On our drive home from the Osoyoos Lake town of Oroville, WA we decided to take an alternative route – rather than the direct one through Manning Park that we usually take we returned through Washington State. While this route was a little slower (about 1hr longer than back through BC) it had two potential advantages – it takes us through scenic North Cascades National Park and enabled us to pass through Bellingham before crossing the border to stock up in US grocery stores.
Initially starting through the South Okanagan desert we turn West and head towards the mountains.
We pass through a few non-descript towns before hitting Winthrop. Our first impression was of Winthrop Hardware on the edge of town :
Then we discovered the whole town has a wildwest theme
Winthrop had originally been a long forgotten gold-rush town until the opening of Highway 20 across the Cascades in 1972. At that time it was decided to rejuvenate the town and create a wildwest theme.
After passing through Winthrop we continue into the North Cascades National Park and pass through beautiful scenery including Washington Pass:
Views West from Washington Pass
The road winds through the mountain pass
Soon we reach a couple of lakes formed in 1924 to generate electricity for the Seattle Metropolitan area. This is Ross Lake.
Finally a couple of views of stunning Diablo Lake