Sunday, September 6, 2020

My Computer's Windows Got Me Homesick For Washington Again

Way back in May I mentioned being Surprised Finding Mount Baker On My Wall In Texas. At that point in time I lamented about seeing scenes of my old home zone of Washington state on a calendar on my wall, and that each month brought another familiar scene.

If I remember correctly, and sometimes I do, by last May I already knew that the plan to be in Washington this summer had already been aborted due to the Trump Pandemic, hence Washington scenes making me even more melancholy.

And then this week my computer's Windows added to the melancholy when upon a restart on Wednesday I saw a Washington Cascade scene staring back at me. At least it looked like Washington to me.

Stevens Pass? Snoqualmie Pass? North Cascade Highway Pass? Could be any of them.

The road over Snoqualmie Pass is Interstate 90. At some points on that highway the east and west bound lanes are totally separated. So the above could be Snoqualmie Pass, but the lack of traffic renders that unlikely.

The road over Stevens Pass is State Highway 2. At some locations this road is four lanes. But most of the highway is two lanes. The scene on my computer could be Stevens Pass. But again the lack of traffic makes that seem unlikely.

Of the major Washington passes over the Cascade Mountains the North Cascades Highway, also known as State Highway 20, has the least traffic, and is the only one of the Washington mountain passes to close in winter due to too much snow. I do recollect one winter scarce of snow when the North Cascades Highway Pass did not close. If I remember right the North Cascades Highway is all two lane, non-separated. There may be a few locations where an extra lane is added for passing purposes.

So, methinks this must be a North Cascades Highway scene I am looking at via my computer's Windows. This was the mountain pass I lived closest to. Highway 20 runs right through my old hometown of Burlington, and then follows the Skagit River into the mountains, leaving the river when the Skagit heads north to Canada.

Of Washington's major mountain passes the North Cascades Pass, to me, is the most scenic, with Stevens Pass a close second. Both roads are adventurous, and nerve wracking for those not used to such things.

Snoqualmie Pass is the most sedate, for those easily nerve wracked, what with it basically being a four lane freeway without any treacherous curves or steep drops. Snoqualmie can see scary avalanches though, more so than the other Washington mountain passes. Snoqualmie Pass is the only one of the passes which has sections where the road goes inside avalanche diverting structures.

I am sort of getting over feeling depressed and melancholy about not getting to roadtrip north to Washington this summer.

This month my Washington calendar shows a night scene of a camp on Sahale Arm. With the Milky Way glowing bright above. Sahale Arm is in the North Cascades, accessed via that aforementioned North Cascades Highway. You exit Highway 20 slightly east of Marblemount eventually reaching a big parking lot and trailhead for the Cascade Pass Hike, near the summit of which you find Sahale Arm.

Okay, thinking about hiking over Cascade Pass got me melancholy for Washington again....

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