Igor Tolkov

Oct 27: crossing the Cascades.

On the North Cascades Highway, this involved going over the Washington Pass (1669 m) and Rainy Pass (1486 m). Even though Washington Pass is higher, it is Rainy Pass that would be situated on the "Cascade Divide" if such a divide existed. (It doesn't because the Columbia River cuts through the mountains.) This is because on the other side of Washington Pass, streams flow into Bridge Creek, which in turn flows into Stehekin River, which empties into Lake Chelan, and that would take you back to the Columbia - close to where I was two days ago. After Rainy Pass, however, the road follows Granite Creek to Ross Lake and then Skagit River.

It got colder the previous night - there was even a tiny bit of snowfall at the campground in the evening. It seems that snow melt trickling down the rocks froze overnight, forming these ice crystals along the road. As I rode past, they were melting again, with icicles breaking off intermittently. 📷 9 is me at the Washington Pass overlook. The 600 m climb felt easy. After descending a bit to the saddle I parked my bike and went for a hike (that, next time). The following climb to Rainy Pass was almost unnoticeable. And with that, I entered Western Washington.

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