Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mountains and mountains all around

When Sunit and I were planning the summer vacation and chose Seattle over Yellowstone, I was a bit disappointed. I was afraid that the place would not have as much scenic beauty as Yellowstone. But once we reached Seattle, and travelled to the mountains, I never wanted to leave the place and totally fell in love with it.

The North Cascades Range Upclose

On our third day, we drove from Randle to Seattle. We were to meet up with our friends (Vijay and Pragya) who were our hosts and planners for the rest of the trip. When VJ said we would be spending the day driving along North Cascades Scenic Highway (Route 20) I was thrilled. I had read about this scenic drive but had thought that because of a packed trip we would not be able to do it. So off we went to mountains.

The Diablo Lake

As we drove along, the sheer beauty and grandeur of the mountain range amazed me. Unlike Rainier and Helens which were lone mountains, this was a complete range of mountain after mountain. We were surrounded by these very steep mountains, beautiful lakes, numerous waterfalls (since the snow was just beginning to melt) and deep valleys. We drove (actually VJ drove) on and on, as we just looked around. We made occassional stops to look around, rest, hike a bit, but mostly to breathe in the scenery.

Another view of the mountains

We finally decided to turn back after we knew that it would take us the better part of rest of the day to drive back. We stopped at Diablo lake overlook and the Gorge Creek Waterfall. We took one of the short hikes with VJ telling us stories about bears and scaring us. And finally we drove out of the National Park with a final look at the mountains.

The jagged peaks

I am sure Yellowstone National Park is good ( it is still on my list of places to visit) but I was beginning to like the decision of travelling to Seattle and the surrounding National Parks instead.

Gorge Creek Falls

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tulips Galore

Before I continue to post on the other 2 national parks we visited during our Seattle trip, I decided to add some color to my blog - who does not like color and on top of that if its flowers, then everyone loves it. So here goes.

On our way to St. Helen from Randle where we had stayed overnight, Sunit and I chanced upon this Tulip field visible from the freeway. We decided to take the exit and see if we could make a short stop and if possible walk through the field. To our pleasant surprise the owner of the field had put up a board saying "Visitors are welcome. Please don't step on the flowers".

I simply loved walking through the fields. We spent some time taking pictures and breathing in the view. Felt like those scenes I had only seen in pictures of tulip fields in Switzerland or Netherland. Except that this was not a picture - it was picture perfect.