By that time the railroad had converted to diesel engines.
The Dam is now equipped with modern fish passage facilities to assist adult salmon & steelhead returning to their spawning grounds. Most of the fish that arrive are between 3 to 5 years old. We enjoyed watching this dam so much, we were here for quite awhile & took numerous pictures. Hope you enjoy them.
We moved further down the road & stopped for a short stretch break by this beautiful river. The fall colors were all around & Larry found some interesting rocks to check out. As we kept going the hillsides were alive with red, orange & yellow splotches. Just beautiful! It sure doesn't feel like fall. Lucky us! This route is georgeous...
A few more miles down the road we saw signs for a waterfall, & you know us & water! We just had to stop. Wow...it was awesome! Deception Falls is small but powerful...the falls plummet 60 ft in a thundering mass of colliding water. We took lots of photos. Enjoy.
There was dense foliage on this trail (it was a loop) & most of the photos came out too dark. As you can see, there wasn't much light. We found a spot entitled Sky Garden. Plants needing no soil were growing in the tree top canopy. Mosses thicken branches like green fur. Lichens hang from twigs like beards.
Frequent rains water this Sky Garden. The tree canopy intercepts almost 75% of the rainfall. Top layers of branches let through just the right amount of sun.
Larry is standing by Springboard Stump. Loggers probably cut down this tree during the 1890's. Cool! Am posting a pic maybe you can zoom it in & read about it & see it also. Interesting.
What a wonderful stop for us. Reminded me of the rainforest in Hawaii. Now, on to Stevens Pass.
The Stevens Pass Greenway travels from the City of Everett on Puget Sound to the fruit orchards of Wenatchee, east of Leavenworth. This historic route over Stevens Pass crosses the heart of the Cascade Mountains. Beautiful.
The Stevens Pass Ski Area is located in the Mt. Baker, Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National forests, at the summit of Stevens Pass in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. The area is one of the Northwest's premier ski resorts offering 10 lifts and over 1,125 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain. You will notice one of the lifts in a couple of the photos. Check out the big bowl in the second photo. Guess it must fill up with enough snow to ski right over it. Filled with beautiful fall foliage right now!
Well, we have arrived at our destination, finally 4 hours later!
It was an awesome drive, with fall colors all around. We certainly enjoyed our day trip & will certainly come back to this area again... By the way, the temperature today was 75 degrees. It is amazing, the great weather just seems to be following us everywhere. God is good...we are so blessed to be seeing & experiencing this great United States in all it's glory. We wish you all safe travels if you are on the road! And if you're not, may you have the opportunity to be there soon!