One Photo: Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake is one of the many highlights of a trip across the North Cascades Highway. Diablo Dam holds back the water of the Skagit River in its effort to create much needed electricity for the Pacific Northwest.

This photo is taken from the Diablo Lake Overlook. The turquoise water is stunning and there are scenic views in multiple directions.

One Photo: A Fruit Tree Wood Pile

A Fruit Tree Wood pile in Swakane Canyon

A short side trip up a gravel road just north of Rocky Reach Dam took us into Swakane Canyon. There was some beautiful scenery in this small canyon. If we’d followed the road and made the right turns we would’ve come out near Cashmere between Wenatchee and Leavenworth.

On our way back out of the canyon, this long pile of cut fruit tree wood caught my eye. Seeing the wood left after orchard trees are taken out isn’t unusual in this area. The way this wood sat there, lined up along a dirt road in a small and little traveled area, just begged for it to be photographed.

One Photo: The Cowlitz River Near Packwood

Cowlitz River Near Packwood

Driving down Highway 12 on the west side of White Pass brought a special treat, the turquoise water of the Cowlitz River. There were so many spots to pull off and get a photo, but this one is right near the green metal bridge between Packwood and Randle.

This water flows right from the slopes of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. It’s cold and refreshing. And it’s also beautiful. Extremely beautiful.

One Photo:  A Secluded Pond Near Stevens Pass

Smithbrook - Pond
Stevens Pass is one of the main East-West routes across the Cascade Mountains in Washington State.  Lake Wenatchee is a popular destination near there and the route usually taken is to travel about 20 miles east of the summit of the pass on Highway 2, and then turning towards Lake Wenatchee State Park at Coles Corner.

Another route though during the warmer months is called Smithbrook and is a gravel ed forest service road.  It’s a shorter route, but because of the road being more winding and a slower speed, it takes about the same amount of time.

Very near where you crest the mountain range separating Stevens Pass from the area that drains into Lake Wenatchee is this scenic little pond.  This photo is taken right from the road.  The pond is strewn with lily pads and is calm and serene, half surrounded by tall evergreens.

Going to have to take that off the beaten path shortcut again some day.

One Photo:  “Modern Apartments” Ghost Sign in Cashmere, Washington

Cashmere is a small town in the Wenatchee Valley, just a few minutes west of Wenatchee and a short drive east from Leavenworth.  It’s largely agricultural based, but has a fun downtown area, some nice parks, the Cashmere Cider Mill, 9/11 Memorial, and of course Aplets & Cotlets.


From the Aplets & Cotlets parking lot, you get a great view of this classic ghost sign.  It’s on the backside of one of the downtown storefronts and has a great vintage look to it.

How long was this sign made?  Small town experiences are largely about a simpler time and we don’t normally think of associating them with the word “modern”.  That wasn’t always the case, apparently.
Beautiful ghost signs are a nice surprise on any road trip.

One Photo:  Huff ‘N Puff in Randle, WA

I love signs.  Huge historical roadside markers, faded ghost signs, classic neon signs, and any other sign, as long as it’s interesting.

In the small town of Randle, Washington, just west of Packwood and the entrance to the Mount Rainier National Park, you can find a small eating establishment that goes by the name of Huff ‘N Puff.  They serve awesome milkshakes, great burgers, tasty hot dogs, and a whole lot more.

They also have a classic vintage sign out front too.

Huff 'N Puff sign in Randle, WA