We got a bit of a “bonus” holiday what with Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year.
Brian and I decided we would finally go out of our way to visit the last of the National Parks in Washington state: North Cascades NP.
Of course, technically we did not go into the park. There are no roads that go into the park, only trails. And you have to hike a good ten miles before you reach the park boundaries.
But we did look into the park. I’ve never seen lakes as blue as these.
One more without the people. It looks like a child’s drawing of an ideal landscape.
We also took time to talk to the rangers at the visitor’s center so we could get our Junior Ranger patches. NCNP has four different patches, each one for a different age group. The way our children are spaced, each one got to earn a different patch! I really like the Junior Ranger activities; they usually get our kids to engage with the parks (for example, spending time in the forest alone, quietly listening and logging nature sounds), instead of passively wandering through.
The only real snafu to the day was when we picnicked next to Diablo Lake.
The beach was muddy (it’s been such a dry year that the waterline had receded back, revealing layers of goo), and Katie promptly fell down into it, soaking her pants and shoes. So much for taking a hike! In fact, the only reason we were able to go anywhere else that day is because Eleanor had left a second pair of shoes in the car, and we were able to cram them onto Katie’s feet. (Take a closer look at that Junior Ranger photo. You’ll notice how Katie has giant feet.)
The ride home demanded that we stop for ice cream . . . at the exact same place we had stopped for ice cream two days before, on kangaroo & berry-picking day. We must be a remarkable family, because the proprietors recognized us right away . . . and even remembered the flavors we chose before!