There was no Dash to Diablo planned for this year, but I still wanted to go up Highway 20. I have been wanting to see the lights at Ladder Falls so a 2:00 start was planned.
Naturally we start at a Starbucks.
Starbucks seems to be a retired hangout on a Friday afternoon.
Cars started showing up...(Maury and Sandy, Jeff and Karen, Allen, Larry and Emily)
A few people could not make the drive. We left about 2:15.
Through the country side, farms surrounded us.
After about 3 minutes of driving, we took the obligatory pit stop.
NC, NA, NC, NB, hmmm, what are we missing?
Ah yes, an ND. Suzy and Ron joined us near Arlington. Don't get excited, they dropped the top with a single, swift wrist motion.
Where we also found some more plumbing facilities to inspect. Are you sensing a theme here?
Speaking of themes, farms kept cropping up.
5 Miatas in total finally arrived at the destination-- The Gorge Inn in Newhalem right on the Skagit River.
Inside, tables were set up for our dinner. We met Ranger Andy and his intern Eric. This is a historic building owned by Seattle City Light that has been restored to what it looked like in the 20's when dinner was served for tradesmen working on the Gorge Dam, Diablo Dam and Ross Dam.
The Dam Good Chicken Dinner was indeed damn good. Mashed potatoes, a fine salad, green beans and the juiciest chicken I have had in a long, long time.
Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the amazing Apple/Rhubarb pie!! And vanilla ice cream!
After dinner, Ranger Andy took us on a very interesting walk and description of the area and history. We learned about J.D. Ross, the origin of the word Newhalem, Skagit and Diablo. He was a great story teller and no one left early.
The Skagit River.
And off to the power house.
And finally, the reason I planned this trip--the colored lights at Ladder Creek Falls. It started off fairly light, but got darker quickly. I will stop talking and just show the cool light effects.
As you can see, even in July it stays light for quite a while, This is around 9:30.
Night time at the power house.
Some people stayed in Marblemount, some went home but Karen and I found a campsite about 1 mile from Newhalem and set up shop in the dark. We slept to the sounds of Goodell Creek. In the morning, breakfast was found in Marblemount and a leisurely drive home.
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I believe this may become an annual event! Thanks to Emily and Larry for running sweep. Thanks to Allen for Albino Deer history! Thanks Suzy for bringing your ND and husband, hope to see you on more drives. Thanks to Maury and Sandy for keeping a Miata in the stable! See you next year. ---Jeff and Karen