Hwy 20: Contrasts

I'm splitting my August trip to Washington State into two posts. And I'm presenting them backwards at that. The drive over Highway 20 was the latter part of the trip...I just edited these photos first.

So here we are. It will all make sense in time.

Highway 20 meanders its way across the state of Washington, all the way from the Olympic Peninsula to the Idaho border. The part of Highway 20 that I've most commonly traveled throughout the years is between I5 and Highway 395. There are a few places along here that one can take a turn north towards the Canadian border. It's also a summer highway because it traverses the Cascade mountain range, which is forced to close during the snowy months. The scenery is GORGEOUS - from the lush coastal mountains to the sage-brushed desert of Central Washington - and I never tire of it.


Besides its good looks, Hwy 20 has some of the cutest little towns to pass through. I recommend a pit stop in Newhalem on the west side of the Cascades and, on the east side, hitting up the Mazama General Store, meandering through downtown Winthrop, and picking up a yummy treat at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery. Those are my faves and the rest of the way is yours to discover if you should ever have the chance. 

After the trip over the mountains with all the blues and greens in the passing scenery, it was a bit of a shock heading out of the Methow Valley into an area ravaged by forest fires this summer. A few days prior to our presence here, there was a wicked storm that passed through, washing out parts of the highway, causing floods, and closing areas because of landslides. The mountains couldn't hold it together after having their support system of underbrush and trees burned. When we stepped out of the vehicle to take photos, the smoke from the fires still filled the air, but so did the wet mud from the previous storm. It was quite the contrast in this nature's war zone.


I look forward to driving through here next year to experience the comeback this forest will start to make. Because it will come back. Until then, I'm glad we're heading into fall so the earth can have a little break.