Upon leaving North Cascades NP, the road climbs for 15 miles with, what is reported to be, gorgeous views of the mountains. Unfortunately, this is what we saw.
When we arrived at Rainy Pass (4855 ft.), the smoke was mostly gone so we decided to take a short hike to Lake Ann. I guess trees really do clean the air, because we couldn't even smell the smoke while hiking through the woods.
Is this the lake? Did it dry up due to the drought?
No. Instead it seems I was a quite a bit off on the length of the hike and we continued on our way.
After about 2 miles and 850 ft. elevation gain, we reached our destination. Hum, not exactly picture perfect.
And back we went.
Next stop was the overlook at Washington Pass, the high point of the drive at 5477 ft. The views were amazing, even with the smoke. Here's Liberty Bell Mountain.
I know the pictures are awful, but it actually looked a lot better in person. I guess the camera accentuates the smoke.
We passed up the first two national forest campgrounds on our way down the hill and settled in at the third. Early Winters campground was perfect. We had sun for the solar panels, satellite TV, phone, and internet for the first time in several days.
But the best thing was that we could see the blue sky. Hooray!
And for a special treat, I'm going to post Diana's picture from when she hiked to Lake Ann which I stole off her blog. Sisters can get away with things like that.