Part 32: Hobuck Beach, WA to Wenatchee, WA


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The Trip

We spent the night at a camp on the Indian reservation.  The facilities were basic, but adequate.  The good news was that the camp was right on the beach.  From Hobuck, we did a banzai run to Bellingham, WA to meet some college friends and stay at their place for a few days.  From Bellingham, we headed over the Cascade Mountains and down the east slope to the Columbia River.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

When morning came at Hobuck, I headed down to the beach to see what was going on.  There were families there enjoying walking on the beach and looking for shells.

Out in the cold water was a hearty surfer making use of the waves.

While cruising the beach I spotted a huge flock of sea birds.  The flock swooped and swirled and eventually landed in the marshy area next to the surf.

Kathleen traveled the gravel beach with me.  There was plenty of driftwood.  In the distance, the structures are associated with the Indian reservation.  It was a beautiful bay and the water was calm.  But, Hobuck bay faces directly into the Pacific and I am guessing that it is anything but calm during the frequent winter storms.

To make the journey from the Olympic peninsula to Bellingham required a ferry ride.  We boarded at Port Townsend and headed across Puget Sound to Whitby Island.  We timed our arrival perfectly and waited less than 5 minutes before boarding.

The ferry terminal is a substantial structure.  In the distance the old buildings of Port Townsend are visible.

There is plenty of Coast Guard activity in Puget Sound.  The waters around Port Townsend were no exception.  Above a small patrol craft makes a pass by the port.

In mid-bay, we passed the sister ferry for this route coming west.

Whitby Island terminal was much smaller, but sufficient for our needs.  Note the thruster prop wash serving to brake our approach toward the ferry dock.

The path was WA20 that took us over Deception Pass. 

The view from the bridge over the pass was great.

Between Anacortes and the mainland was another bridge that provided a nice view.

We visited our long-time friends, George and Randi, at their place in Bellingham.  They threw several parties for us and we had a great time.  From Bellingham we headed east on WA20 toward the Cascade mountains.  At the base of mountain we spotted this old steam engine.

From the highway we were able to see several of the dams that part of the Seattle Light hydroelectric system.  This is the lower dam of the 3-dam system and is somewhat unique in that the powerhouse is not adjacent to the dam itself.  In this case, the topography made that impractical so the powerhouse is several miles downriver with water being diverted through a series of tunnels through the mountain.  The benefit is that the powerhouse is located in an easily accessible area and the tunnels provide extra "head" for the generators.

Further upriver there was a highway bridge over a deep, narrow gorge.  The bridge crossing allowed a view of the series of cascades in the gorge.

Still further upriver was Diablo Dam.

WA20 crosses the Cascade Range and the path provides awesome vistas of the mountains.

The upper reaches of the mountains were very rugged.

At Washington Pass we spotted a sign for a viewpoint.  A short hike was required to get to the actual overlook, but it was worth it.  The highway is visible in the photo above.

The overlook had several vista points with one being visible at the left in the photo above.

To the south of the overlook, the peaks showed scars resulting from avalanches and rockslides.

Some of the upper peaks still had small snow fields.

On the east side of Washington Pass we encountered a pair of bikers coming up the grade.  This fellow has another 2,000 of vertical to complete before cresting the pass.

We followed the canyon to the lower elevations and then found a side road that provided access to the forest.  We chose a dirt path and found a flat spot for our camp.  Next morning, we could see some of the cliffs associated with the structure known as "Goat Wall".

Further east in the little tourist town of Winthrop we spotted this nice pedestrian bridge over the river.  Most of the year, the flow prevents safe fording of the river.

Further east of Winthrop, in a small town called Twisp, there was graphic evidence of the recent fires and thunderstorms.  The area was ravaged by fire early in the summer and then just a few days before had suffered strong thunderstorms that brought heavy rains.  When rain meets fire-damaged terrain, large runoff-driven debris flows tear into the landscape.  The photo above was taken from WA20 just east of Twisp.  We wanted to take the southern route from Twisp, but that route was closed due to a large landslide as a result of the flooding.

Heavy runoff will cut deep trenches in the landscape.

The fire damage was heavy and stretched over the mountains from Twisp all the way to the Columbia River.  Trees near the road had to be cut to prevent them from becoming "dead-fall" and blocking the road.

The heavy runoff due to missing ground cover produced substantial damage to the highway in many points.  The photo above shows only one of about a dozen points of damage.

Further east on WA20 we spotted this antenna farm.  Given the scope of the farm, I can only guess that the owner is the government.

We followed the highway to Okanogan and then Omak.  From Omak, we headed south along the Columbia River.  Many sections along the river had been transformed from "backcountry low-rent" to expensive river-front mansions.  While I would prefer seeing virgin land, this alternative was far superior to the first possibility.

Our route took us past plenty of electrical infrastructure that moved power from Grand Coulee Dam to the east.

We decided to go to the Columbia Confluence State Park in Wenatchee.  The park had all the amenities we needed (which at this point was a shower) and was located right on the banks of the Columbia river.  From our camp we could see the recreational boats on the river.

Ha!  Proof that there is hope yet for the human race.  I was really tired of viewing FFAs, but "when in Rome.."  I spotted this gal on the inflatable paddle board and headed over to talk to her.  Kathleen and I had an extended conversation with her and she was an extremely nice person in addition to her other obvious qualities.

Her name is Arla and she lives in Wenatchee and brought her daughter and a neighbor kid with her to the Columbia Confluence beach where we were camped.

The Confluence park is a really nice place.  We found out that it is usually totally full and only our good luck resulted in getting a spot.  We would surely stay there again, but would get a reservation if we could commit to the actual arrival date.

The fire and flood damage in the Twisp area was sobering.  SoCal gets fires, but usually we are light on the rain.  But damage is always a concern in burned areas.

Next, we head west over the Wenatchee Mountains to position us for our eastern approach to Mount Rainier.

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